Mere days after COP 26 came to a close CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) issued a press release about their new 62 pages of gibberish. The press release stated “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision presents an illustrative, but realistic, scenario to support this net-zero target by relying on Canada’s abundant and low-cost wind and solar energy resources to supply two-thirds of the new electricity required by 2050. This requires an almostten-fold expansion in this country’s wind and solar energy capacity in the next 29 years.“
Reading the gibberish in the CanREA “Vision” had me reflecting back to my childhood and the “Mighty Mouse” cartoons with the accompanying song and the line in the song; “here I come to save the day“! Does CanREA really believe they can deliver on their claim(s) or do they think as adults we will buy into the BS they tout? Industrial wind and solar generation won’t get us to “net-zero” emission reduction by 2050 and instead will cause blackouts and increase energy poverty when paired with battery storage as their 2050 Vision suggests.
The CanREA “Vision” doesn’t mention the blackouts caused by wind and solar generation’s failure in Southern Australia, California, Texas and of course the EU. The latter is not related to blackouts but the occurrences in the UK with fired up coal plants during the UN COP26 Climate Conference was due to the failure of those off shore industrial wind turbines to generate power.
It is also humorous to note CanREA’s Vision fails to mention the lifespan of typical wind and solar generation is about 20 years so, one-third of the “ten-fold” expansion they suggest, will require replacement before the 2050 target is met.
The other issue only casually mentioned is the recyclability of industrial wind turbines, solar panels and EV batteries. The “Vision” suggests wind turbine manufacturers are working hard to come up with recyclable wind turbine blades which signifies existing blades are not recyclable. An interesting article posted in “e&cn” (Chemical and Engineering News) in April 2018 examines the difficulties associated with recycling wind turbines, solar panels and batteries! The article suggests recycling all three is difficult and also refers to the need to use gas fired furnaces in portions of the recycling process which seems ironic if the aim is “net-zero” emissions. The article concludes with this final sentence: “Industry experts and watchdogs agree that if old solar panels, wind turbine blades, and electric car batteries pile up for lack of good recycling options, waste will become a black eye for these supposedly clean industries.“
As one would expect the ‘Vision” says nothing about wind turbine’s harm to humans (audible and inaudible sound and shadow flicker) or how it often affects aquifers in rural communities causing a loss of clean water for households. It only casually mentions birds and bats but in an affirmative way, suggesting IWT (industrial wind turbines) generators have focused on harm to them reputedly; “resulting in leading research and tools for the mitigation of impacts on birds and bats.“
It seems obvious to anyone with even a narrow knowledge of “renewable energy” that IWT, solar panels and battery storage are not “here to save the day” and instead are focused on simply enriching the CanWEA members who both ignore their costs and harm to the rest of the human race.
We Canadians need “Mighty Mouse” to swoop down and save us from those aiming to kill our economy.
NB: I received this from a friend and felt it was worth posting as it is full of interesting facts!
When I saw the title of this lecture, especially with the picture of the scantily clad model, I couldn’t resist attending. The packed auditorium was abuzz with questions about the address; nobody seemed to know what to expect. The only hint was a large aluminum block sitting on a sturdy table on the stage.
When the crowd settled down, a scholarly-looking man walked out and put his hand on the shiny block, “Good evening,” he said, “I am here to introduce NMC532-X,” and he patted the block, “we call him NM for short,” and the man smiled proudly. “NM is a typical electric vehicle (EV) car battery in every way except one; we programmed him to send signals of the internal movements of his electrons when charging, discharging, and in several other conditions. We wanted to know what it feels like to be a battery. We don’t know how it happened, but NM began to talk after we downloaded the program.
Despite this ability, we put him in a car for a year and then asked him if he’d like to do presentations about batteries. He readily agreed on the condition he could say whatever he wanted. We thought that was fine, and so, without further ado, I’ll turn the floor over to NM,” the man turned and walked off the stage.
“Good evening,” NM said. He had a slightly affected accent, and when he spoke, he lit up in different colors. “That cheeky woman on the marquee was my idea,” he said. “Were she not there, along with ‘naked’ in the title, I’d likely be speaking to an empty auditorium! I also had them add ‘shocking’ because it’s a favorite word amongst us batteries.” He flashed a light blue color as he laughed.
“Sorry,” NM giggled then continued, “three days ago, at the start of my last lecture, three people walked out. I suppose they were disappointed there would be no dancing girls. But here is what I noticed about them. One was wearing a battery-powered hearing aid, one tapped on his battery- powered cell phone as he left, and a third got into his car, which would not start without a battery.
So I’d like you to think about your day for a moment; how many batteries do you rely on?” He paused for a full minute which gave us time to count our batteries. Then he went on, “Now, it is not elementary to ask, ‘what is a battery?’ I think Tesla said it best when they called us Energy Storage Systems. That’s important. We do not make electricity – we store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid. Also, since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from coal-fired plants, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered, n’est-ce pas? He flashed blue again. “Einstein’s formula, E=MC2, tells us it takes the same amount of energy to move a five-thousand-pound gasoline- driven automobile a mile as it does an electric one. The only question again is what produces the power? To reiterate, it does not come from the battery; the battery is only the storage device, like a gas tank in a car.” He lit up red when he said that, and I sensed he was smiling. Then he continued in blue and orange.
“Mr. Elkay introduced me as NMC532. If I were the battery from your computer mouse, Elkay would introduce me as double-A, if from your cell phone as CR2032, and so on. We batteries all have the same name depending on our design. By the way, the ‘X’ in my name stands for ‘experimental.’ There are two orders of batteries, rechargeable, and single- use. The most common single-use batteries are A, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and lantern types. Those dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. Please note they all contain toxic, heavy metals.
