Wind and Solar forecast to Cost Taxpayers a tiny bit Less

The Province of Ontario just released the Third Quarter Finances report and seem happy as their press release noted they are “now projecting a deficit of $13.1 billion in 2021-22 – an improvement of $8.4 billion from the deficit forecast in the Fall Economic Statement.”

Revenue Surprise

In looking over the highlights from the report it appears one of the reasons for the improvement is they note revenue from OPG and Hydro One is now forecast to be $1,535 million versus the original forecast of $670 million so that alone produced $865 million or slightly more than 10% of the “improvement”!  Hmm, that presumably came from us ratepayers and the 129% contributed to the improvement was made without any appreciable increase in consumption!

Expense Shortfall

The other issue one should note is the costs contributed by taxpayers is forecast to come in at $112.3 million less or 1.7% below their forecast.  The original forecast for this expense suggested it would cost taxpayers $6,493.6 million but the revised forecast is now $6,381.3 million.  As most readers know the Ford government transferred responsibility for absorption of much of the costs of renewable energy (principally wind and solar) contracts to taxpayers. That move’s intent was to reduce the burden on ratepayers and presumably to also make Ontario’s electricity rates somewhat competitive with our neighbours!  The fact that the past year has seen slightly less output from wind and solar while some nuclear reactors were down for maintenance resulted in less curtailed wind generation and less hydro spillage saving taxpayers those costs.

The ups and downs of generation by IWT (industrial wind turbines) play a major role in the cost shifts from ratepayers to taxpayers and that is evident by simply comparing just two recent hours of IESO data.

Hour 9 on February 15, 2022 as the first example has IESO reporting IWT generated 384 MWh and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price or market price) which is what IESO sold our surplus power to our neighbours (NY, Michigan and Quebec) at that hour, was $111.64/MWh whereas at the same hour on February 16, 2022 the price we were selling surplus power dropped to  $43.23/MWh.  On February 16th those IWT were generating 4,387 MWh and we were exporting considerably more at that hour than we were the prior day!

If we then compare hour 12 those IWT on the 15th were generating a miserly 56 MWh and the HOEP price was $46.12 but on the 16th that price was only $14.36/MWh when those IWT were generating 3,566 MWh and another 400 MWh were curtailed.

Obviously, the hour of the day, if it’s a workday along with outside temperatures play a significant role in demand but IWT are insensitive and deliver power ONLY when the wind is blowing and also ignore seasonal swings which significantly affects demand.

Gas plants must be at the ready for our variably demand and they were; as at hour 9 on the 15th they were generating 6,610 MWh and at hour 12 they produced 5,606 MWh.    At hour 9 on the 16th, they delivered 3,108 MWh and by hour 12 only 1,733 MWh were needed.

What the foregoing points out is that without gas plants being at the ready on hour 9, as one example, we may been close to experiencing a rolling blackout or a brownout experience with low voltage power. 

Not only are Ontarians paying above market prices for contracted wind and solar generators but we are also obliged to pay for their penchant to fail.  What the latter means is, we pay for gas plants regardless of whether they are simply sitting at the ready or actually generating power due to the failure of IWT or solar to provide needed power!

Gas plants ensure we can keep the lights on.

Oops, They did it again and again—those Industrial Wind Turbines

Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) recently reminded me of the Britney Spears hit in the year 2000, “Opps…I Did It Again” and like she repeated in the song; Ontario’s IWT have, “done it again”!  How wind performed on November 9, 2021 is atypical! At the midnight hour those IWT generated quite a bit of unneeded power running at 37% of rated capacity (4,568MW) generating 1,693 MW but eleven hours later they were generating only 65 MW and running at 1.5% of rated capacity (4,307MW) when demand was considerably higher.

If we jump ahead to the following day November 10, 2021, at Hour 5 (5AM to 6AM) those IWT were running at 21.4% of their capacity generating 959 MW but by 11 AM their output had collapsed and they were running at only 1.7 % of capacity producing 72 MW despite the fact demand had increased quite a bit from 5 AM.

As one should surmise, unlike nuclear, hydro or gas generation; IWT (solar also) generation is dependent on the weather. As is obvious, from just the past two days, IWT are extremely intermittent and therefore should be considered unreliable. Thanks to the McGuinty/Wynne led Ontario Liberals IWT were granted special treatment commanding “first to the grid” advantageous rights.

Needless to say, Ontario’s grid operator, IESO, must deal with the vagaries of generation from IWT presumably causing much more intense scrutiny in situations where demand is increasing but variable generation from wind and solar is falling. The same situation applies when demand is falling but variable generation from IWT are quickly rising.  Their job would be much easier without variable generation and ratepayer bills would undoubtedly be quite a bit lower!

It would be a much better scenario without variable wind and solar instead of getting ready for the “Oops” when we in Ontario experience the problems they had to confront  in California, South Australia, the UK (in time for COP 26) and of course the Texas power crisis in February of this year that cost many lives.

