Bruce Power took their Four “A” Units offline and no one Noticed

The OCAA (Ontario Clear Air Alliance) has been pushing the closure of Ontario’s nuclear plants for years in addition to their more recent effort to gain municipal support for the closure of our gas plants.  They continually suggest the closure of both will not cause problems as we will get all the power those units now produce from Quebec’s excess hydro which is an outright lie. Quebec is a winter peaking province and pushes their residential and businesses to conserve power during that season.  No doubt the OCAA will renew the claim with Bruce taking all four of their “A Units (3,144 MW capacity) offline as part of the requirement to do its Vacuum Building Outage. That will allow OCAA to suggest they weren’t missed! 

The VBO is a regulation as noted in the Bruce press release: “All four operating units must be shut down once every 12 years to allow for inspections and maintenance to the vacuum building.”  The units will come back on line before “summer peaking season” to ensure Ontario has the electricity supply needed.

What is interesting about the units being taken offline is to look at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) on May 12th!  That time reflects the “peak demand” hour for the day with it reaching 17,179 MW for a five-minute segment.  At that hour nuclear generated 6,758 MW, hydro 6,176 MW and natural gas plants 3,666 MW.  From the three renewables IESO report; solar contributed 97 MW, biomass 50 MW and those IWT (industrial wind turbines) 866 MW so collectively they provided 5.9% of peak hour needs.

Now try to imagine the blackouts we would experience without nuclear and gas or what Quebec might have provided to replace the 57% of generation those two sources did!

As a matter of interest, the IESO “Intertie report” disclosed Ontario even exported 1,408 MW to Michigan and imported 500 MW from New York.  Quebec supplied 115 MW (less than solar and biomass combined at that hour)!  Those imports and exports traded at an average rate of $81.06/MWh which is much closer to their actual cost than when the wind is blowing hard during low demand hours and days driving down the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price)!

So, Mr. Gibbons, Chair of the OCAA, the “cheap and abundant” hydro you told us Quebec would supply if we shut down our nuclear and gas generation never appeared at Hour 18 so what makes you believe we would be able to do without Ontario’s nuclear and gas generation?  You seem intent at wanting to cause widespread blackouts throughout Ontario!

The time has arrived for the OCAA and its supporters to back off from their spurious claims!

Four Years Later and I Repeat: “If I were Ontario’s new Minister of Energy …”

Back on May 30, 2018 an article I penned, just prior to the last provincial election, listed ways in which the incoming ruling party could reduce electricity costs by $2 billion annually.  Electricity costs had more than doubled in Ontario under the reign of the McGuinty/Wynne led Liberals due to their enactment of the GEA (Green Energy Act) when George Smitherman was the Minister of Energy.

Ontario’s voters were expected to respond when casting their vote in early June 2018 and they did!  The ruling OLP (Ontario Liberal Party) were decimated turning them into what many referred to as the “mini-van party”.

My prior advocacy work had focused on the “electricity sector” and the cost of wind and solar generation. My efforts included frequent dialogue with the Conservative appointed “energy critics” so, at that time, I and many Ontario ratepayers in rural and urban communities had hopes the Doug Ford led Ontario Conservative Party would deal with the mess the Liberals had created. Potentially the savings would have amounted to around $8 billion over the past four years.

The Ford led government based on a recent report from the Ontario Financial Accountability Office seems to have simply transferred $6.9 billion in electricity costs for the 2021-2022 year and $118 billion to taxpayers over 20 years, even though taxpayers are also ratepayers!  In quickly reviewing recently released platforms for the OLP, the NDP and the recent OPCP budget it sure appears they all have plans aimed at “global warming” and want to spend billions continuing the push to jump on board with “The Great Reset” advocated by the WEF and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The only dissenting voice amongst the political parties seems to be the newly formed “New Blue Party” whose “BLUEPRINT” states they will take “down wind turbines to reduce electricity costs”!

Following are the recommendations put forward in the article four years ago and I will leave it to the reader to pontificate as to whether or not, any of them were acted on!