Rechargeable batteries only differ in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium. The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills. California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled. If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.
All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy. You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old ruptured battery. When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or light, you think of it as dead; well, it is not. It continues to leak small amounts of electricity. As the chemicals inside it run out, pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, it cracks. The metals left inside then ooze out. The ooze in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery in a landfill. All batteries eventually rupture; it just takes rechargeable batteries longer to end up in the landfill. In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle batteries like me or care to dispose of single-use ones properly. But that is not half of it.
For those of you excited about electric cars and a green revolution, I want you to take a closer look at batteries and also windmills, and solar panels. These three technologies share what we call “environmentally destructive embedded costs.” NM got redder as he spoke. “Everything manufactured has two costs associated with it, embedded costs and operating costs. I will explain embedded costs using a can of baked beans as my subject. In this scenario, baked beans are on sale, so you jump in your car and head for the grocery store. Sure enough, there they are on the shelf for $1.75 a can. As you head to the checkout, you begin to think about the embedded costs in the can of beans. The first cost is the diesel fuel the farmer used to plow the field, till the ground, harvest the beans, and transport them to the food processor. Not only is his diesel fuel an embedded cost, so are the costs to build the tractors, combines, and trucks. In addition, the farmer might use a nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas. Next is the energy costs of cooking the beans, heating the building, transporting the workers, and paying for the vast amounts of electricity used to run the plant. The steel can holding the beans is also an embedded cost. Making the steel can requires mining taconite, shipping it by boat, extracting the iron, placing it in a coal-fired blast furnace, and adding carbon. Then it’s back on another truck to take the beans to the grocery store. Finally, add in the cost of the gasoline for your car. But wait – can you guess one of the highest but rarely acknowledged embedded costs?” NM said, then gave us about thirty seconds to make our guesses. Then he flashed his lights and said, “It’s the depreciation on the 5000 pound car you used to transport one pound of canned beans!” NM took on a golden glow, and I thought he might have winked. He said, “But that can of beans is nothing compared to me! I am hundreds of times more complicated. My embedded costs not only come in the form of energy use; they come as environmental destruction, pollution, disease, child labor, and the inability to be recycled.”
He paused, “I weigh one thousand pounds, and as you see, I am about the size of a travel trunk.” NM’s lights showed he was serious. “I contain twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside me are 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells. It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each auto battery like me, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just – one – battery.” He let that one sink in, then added, “I mentioned disease and child labor a moment ago. Here’s why. Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?” NM’s red and orange light made it look like he was on fire.
“Finally,” he said, “I’d like to leave you with these thoughts. California is building the largest battery in the world near San Francisco, and they intend to power it from solar panels and windmills. They claim this is the ultimate in being ‘green,’ but it is not! This construction project is creating an environmental disaster. Let me tell you why.
The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.
Windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and environmental destruction. Each weighs 1688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and contains 1300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard to extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades. Sadly, both solar arrays and windmills kill birds, bats, sea life, and migratory insects.
NM lights dimmed, and he quietly said, “There may be a place for these technologies, but you must look beyond the myth of zero emissions. I predict EVs and windmills will be abandoned once the embedded environmental costs of making and replacing them become apparent. I’m trying to do my part with these lectures. Thank you for your attention, good night, and good luck.” NM’s lights went out, and he was quiet, like a regular battery.
The past week was an interesting one here in Canada as a couple of major provincial announcements from the east (Quebec) and west (Alberta) suggest what appears to be a major conflict on energy sources and the flow of tax dollars related to the “Equalization Formula”.
On the latter; in 2019 Alberta contributed $22 billion more in tax revenue than they got back from the Federal government according to a Fraser Institute review whereas Quebec in that year, received $13.2 billion or 66.9% of total equalization payments.
Those equalization payments have seemingly annoyed Albertans as clearly demonstrated via a recent referendum resulting in almost 62% voting to revise the “constitution”. The principal reason expressed by Alberta Premier Kenney why Albertans supported the referendum was; “to demand a repeal of “discriminatory” environmental laws that hurt Alberta’s energy sector.” Needless to say, the push to eliminate fossil fuel generation has impacted the Alberta economy and forecasted to do more harm.
While many of those “environmental laws” were imposed by the Trudeau led Liberal minority government another recent “related event” presumably played a role! That event was how Quebec Premier Legault suddenly announced: “The government of Quebec has taken a decision to renounce, definitively, extraction of hydrocarbons in its territory,” and labelled it as “a recipe for prosperity in an emerging age of international consensus on preventing drastic climate change by cutting fossil fuel carbon emissions blamed for global warming.” Needless to say Premier Legault will attend COP-26 where he presumably hopes to be honoured for Quebec being blessed with hydro dams. Legault noted those dams “enable us to attract investment because, in future, enterprises that want to produce goods without emitting greenhouse gases are going to find in Quebec an incomparable land of opportunity”.
As is to solidify Premier Legault’s anticipated blessing at COP 26 it is interesting to note Quebec accounts for 46% of all EV (electric vehicles) registrations in Canada perhaps related to their generous grants and cheap electricity rates.
It seems ironic Albertans contribute their tax dollars to allow Quebecers to receive an $8K grant from Quebec (coupled with one for $5K from the Feds) to purchase a Tesla EV!
Does Premier Legault see lithium demand fueling Quebec prosperity?
The foregoing question is one that could be weighing on Premier Legault’s mind and why he dismissed exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons (fossil fuels) in Quebec even though they may well have untapped and significant resources particularly related to natural gas. As it turns out Quebec also has lithium reserves which are currently in high demand and recently forecast to reach as much as US$30,000 per metric ton in the spot market. Couple those lithium reserves with another forecast suggesting its demand will grow at average annual rates of 30%* and one can see why Premier Legault is excited about the net-zero push.