Hey, Premier Ford, take away the special rights granted to those IWT and: “don’t, do it again”!

PS: A contact of mine sent me this graph that shows the ups and downs of industrial wind generation outlined above. A picture is worth a thousand words as the expression goes!

Wind really Wimps-out in Hour 18 in Ontario and pretty well the whole day

Yesterday (November 4, 2021) for hour 18 industrial wind generation (IWT) in Ontario supplied 153 MWh out of total demand (approximately), including net exports (1,547 MW) that averaged about 18,750 MW during that hour.  The 153 MWh generated by those IWT represented a miserly 0.82% of total demand at that hour despite their capacity level of 4,310 MW or about 15% of total available capacity at that hour.

For the full 24 hours IWT peak generation occurred at hour 2 when they managed to achieve 336 MWh of generation or 2.2% of total (approximately) demand. IWT have a perennial habit of generating power when it’s not needed, like the middle of the night!

Ontario’s ratepayers should be thankful we have baseload power available from our nuclear and hydro capacity coupled with the 8,378 MW of flexible gas generation.  For the hour ending at 6 PM our flexible gas generated provided 4,388 MWh as many of us were perhaps cooking our supper!

Based on what happens far too frequently with grids with a high dependency on wind and solar such as California, Texas and Southern Australia they are often not generating power when its needed and causes rolling brownouts or blackouts.

A recent example of IWT on-shore and off-shore fallibilities occurred in the UK during the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow when the UK’s abundant IWT failed miserably and in order to keep the lights on they had to fire up some coal plants to meet critical demand.

Intermittent and unreliable IWT and solar are not the answer to either replacing fossil fuel generation nor bringing developing countries reliable energy generation to get them out of poverty!  

Coal’s comeback as gas prices surge, and COP 26 climate gabfest in Glasgow, Scotland

I was on the radio station NEWSTALK SAUGO 960 AM with Marc Patrone once again and we covered some interesting local and global issues including coal’s comeback and some of the events that will plague the COP 26 upcoming gabfest in Glasgow.

You can tune in here to the Marc Patrone radio podcast for October 13th starting at 1:07:50 for our chat.

or you can WATCH and listen to our conversation on NEWSTALK CANADA here:

https://www.newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=22

The Circular Economy will Take “Peoplekind”* Down the Drain

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”!

*A word created by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Gas Plants Saved Ontarians from Rolling Blackouts During Peak Demand Month

While the month and year are not over yet it appears that August 2021 will win the prize for most peak hours. Despite being a few days away from the arrival of September, August looks set to dominate as eight (8) of the ten (10) peak demand hours have occurred in August. Based on weather forecasts; demand should fall over the balance of the month and into early September.

August 26, 2021 peak demand hour (ending at hour 15) looks set to be the second highest at 22,740 MW but may be subject to minor adjustment by IESO. August 24, 2021 ending at hour 17 currently stands as the highest (22,956 MW) peak demand hour so far this year.

It is interesting to pull together some of the data for those eight “peak demand” August hours to examine how we made it through without experiencing rolling blackouts or brownouts!

Cumulatively the eight August peak demand hours show total Ontario demand was 178,645 MWh and the bulk of that was provided by nuclear and hydro which we tend to think of as “baseload” power although hydro is flexible (we can simply spill it) and some nuclear (Bruce) can be steamed off.

Those familiar with the electricity system in Ontario and the GEA (green energy act) will recall industrial wind turbines (IWT) were granted “first to the grid” rights treating them as ranking higher than baseload power.  That changed as we were frequently flooded with excess power (particularly from IWT) due to their intermittent and unreliable output and had to pay our neighbours to take the excess! The ability of IWT and solar to produce power when it was actually needed escaped the politicians (McGuinty/Wynne) thought processes so eventually IWT generators agreed to be paid for “curtailing” their generation. Their tendency is to generate power in the low demand periods of the Spring and Fall!

So, the question is, how did IWT and solar perform during those (8) August “peak hours”?

As it turns out wind and solar managed (on a combined basis) to only produce 5,593 MWh (an average of 872 MW per hour) over the 8 peak hours which represented a mere 4.9% of demand.  Ontario gas plants which are referenced as “peaking plants” were thankfully at the ready and generated 47,808 MWh or 26.8% of “peak demand”.

What the foregoing highlights is that without gas plants Ontario ratepayers would have experienced both rolling brownouts and blackouts for those 8 peak hours along with many other August hours and days that were devoid of meaningful “renewable” (IWT & solar) generation.

Based on the foregoing we ratepayers would appreciate those thirty (30) municipalities and their elected representatives to explain exactly why they endorsed the OCAA’s (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) push to tell the Provincial Government to shut down all of Ontario’s gas plants.  As an alternative they should simply rescind their council motion(s) directing the Ontario Minister of Energy to shut the gas plants!

