Ontarians Paid Up Big for Wind Generation while Swedes Paid Up Big for Less Wind Generation

Transmission connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) were busy throughout the province on Sunday, January 9, 2022 and generated 83,086 MWh (megawatt hours) and also had another 9,000 MWh curtailed as there wasn’t enough demand.  What the foregoing means is IWT could have operated at a level of 80.2% of their capacity versus their average generation over a full year of about 30%.

Before completing the foregoing calculation, I had read a short article from December 20, 2021 about Sweden’s recent experience which claimed their electricity prices had soared to an all time high.  The article started with what was obviously the cause stating: “Less wind power than normal, as well as the cost of gas and electricity being on an upward curve in Europe this winter, has had a knock-on effect”.  The article went on; “On Tuesday, the average daily spot price of electricity south of Mälardalen (the region around Stockholm) is set to hit 4.25 kronor ($0.46) per kilowatt hour.” Doing the calculation in Canadian dollars brings the cost to almost $0.59 cents/kWh! That suggests without natural gas plants and the fuel itself available to back up IWT the price of electricity will soar above almost everyone’s ability to pay for it. This results in “energy poverty” increasing in most European countries.

We have seen the same outcome in Ontario although not to the same extent and we should be thankful for our relatively cheap electricity generated by our natural gas plants for the many times our IWT fail!

January 9, 2022 wasn’t one of the times IWT were absent in Ontario as noted in the opening paragraph.  The wind was blowing briskly throughout the province meaning we wound up having to export 61,089 MW to our Michigan, New York and Quebec neighbours.  Presumably they were happy to take it as the average sale price over those 24 hours was $8.82/MWh or less than one cent a kWh (kilowatt hour) meaning we were paid a grand total of $538,800 for those MWh.

To put the foregoing into context the 83,086 MWh were more than sufficient to have supplied the exported MWs and we Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers were forced to pay the contracted price of $135/MWh meaning the cost was $11,216,600.  Adding the approximate 9,000 MWh curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh ($1,080,000) brings the full cost of wind generation to about $12,296,600.  If we rightly assume all of the surplus generation exported at those cheap prices was IWT generation it means the net cost of wind generation was $11,757,800 ($12,296,600 minus $538,800 = $11,757,800).  If we logically deduct the MWh exported (61,089 MWh) from IWT full generation of 83,086 MWh the IWT generation utilized by Ontarians was only 21,997 MWh. 

At a total cost to Ontarians of $11,757,800 those 21,997 MWh providing power to Ontario’s businesses and households cost $534.51/MWh ($11.757,800/21,997MW = $534.51/MWh) or 53.4 cents/kWh. The 53.4 cents/kWh it cost Ontarians is very close to what many Swedish businesses and households are now paying for “Less wind power”. 

Conclusion                        

Industrial Wind Turbines cost the Swedes and many other Europeans a lot of money when they don’t produce power and cost Ontarians a lot of money when they produce too much power. In other words, IWT are detrimental to our economic well-being due to their intermittent and unreliable behaviour!  

Scrap them all!

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

8 thoughts on “Ontarians Paid Up Big for Wind Generation while Swedes Paid Up Big for Less Wind Generation”

    1. Sure, great solutions if your hellbent on paying up big time for your electricity consumption. If one adds the costs of wind, solar, storage, transmission lines together along with backup power to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing or the clouds cover the sky that “storage” will only last for a short while if its batteries or pumped storage. You will be looking at brownouts and blackouts and won’t be able to charge your electric vehicle or even your cell phone. Take a look at all the European countries to get a better idea of how your fantasy plays out. The UK is looking at a 50% increase coming in April of this year and they have had to fire up a few of the coal plants. Same thing in Germany. Their growth in “energy poverty” is skyrocketing! My guess is you don’t pay the electricity bills as you reside in your parent’s basement.

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      1. The irony of your position is that the worst realities in history of the grid is from fossil fuels. Take Texas for example. The knee jerk reaction is to blame RE when in fact it was a lax system of natural gas supply that failed dramatically. With electric cars edging out gas cars in the market, batteries are becoming cheaper and cheaper. This is the historical equivalent of the buggy whip going out of business. The S curve of production of electric cars is hitting its rapid escalation with the legacy auto manufacturers caught with their pants down. Mining magazines are now talking about battery materials as the next big mining issue. With electric cars, people will want clean energy to fill them up. RE, storage, and transmission will be combining to give us 365/24/7 power. Like it or not, the time has come.

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    2. Please show how wind, solar and storage are a better deal than fossils. From everything I’ve seen, with the addition of storage, it’s not even close.

      And in most cases, the fossils ARE the storage (or at least backup, lacking storage).

      Besides, current calculations do take into account the fact that at averaging approx 30% efficiency, you will require 3 – 4 times capacity of peak demand to eliminate fossils. As it is, that 3 – 4 times capacity will not suffice in those relatively frequent moments efficiency is 10%. In those moments, you will need enough storage to fill in the other 90%. If it’s an extended period (i.e. a few days – as it frequently is), you will need an unimaginable amount of storage. All which must be recharged immediately (pending another period of 10% efficiency), meaning you will require considerably more than 3 – 4 times capacity.
      You simply cannot wait a week to recharge the storage. Another period of 10% efficiency might (and does) happen tomorrow.

      Do the math. The landscape will be literally covered with renewable capacity and the associated storage. All with an approx 20 year life-span.

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    1. I lived in a basement to go through college in Carbondale Illinois. Best experience of my life. Had a great set of people to live with and lively conversations. I’d do it all over again.

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  1. The EU approving natural gas and nuclear sustainable investments has punctured the green balloon. They have surrendered. Time to help them tear down the solar and wind farms. CO2 back on the throne. Grid off life support.

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  2. From Hot Talk Cold Science by Singer:
    The parallels between the history of Lysenkoism and the current state of the politics surrounding global warming is striking. It took a whole generation to pass away before the fallacy of Lysenko’s ideas and their adoption by a totalitarian regime could be dismantled. We fear that it may now take a whole generation of scientists to pass away before we can return to a state where climate change can be studied.

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