As it to top things off back in late March of this year the US Department of Commerce “held a closed-door virtual meeting with miners and battery manufacturers to discuss ways to boost Canadian production of EV materials, according to documents seen by Reuters.” The article describing the meeting noted a month before; President Biden and PM Trudeau committed to building an EV supply chain between the two countries. Interestingly two US mining companies (Livent and Pallinghurst) have invested in Canada jointly purchasing “the Nemaska lithium project in Quebec, in what will be North America’s largest lithium mine.” Livent was one of the 30 or so companies present at the ”closed-door” virtual meeting as was Tesla. Another interesting article from July 2020 noted a California based company; KoBold Metals, “financed by well-known billionaires including Jeff Bezos, Ray Dalio, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson and Gates” has been attracted to Quebec. KoBold’s principal focus is on finding “cobalt” and nickel deposits (secondary) both used in the manufacturing of those EV batteries. They have acquired “rights to an area (in Quebec) of about 1,000 square kilometres (386 sq. miles), where it plans to begin collecting geophysical data before the end of the year.” It should be apparent why many of the “billionaires” behind KoBold push the “net-zero” concept. It is to simply make themselves even richer at a huge cost to the rest of us commoners.
From all appearances Premier Legault sees the push for net-zero and elimination of fossil fuel use as a gamechanger for Quebec by attracting investors seeking minerals for EV. Those incoming investments will (he believes) create well-paying jobs and rocket Quebec’s economy up to surpass Alberta’s on a per capita basis. His wish perhaps, is to see Quebec vault to become Canada’s richest province. Should that happen because of the demise of fossil fuels Quebec may find itself as “The Province” doling out those “equalization” monies.
Maybe Premier Kenny should hold off before insisting on revisions to the equalization formula, as in the future, when the world has achieved the goal of the eco-warriors and our demented politicians, Quebec will be rife with cash and the rest of Canada will be the beneficiaries.
We will all surely need it, should the foregoing happen, as we will be struggling to survive without reliable power to keep us warm in our cold winters and many of us will, by then, be living in poverty.
Quite the week with some interesting things going on globally related to the electricity sector and how havoc has struck in some parts of the world! The following are just a few that caught my eye!
South Australia big Tesla battery sued for not helping during Queensland coal power station failure
South Australia has gone bigtime into renewable energy and back in 2016 they experienced a major blackout and in March 2017 the blame was squarely laid on renewable energy (wind and solar) by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator). The blackout had triggered Elon Musk to step into the fray via a winning bid to build a battery storage unit which they did successfully in the 100 days promised. Since then other (TESLA) battery storage units have been added and one of them failed to deliver the power stored when called on back in 2019 and now are being sued by the AER (Australian Energy Regulator). As it to top things off in Australia; a fire broke out at another big TESLA battery storage unit (300/450MW) under construction. One article about the fire stated; “More than 150 people from Fire Rescue Victoria and the Country Fire Authority responded to the blaze, and it is expected to burn throughout the night for 8 to up to 24 hours.” The foregoing lawsuit and the recent fire suggests battery storage may not be what will supply us with reliable power to back up intermittent wind and solar.
As one would expect California has also gone full bore into battery storage and they too recently experienced an event which forced the shutdown of Moss Landing reputed to be “the largest battery storage facility in the world“. The owners, Vistra Corp. claimed; “a limited number of battery modules” at the storage facility overheated on Saturday night, resulting in the facility going offline.“ Another more current article on September 16, 2021 had the following: “Now, only nine months into operation and less than three weeks after Vistra cut the ribbon on an expansion, most of the largest battery storage facility in the world has gone dormant with no timeline for a return.“ It certainly appears, based on these recent events that unreliable power generation storage should not be the back-up for unreliable and intermittent power generation.
Close to home and a recent Hydro One Bill
Receipt of a recent Hydro One bill and the information contained in it led the writer to do a quick calculation to determine the “total cost” per kWh (kilowatt hour) on what I was required to pay. Simply dividing my total bill by kWh consumed showed the all-in cost was 14.3 cents/kWh. Flipping the bill over however one notes, a little box titled “What do I need to know?” That box had a fairly large amount listed as “Total Ontario support:” followed by a dollar amount. When the latter amount is added to what I have to pay and divided by our consumption the cost per kWh comes to 23 cents/kWh. The difference of 8.7 cents/kWh multiplied by the kWh delivered to “residential customers” (13.448 billion kWh) by Hydro One (according to the 2020 Yearbook of Distributors recently released by the OEB (Ontario Energy Board), indicates tax dollars paid to them to keep residential rates at 14.3 cents/kWh amounts to $1.170 billion but their pretax net income was only $414 million. Now they are applying to the OEB for approval to spend $13.5 billion over the next five years which will undoubtedly further increase rates and tax subsidies.
China’s sudden hate for cryptocurrency mines
An article in the Financial Post about theft of electricity to create a bitcoin mining operation by a public employee of a NY State County suggested he will face a myriad of criminal charges. The FP article referenced a NY Times estimate that bitcoin mining uses 91 TWh globally which is about what 8 million average Canadian households consume annually. Another article noted a Cambridge University study suggests; “Globally, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121 TWh a year“
The bulk of bitcoin mining has been in China which was once said to contain about 75% of all cryptocurrency mines but China has been forcing out the miners who were using their low-priced electricity meaning many of them have either moved or are looking elsewhere. We should suspect China’s move is associated with the upcoming COP 26 Conference in Glasgow. China will not be stepping up to agree to reduce their emissions at COP 26 but by booting out the bitcoin miners (63% reputedly used coal generated electricity) they will reduce the need to add more coal fired electricity. One should also understand that the current price for coal per ton has soared over the past 12 months which presumably is driving up energy costs in China. Where those cryptocurrency miners relocate to however, will directly impact emissions from the countries they move to.