Do those municipalities have a solution for rolling blackouts and brownouts that would be caused by the lack of “peaking power” or are they simply delusional politicians?

You be the judge!

Gas Plants Saved Ontarians From Rolling Brownouts Once Again

Well, the hot humid weather continued in August and IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) has updated their “Peak Tracker”.  As it turns out the hour ending at hour 17, August 24, 2021, was the # 1 peak demand hour, so far in 2021, reaching 22,986 MW (megawatts) in Ontario.

Wind and solar generation chipped in with a miserly combined 656 MW or 2.8% of that peak demand while our gas plants contributed 30.3% (6,963 MW) of demand meaning; unlike California we didn’t suffer from rolling blackouts or brownouts!  It is interesting the “super green” state of California recently announced their plans “to open 5 natural gas plans to avoid blackouts”!

The foregoing strongly suggests wind and solar cannot be counted on when they are needed and hopefully this sends a signal to all the eco-warriors that they are not the answer to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Try to imagine if the current 8.7 million registered road vehicles in Ontario were all electric (coming by 2050 as promised by our politicians) and a small percentage of them needed charging.  At that time if we were dependent on wind and solar generation and experienced a week or two of similar weather we would be in big trouble.

The highways would be empty as would grocery store shelves as the “electric vehicles” delivering supplies would be unable to, nor would farmers be able to harvest their crops!  Is this what the eco-warriors have in mind as they seem unable to appreciate the benefits of fossil fuels?  

It is apparent eco-warriors really believe mankind controls the earth’s temperature and not the sun!  

Barry Manilow can’t smile without climate change

Once again, I was invited, as a guest, on the Marc Patrone Show on SAUGA NEWS 960 AM this morning. While the captioned title doesn’t reflect all we talked about it is apt because Manilow’s show in New York’s Central Park was cut short due to heavy rain and the media blamed it on climate change! 

Marc and I chatted about peak hours and the push to close our gas plants along with other related climate change issues and you can listen here starting at 1:22:15 of the podcast:

Or if you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2527

Yet Another Peak Hour and Ontario Survived it Thanks to Gas Plants

Yesterday (August 23, 2021) Ontario experienced another warm day with the temperature reaching 31 C in Toronto but that was 10 degrees less than the record high of July 10, 1936 when it reached 41 C.  Nevertheless, we achieved another “peak hour” with electricity demand reaching 22,309 MW at hour 17 (ending) making it the # 2 peak hour so far in 2021.

Wind (424 MW) and solar (141 MW) at that hour provided us with 2.5% of total demand and those gas generators supplied 26.5% of our demand (5,912 MW) which we needed or ratepayers of both Class A and B would have experienced blackouts or rolling brownouts.

Ratepayers of both Classes should press the 30 municipalities (telling the Ford Government to close those gas plants due to the OCAA’s [Ontario Clean Air Alliance] travelling minstrel show), to have second thoughts and rescind their council’s request to close those gas plants.

Another Peak Demand Hour and Wind is Missing

As we have come to expect in Ontario, “peak demand” generally occurs on hot summer days and the hour ending at hour 17 on August 20th was the most recent occurrence coming in at # 8 of “peak demand hours” so far this year.

Demand at the above hour reached 21,569 MW and the bulk of that needed demand was supplied by Nuclear, Hydro and Natural Gas generators. At that hour gas plants supplied 25.9% (5,587 MW) of demand while wind generators managed to produce only 0.45% (98 MW) of demand and the bulk (53 MW) of that came from the Greenwich Renewable Energy Project a 99 MW station located Northeast of Thunder Bay so none of their generation was useful in the well populated areas of the province. The other 40 plus wind turbine generating stations scattered throughout the province produced only 45 MW which probably didn’t even cover their consumption during that hour.

The foregoing fact is something you will not hear from the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) whose push is to close out gas plants. The OCAA’s push to close gas plants has reputedly been endorsed by 30 Ontario Municipalities representing over 50% of the province’s population. 

In an effort to push the alarm button further the OCAA has called for all their followers to: “Please contact Ontario’s new Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, and ask him to direct the IESO to develop and implement a plan to achieve a complete phase-out of our gas-fired power plants by 2030.”

What Jack Gibbons the Chair and CEO of OCAA doesn’t seem to understand is that the events of hour 17 are frequent during the very hot days of summer and the very cold days during the winter.  If Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, followed through with the OCAA’s recommendations Ontario’s ratepayers would be faced with numerous brownouts and even full blackouts during the dead of winter and the heat of summer.

I would suggest the ratepayers of Ontario should write a letter to the councils of the 30 municipalities informing them of the above facts and recommending they rescind their endorsement to shut down Ontario’s gas plants by 2030 as proposed by the OCAA.

You can find the full list of the municipalities that have endorsed the closure by simply clicking on the following.

Ontario Municipalities that have endorsed gas power phase-out