The Circular Economy
The WEF (World Economic Forum) in one of their posts stated: “The circular economy, which promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.“ Is the following picture (sent to me by a contact who asked me to spot the bulldozer) what the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schaub and one of his advisors; Mark Carney, had in mind?
Unrecyclable wind turbine blades being buried in a landfill seem to form part of the “Circular Economy”!
One should wonder why the WEF and others push renewable energy from wind and solar and believe the world’s population will not recognize the lies they are advancing to simply increase their wealth?
If the UK’s PM Boris Johnson was smart, he would cancel COP 26 as the world struggles to cope with the faulty unreliability of the “green energy” adopted by so many politicians and caused a cessation in investment for reliable fossil fuels and a significant spike in their costs due to green energy’s failures.
The results around the world of the “green” push continue to illustrate the fallacy of exiting fossil fuels without having anything resembling reasonably priced reliable power at the ready!
Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) on July 26, 2021 posted an article on their website titled “Taking Charge” and one of the early claims made in the article was:
“A growing number of corporations are prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions within their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and taking steps to ensure the electricity they use is generated by non-emitting sources, like wind and solar energy.”
The article doesn’t explain the reasons why those corporations are taking those steps but anyone following politics is aware; numerous “developed world” governments are passing acts or regulating emissions that put a price on them. Those actions raise the cost of what corporations produce and suddenly the products they manufacture are no longer competitive with products produced in countries not imposing costs. Those countries like, Brazil, Russia China, India, South Africa, (BRICS country members) etc. will either produce similar products with lower prices or will attract those corporations. That means corporations will move to those locations and shut their manufacturing plants in countries like Canada who have imposed both a “carbon tax” rising to $170/ton by 2030 and another tax referenced as the “clean fuel standard”. We should be confident those imposed costs will mean less jobs in Canada and other developed countries.
The CanREA article pushing wind, solar and battery storage, appeared before Ontario experienced a number of hot days in August which could have resulted in rolling blackouts or brownouts had we not had sufficient gas plants at the ready. The 5,500 MW (approximately) of wind capacity in Ontario went for a holiday. Likewise the UK also recently experienced the failure of their 24.1 GW capacity of industrial wind turbines and were even forced to fire up one of their coal plants to avoid blackouts joining up with gas plants that provided 46.5% of their energy needs.
Looking at the World Bank’s “Carbon Price Dashboard” Canada stands out as a country that has implemented emissions pricing well beyond other countries around the world. One should wonder “why” when our emissions are a miniscule 1.6% of global emissions and less than our percentage of global GDP (gross domestic product) of 1.9%.
Also worth mentioning is that China, a BRICS member, has basically stated they “won’t be bullied into going green” at the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow. In 2018 the five BRICS countries accounted for 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with China the number one emitter globally at 28% but they produced only 17.4% of global GDP in 2020. Based on the foregoing Canada is almost twice as emissions efficient as China but apparently the eco-warriors, politicians and those multi-billionaires like Bloomberg, Fink, Gates and the former Governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, in conjunction with the WEF (World Economic Forum) want more! The latter fully support the concept of mankind causing global warming and the reputed upcoming “climate pandemic” in the hopes of becoming wealthier! The rest of us, based on what the WEF tell us will succumb to their forecast of; “by 2030 You’ll own nothing And you’ll be happy”! One should assume the Board of Trustees of the WEF including luminaries like Al Gore, Mark Carney, Laurence Fink and our current Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland and others including Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, etc. will be the ones owning everything.
The WEF supports the “circular economy” which they claim; “promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.”
Hmm, one should surmise, based on their short video telling us all how we will own nothing but be happy, whose pockets will be lined with the $4.5 trillion they claim will come from the forecasted “economic benefits.”
The other question is where will that $4,5 trillion come from? We should suspect much of it will be created by the cost of purported “low-carbon energy”.
The International Energy Agency estimates that global investment in low-carbon energy will have to increase 2½ times by 2030 from its current level of about $620 billion a year to meet targets in the Paris climate agreement.” If one does the quick math on the IEA’s estimate it amounts to about $13 trillion for the next 9 years. One should suspect the $13 trillion will come from the pockets of those who “will own nothing”!
Those investments In low-carbon energy are happening and gaining speed as large pension funds like the CPPI, asset management firms such as BlackRock, Brookfield, etc. etc. invest our money in renewable energy in increasing ways as the Washington Post reported earlier this year.
What the foregoing seems to magnify is the elites of the world coupled with the eco-warriors are sold on the “circular economy” and are intent on seeing the rest of us “peoplekind” head “down the drain”!
I recently note you sent a letter dated August 27, 2021, to Ms. Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in respect to the captioned. The letter instructed IESO to negotiate a “draft” contract with the parties proposing the 250 MW battery storage project.
I was pleased to observe you couched your directive with the following instructions:
“I will not consider a directive to the IESO asking it to execute the drafted final contract until:
• National Resources Canada’s determination regarding the $50 million in funding under the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program is known; and
• The ownership of the project is fully clarified, including the equity participation of both NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp.”
Along the lines of your directive I sincerely hope you are aware of an article I penned January 23, 2021 partially analyzing the project when it was first announced in a press release from the Federal taxpayer owned Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). The press release indicated the CIB would invest $170 million of our hard-earned tax dollars. My article attempted to point out the negative impact the project would have on Ontario ratepayers despite our tax dollars being thrown at the project. It now appears another $50 million of our tax dollars may be slated to join the $170 million already committed!
The other issue which I would point out is in respect to what recently occurred to a similar project in Southeast Australia. An article on August 5, 2021 on the CNBC website was headlined: “Tesla Megapack fire highlights issues to be solved for utility ‘big batteries”. The article noted: “There have been around 40 known fires that have occurred within large-scale, lithium-ionbattery energy storage systems,” which should be considered; if this project is allowed to proceed.
What I wish to reiterate to you and IESO is; you must recall the Green Energy and Green Economy Act caused Ontario’s electricity rates to spike by well over 100%. Projects such as this will add further costs to the system and negatively impact ratepayers including small and medium sized companies. The effects will be a reduction in employment, drive manufacturers and other businesses elsewhere and create further energy poverty.
The possibility of fires on large-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage systems also cannot be ignored. A fire such as happened in 40 cases would simply serve to increase emissions as would the mega batteries relatively short life span and their eventual disposal.
I sincerely hope the Ontario Ministry of Energy and IESO will bear the foregoing in mind before any approval is granted to proceed!
Should you, as I do, consider recent events to be off the scale of normal, it is worth pondering the cause! Is it related to the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, the “woke” generation, government bureaucrats or those in political power or perhaps a combination of some or all of them? Some recent examples:
Planting Trees in Brampton as Part of Two Billion Trees
I’m sure most will recall just before the last Federal election in 2019 our PM Trudeau met with Greta Thunberg and promised her we would plant 2 billion trees. Well, it appears the process, under the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan has finally started according to a press release on August 4, 2021 which contained the following:
“Today, Maninder Sidhu, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Brampton East, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, announced $1,280,000 to the City of Brampton in support of the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over 10 years. This project will see 8,000 trees planted across the region this year and contribute to the rehabilitation of the city’s urban tree canopy.”
Quick math on the cost per tree being planted comes to $160.00 each meaning if Minister O’Regan Jr. continues at this level the total cost to Canada’s taxpayers will be $320 billion for the 2 billion trees. Those 8,000 trees will, eventually, absorb about 174 tons of CO2 meaning the cost per ton of emissions removal is about $7,400. Pretty sure O’Regan could have purchased “carbon offsets” for a few dollars each from former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney and saved the taxpayers money!
CONFIDENCE IN CHARITY LEADERS HAS FALLEN SHARPLY OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE SECTOR?
In late June Charity Village released a report that tracked “four research streams that asked about perceptions of charity leaders over time, representing 27 distinct surveys.” The surveys cited go back as far as 2000. One of the comments in their report stated: “In 2000, 27% of Canadians reported a lot of trust or confidence in charity leaders, but in the Environics Institute’s research, only 8% reported having a lot of confidence in 2020,”. Another finding was, “between 2009 and 2020, confidence in charity leaders dropped by 22 percentage points, compared to only eight percentage points for business leaders, six for union leaders, and three for government leaders.” The preceding findings may (in my mind) be a reflection of the growth in eco-charities who provide no real charitable benefits to those in need and are well funded by domestic and foreign charitable foundations. The former includes many of Canada’s colleges and universities with departments focused on “climate change”! Needless to say, the drop in confidence has resulted in fewer Canadian tax filers donating: “In 2000, 25.5% of Canadian tax filers reported charitable donations, but by 2018 it was only 19.4%.”
Toyota CEO Agrees With Elon Musk: We Don’t Have Enough Electricity to Electrify All the Cars
Toyota’s CEO at the company’s year-end press conference in mid-December 2020 said; “The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse. The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets…When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline; do they understand this?”
Interestingly enough, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla just a couple of weeks earlier noted “Increasing the availability of sustainable energy is a major challenge as cars move from combustion engines to battery-driven electric motors, a shift which will take two decades, Musk said in a talk hosted by Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer.” Musk also said; “electricity consumption will double if the world’s car fleets are electrified, increasing the need to expand nuclear, solar, geothermal and wind energy generating sources.” In respect to “wind energy” it is interesting to note the Global Wind Energy Council in an article claimed, at the end of 2020 there were “743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide”. To put that in perspective the Federal Government’s “Canadian Centre for Energy Information” tells us at the end of 2017 Canada’s total electricity capacity was 145,214 MW which is only 145.2 GW!
As industrial wind turbine’s (IWT) life span is around 20 years we should expect about 50% of those in operation globally will reach their end-of-life in the next 10 years and the rest by the time Musk forecasts capacity must double. Approximately the same life-span applies to solar panel and batteries for storage. Those politicians and Musk should also understand the USA in 2020 generated 60.3% of it’s electricity consumption from fossil fuels! I would therefore suggest the “politicians” cited by Toyota’s CEO along with Musk himself have no understanding of what EV will do to the electricity system globally and why both are way off base and have no bearing on getting us to “net-zero” emissions by 2050!
Hydro One submits five-year Investment Plan to the Ontario Energy Board to energize life for communities
Just a few days ago Hydro One issued a press release announcing they had submitted a 5 year plan to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) seeking approval to spend $17 billion over that time to reputedly: “reduce the impacts of power outages for its distribution customers by approximately 25 per cent” and “enable economic growth and prepare for the impacts of climate change.” The proposed capital expenditures are about double what they have been over the past several years (eg: 2019 was $1.667 billion and 2020 was $1.878 billion). The press release claims “If approved, the five-year Investment Plan will have bill impacts below the expected rate of inflation, with the monthly bill for a typical year-round residential customer increasing by an average of $1.68 each year from 2023 to 2027.” Reviewing the OEB’s Yearbook of Distributors to get a sense of how those “power outages” compare due to “defective equipment” the 2015 report states the hours interrupted due to “defective equipment” were over 4.6 million hours and in 2019 (2020 report is not yet published) they had dropped to just under 4.4 million hours. Since 2015 Hydro One’s residential customer base also increased by 60,000 so hours per customer have dropped.
As a former banker I don’t believe the approximately $2 million the 1,2 million residential customers will cough up at the suggested $1.68 annual increase will be sufficient to pay the interest on the $1.9 billion of new debt (the foregoing additional debt assumes Hydro One will maintain is debt to equity ratio at 2020 year-end levels) they will incur annually. By 2027 it will be a pipe dream!
Let us all hope the OEB does its job for the benefit of Hydro One’s customer base of which I am one.
Let’s thank our lucky stars Hydro One was not allowed to buy Avista
While on the subject of Hydro One it should remind all that back a few years ago they were intent on purchasing Avista Corporation via an all-cash purchase at $53 (US) per share. The total cost for the all-cash offer was estimated at Cdn$6.7 billion. The closing price on Avista’s stock on Friday July 7, 2021 and over three years after the purchase offer was $42.67 (US). At the time the purchase offer was made Glen Thibeault was the Ontario Minister of Energy and was keen on the takeover saying: “One of the benefits of broadening the ownership of Hydro One was to unlock the potential for precisely this sort of transaction,”. Thibeault went on to say; “As the single largest shareholder in Hydro One, the Ontario government would benefit from the company’s receipt of additional regulated returns expected to begin in 2019. Those benefits will be above and beyond the proceeds already attributed to the Ontario Trillium Trust as a result of the IPO and subsequent secondary offerings.”
Needless to say, those of us who felt Hydro One should focus on Ontario’s ratepayers were delighted US regulators in the states where Avista operated refused the takeover. Hydro One had planned to borrow $3.4 billion and issue another $1.4 billion of debentures convertible into Hydro One shares which would have, in all probability, detrimentally impacted all of their existing Ontario ratepayers.
Unfortunately, it appears those we elect as our representative politicians often are more influenced by those lobbying them continually such as the “climate change” advocates or they bow to the bureaucrats who are the beneficiaries of our tax dollars for their pay. Combine the foregoing with the “woke” generation screaming and their mainstream media support along with the push for globalization and we should unfortunately recognize what is continuing to happen appears to be the “new normal”!
As summer in Ontario finally arrived temperatures rose over the past few days and resulted in IESO reporting, so far in 2021, hour 18 of June 28, 2021 is the #1 peak hour with demand reaching 22,258 MW (megawatts). While that is the highest demand hour so far in 2021 it is by no means the highest peak over the past three years with September 5, 2018 at hour 18 reaching 23,240 MW.
Nuclear was operating at close to 100% capacity at hour 18 generating just over 47% of peak demand and hydro 22% of demand and operating at almost 69% of capacity. Our gas plants thankfully were at the ready generating slightly more than 26.5% of our peak demand and operating at 63% of their capacity.
The remaining generation capacity consisting of wind (4,500 MW), solar (438 MW) and biomass (238 MW) managed to only produce 13.9% of their capacity (just over 3% of demand) or a miserly 716 MW during the peak hour. In other words, they weren’t performing when we actually needed them! As a result, IESO imported power from Michigan and New York when prices hit their peak for the day of $232.79/MWh. Those two states regularly buy Ontario’s surplus power and in 2020, on average, they purchased it for $13.90/MWH. Interestingly according to the US IEA; “Natural gas accounted for 33% of the state’s (Michigan) net generation, while coal’s share declined to 27%.” What that means is we were importing fossil fuel generation. That should upset the eco-warriors and the Federal Liberals under Trudeau who want to eliminate all usage of fossil fuels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or perhaps they think the pain should only be inflicted on Canadians?
Looking to the future one wonders what will happen should Ontario see those 27 municipalities; (who have signed on to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance’s [OCAA] push for all gas plants to be shut down) get what they asked for. Where is the peaking power going to come from as it won’t come from intermittent and unreliable sources like wind and solar? Perhaps all the Ontario EV drivers will agree to provide all the power that gas generation previously did as envisaged by the OCAA. We can anticipate those same EV car owners will be told, as they were very recently in California, when they can’t charge their batteries or we will experience brownouts and/or blackouts.
Also, what happens if a peak demand day comes on a cold winter day in January (one did on January 21, 2019) after the 67% of homes currently using natural gas as a heating source are forced to convert to electric heat? Where will that additional electricity generation come from as EV lose a large percentage of their power in cold weather?
From all perspectives it seems the eco-warriors and our Federal government aim to punish all low and middle-income households in the province in their efforts to deliver on their religious beliefs.
Mankind cannot control the sun or Mother Nature so why is it so difficult for them to understand!
As a climate change “realist” this past week has been what I would term, over the top. It seemed there is total confusion about what we should do and what we should avoid to push for net-zero emissions and move to the “circular economy”. Some examples:
Industrial Wind Turbines are not yet part of the Circular Economy
Cement giant LafargeHolcim and GE’s renewables wind turbine unit are teaming up and the purpose is “to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.” The main objective of the partnership is to focus on “circular economy solutions”. The same article notes one of the largest companies producing IWTs, Vestas, in early 2020 said it was aiming to produce a “zero-waste turbine” by 2040. If one gives some thought to the Lafarge/GE team you conclude recycling fiberglass, etc. blades should result in the handing out of “carbon credits”! Both of those team members would presumably want them as they both are facing rising costs associated with “democratic” governments punishing them with a carbon-tax due to their emissions. The proponents of renewable energy from wind turbines must now be wringing their hands in confusion as they had pushed the concept that energy produced from them was emissions free but refused to admit their manufacturing generated emissions and that the blades were not recyclable. It should also be noted that cement if it was a country would reputedly “rank fourth in the world as a climate polluter.” IWT, based on many research papers could, “warm the surface temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius, with the largest changes occurring at night when surface temperatures increased by up to 1.5 degrees.” So, will those carbon credits be shared or will they both be rewarded with the carbon tax we consumers are paying now and in the future?
Swiss CO2 law defeated at the ballot box means no carbon tax for the Swiss
The Swiss held a vote on a CO2 law, based on the “polluter pays” principle,”. It targeted “road vehicles, air traffic, industrial emissions, and the renovation of buildings. Those who cut their CO2 emissions would have benefited from exemptions.” Presumably those who didn’t “cut emissions” would pay an emission tax. Switzerland’s government now has a problem as they have committed to the EU they would cut their emissions.
It was interesting to note “Urban cantons including Basel, Zurich and Geneva voted in favour of the bill. But 21 of the 26 Swiss cantons struck it down.” One should suspect had Canadians voted on the recent move by the Trudeau led government to impose the increase to $170/tonne on emissions the outcome may well have turned out similar. Most large urban community voters seem to fail to realize the outcome will drive the cost of living up as the “carbon tax” climbs whereas the rural communities have a much better understanding of basic economics!
Interestingly the nay side “argued that Switzerland will not make a critical difference to global climate efforts since the real game-changers are China and the United States when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions” which many sane Canadian voters also understand.
So, the question is; when will Canadian voters be given the opportunity to vote yay or nay to the carbon tax?
Meteorologist Says Snow in June In Line With Historical Snowfall on Avalon
The forgoing story about snow in Avalon, Newfoundland June 10, 2021 caught my eye due to having recently watched a video with Natural Resources Minister, Seamus O’Regan doing the introductory speech in a video at the launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF). As an aside, OCAF is proposing to spend $57.4 billion tax dollars to make the City of Ottawa achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050. In the opening welcome from O’Regan he opined about last winter stating, “average temperatures of 10 degrees higher than normal in the height of winter” in parts of Labrador suggesting it was caused by climate change. What he failed to say was average winter temperatures in Newfoundland and Labrador can swing widely by as much as 30 degrees so 10 degrees hardly seems unusual. Nevertheless If you’re pushing the “net-zero” theory to justify handing out tax dollars to groups like OCAF you may only want to present information that is one-sided.
The question someone in the media should ask O’Regan is; do you think snow in June is caused by “climate change”?
Centre Block renovation to take until at least 2030 to complete, cost up to $5Billion
Another article that caught my eye was once again all about Ottawa and referenced how the renovation associated with the Peace Tower and Centre Block was not only going to cost taxpayers $5 billion but would also not be completed until 2030 or 2031. One of the strange issues arising out of the renovation had nothing to do with the $57.4 billion the City of Ottawa wants to spend to make the city reach “net-zero” as the Peace Tower and Centre Block are owned by the Government of Canada. The article noted:
“It’s being promised by PSPC (Public Services and Procurement Canada) that the renovation will result in transforming the “largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter” within PSPC’s portfolio of federal buildings into a carbon-neutral facility with significant reductions to energy and water consumption.”
I’m sure PSPC has numerous properties emitting “greenhouse gas” but probably none of them are places where so many politicians are present so perhaps, as taxpayers, we were aware of where the largest “carbon emissions” emanate from; when parliament actually sits.
Putting aside the fact that our parliamentarians spew “greenhouse gas” one wonders why PSPC didn’t look for alternatives to spending all those tax dollars? Was the only choice to spend $5 billion to make it “carbon-neutral” or perhaps they should have considered buying some of those California “Global Emission Offset Credit’s” priced at US $20.32/tonne for June 2021? $5 billion would buy a lot of those “offset credits”!
PwC to add 100,000 jobs in US$12 billion strategic revamp
An article in the Financial Post last week stated “PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing US$12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.” The article went on to note: “The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment” and went on to state; “The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance(ESG) trends across its operations.” ESG was a creation of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was founded by the German economist Charles Schwab. ESG is fully supported by the big four audit firms as it will allow them to increase their audit bills and some of those funds will presumably result in hiring more staff with those (whatever they are) ESG audit skills. It will also allow the big investment firms like Bloombergs, Brookfield, etc. to make lots of money trading those carbon credits that many firms will be required to purchase due to regulations and “Acts” imposed by government bodies at all levels.
My question is related to the foregoing imposition of ESG! ESG imposition seems destined to make the very rich even richer and those in the middle and poorer classes poorer and is that it’s objective?
A bird stands in the way of India’s green goals
India has so far escaped the need to impose carbon taxes but they do seem concerned about “climate change” so have been handing out contracts for more coal generation as well as wind and solar generation. This article indicates they have received push-back from the Wildlife Institute of India on the latter contracts and they were successful pushing for buried transmission lines in order to save an endangered bird known as the “great Indian bustard”. The Supreme Court ruling supported the Institute but now the developers are crying because burying the transmission lines will reputedly increase costs to them by $4 billion.
The question I would have for the Canadian judicial system is why in most cases when similar objections were raised by opponents of wind and solar generation in Ontario and elsewhere did the rulings handed out favour the developers and ignore wildlife proponents?
IESO and OEB join forces to support innovative projects to help meet province’s growing energy needs
The IESO (independent Electric System Operator) and the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) recently issued a Press Release announcing they have formed a new partnership. The partnership “would test the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in providing services at both the local and provincial levels.” The DER resources they want to test are identified as: “Some examples include rooftop solar panels, battery storage units and demand response devices, such as smart thermostats, that help reduce or shift consumers’ electricity usage.” While industrial wind turbines are missing from the examples one should assume they are part of the mix as approximately 600 MW (megawatts) of their capacity are already part of the DER! Ontario’s ratepayers have already experienced those “innovative projects” (sarcasm intended) which caused electricity rates to jump over 100% creating energy poverty while driving energy dependent businesses out of the province. IESO will also subsidize those “innovative projects” via their Grid Innovation Fund (GIF) while the OEB will provide “temporary relief” from regulatory guidelines.
My question is; why is the Minister of Energy allowing this to happen when the outcome has already been clearly demonstrated?
From all appearances it appears confusion reigns supreme throughout the world when itcomes to the question of “climate change”, and the myriad ways governments and their regulators are dealing with it. It is time realism is deemed important in respect to the global movement to effectively increase energy poverty and for governments to respect scientific opinion that has been tossed aside by the super-rich out to increase their wealth while harming the rest of mankind!
The time has arrived for governments to answer our “climate realism” questions!
Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association), recently finished a three-part series about the wonders of wind, solar and storage and indications (based on his verbiage) are; he is delighted with how the Trudeau led government are committed to achieving “net-zero” emissions by 2050. The final sentence in his last article “Cape diem, Canada” tells the reader: “We have a fleeting opportunity to avert a catastrophe for our children and grandchildren. We need to seize it. Today.” As one can imagine Hornung believes the world can be saved from the “changing climate” which he tells us is causing events showing: “our permafrost is melting, our coastal sea levels are rising, our snow-cover patterns are changing, and our weather is becoming more extreme, with floods, droughts, and intense storms on the rise.” As one would expect he says the foregoing can be stopped as our electricity needs “can easily be supplied by Canada’s massive untapped renewable energy resources”.
All Canadians should realize we are now all being asked/told to relive what Ontarians were told by the McGuinty led government back in 2009 when they ushered in the GEA (Green Energy Act). The GEA caused electricity rates to more than double due to the push for renewable wind and solar generation. Ratepayers and taxpayers in the rest of Canada should take Hornung’s gloomy prognostications and concern themselves about the “net-zero” aspirations he exudes!
Hornung goes further and touts “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy,” the report released by Jonathon Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MECC) in December 2020 bringing us the $170/tonne carbon-tax. Hornung also seemed enamoured by another report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices whom I devoted four articles to in early 2020. The CICC was a creation of Wilkinson’s predecessor Catherine McKenna using $20 million of our tax dollars. The report Hornung referenced from the CICC is “Canada’s Net Zero Future” and it is 132 pages full of the fabrications Wilkinson and his boss, PM Trudeau, presumably ordered! Doing a word search in the report for “net-zero” provides only 14 hits but one for “net zero” (without the hyphen) provides 588 hits. The word “tax” only appears twice-ie: 2 mentions, and it’s not in respect to the $170/tonne carbon-tax as it is referred to as a “carbon price”!
The report breaks down the various existing “safe bets” and possible “wild card” technologies that will purportedly allow us to meet Canada’s 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets. The “safe bets” include renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro and also include storage (battery) and nuclear and of course transformation of our transportation modes via conversion of personal vehicles to EV. The report claims using those technologies along with increased insulation and heat pumps for buildings limited carbon capture, etc. etc. will easily allow us to meet the emissions reductions by 2030. The “wild card” technologies include hydrogen, CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and sequestration), direct air capture, small modular reactors and a myriad of other technologies including changing our diet to consume less meat and dairy products and those will allow us to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Naturally they reference the UNIPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) several time as well as the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) in a favourable fashion as well as utilizing their reports to augment their views and recommendations.
The report also uses scary references and their reputed costs such as suggesting air pollution causes 20,000 annual deaths in Canada: “Harmful air pollutants that increase the risk of disease and premature death—pollutants such as particulate matter and ground-level ozone—are common by-products of GHG emissions. Globally, air pollution represents the single largest environmental threat to human health, according to the World Health Organization (2016), and it also takes a significant economic toll. In Canada, estimates suggest that air pollution kills around 20,000 Canadians annually, with more than 17,000 of those deaths attributable to fossil fuel use (Lelieveld et al., 2020). The direct welfare costs of fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone in Canada is estimated at as much as $46 billion per year (IISD, 2017), while Health Canada (2019a) estimates the total annual economic damage to public health from air pollution is approximately $114 billion.” I should note Health Canada’s recent report echoed the same scary stuff and used the same reference perhaps to prepare us for the next pandemic and accompanying lock-downs.
Needless to say, the CICC report suggests the move to lower levels of carbon emissions coupled with the recommendations on using “safe bets” and evolving “wild card” technologies will not only help to reduce “global warming” and presumably reduce air pollution; but it will also reduce our expenditure on energy as a share of income.
We should view the graph above, suggesting energy expenditures as a share of income will drop as pure unadulterated fabrication! Not even the Ontario Liberal Government during the McGuinty/Wynne era promised our electricity costs would drop due to the adoption of clean energy from wind and solar. They suggested rates would increase one percent (1%) but Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers know we were lied to and the actual cost increase was well over 100% and we must live with that for 10 more years! One should doubt the CICC report has provided us with anything close to actual outcomes!
Some of those at the CICC, such as Bruce Lourie patted themselves on the back for being instrumental in getting the Ontario Liberals to buy into the renewable energy push. He and others* have played a big role in getting the CICC established and have continued to successfully push their agenda.
We should all suspect the Hornung forecast of the “catastrophe for our children and grandchildren” will be related to the unaffordable costs of just trying to survive a Canadian winter with those “baseboard”** electric heaters the CICC sees in our future!
*Rick Smith, a Lourie cohort has just been named as the new President of CICC
**Reminds me of the early sixties adds about how we could “live better electrically”.