“Green Energy Act

Immediately start work on cancelling the Green Energy Act

Conservation

Knowing Ontario has a large surplus of generation we export for 10/15 per cent of its cost I would immediately cancel planned conservation spending. This would save ratepayers over $433 million annually

Wind and solar contracts

I would immediately cancel any contracts that are outstanding but haven’t been started but may be in the process of a challenge via either the ERT (environmental review tribunal) or the court system. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200 million annually

Wind turbine noise and environmental non-compliance

Work with the MOECC Minister to insure they effect compliance by industrial wind developers both for exceeding noise level standards and operations during bird and bat migration periods.  Failure to comply would elicit large fines. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200/400 million annually

Change the “baseload” designation of generation for wind and solar developments

Both wind and solar generation is unreliable and intermittent, dependent on weather, and as such should not be granted “first to the grid rights”.  They are backed up by gas or hydro generation with both paid, for either spilling water or idling when the wind blows or the sun shines.  The cost is phenomenal.  As an example, wind turbines annually generate at approximately 30 per cent of rated capacity but 65 per cent of the time its generation is at the wrong time and not needed. The estimated annual ratepayer savings if wind generation was replaced by hydro would be $400 million and if replaced by gas in excess of $600 million

Charge a fee (tax) for out of phase/need generation for wind and solar

Should the foregoing “baseload” re-designation be impossible based on legal issues I would direct the IESO to institute a fee that would apply to wind and solar generation delivered during mid-peak and off-peak times.  A higher fee would also apply when wind is curtailed and would suggest a fee of $10/per MWh delivered during off-peak and mid-peak hours and a $20/per MWh for curtailed generation. The estimated annual revenue generated would be a minimum of $150 million

Increase LEAP contributions from LDC’s to 1 per cent of distribution revenues

The OEB would be instructed to institute an increase in the LDC (local distribution companies) LEAP (low-income assistance program) from 0.12 per cent to 1 per cent and reduce the allowed ROI (return on investment) by the difference. This would deliver an estimated $60/80 million annually reducing the revenue requirement for the OESP (Ontario electricity support program) currently funded by taxpayers

Close unutilized OPG generation plants

OPG currently has two power plants that are only very, very, occasionally called on to generate electricity yet ratepayers pick up the costs for OMA (operations, maintenance and administration). One of these is the Thunder Bay, former coal plant, converted to high-end biomass with a capacity of 165 MW which would produce power at a reported cost of $1.50/kWh (Auditor General’s report) and the other unused plant is the Lennox oil/gas plant in Napanee/Bath with a capacity of 2,200 MW that is never used. The estimated annual savings from the closing of these two plants would be in the $200 million range.

Rejig time-of-use (TOU) pricing to allow opt-in or opt-out

TOU pricing is focused on flattening demand by reducing usage during “peak hours” without any consideration of households or businesses.  Allow households and small businesses a choice to either agree to TOU pricing or the average price (currently 8.21 cents/kWh after the 17% Fair Hydro Act reduction) over a week.  This would benefit households with shift workers, seniors, people with disabilities utilizing equipment drawing power and small businesses and would likely increase demand and reduce surplus exports thereby reducing our costs associated with those exports. The estimated annual savings could easily be in the range of $200/400 million annually

Other initiatives

Niagara water rights

I would conduct an investigation into why our Niagara Beck plants have not increased generation since the $1.5 Billion spent on “Big Becky” (150 MW capacity) which was touted to produce enough additional power to provide electricity to 160,000 homes or over 1.4 million MWh.  Are we constrained by water rights with the US or is it a lack of transmission capabilities to get the power to where demand resides?

MPAC’s wind turbine assessments

One of the previous Ministers of Finance instructed MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corp,) to assess industrial wind turbines (IWT) at a maximum of $40,000 per MW of capacity despite their value of $1.5/2 million each.   I would request whomever is appointed by the new Premier to the Finance Ministry portfolio to recall those instructions and allow MPAC to reassess IWT at their current values over the terms of their contracts.  This would immediately benefit municipalities (via higher realty taxes) that originally had no ability to accept or reject IWT.

If one does a quick addition of the foregoing one will see the benefit to the ratepayers of the province would amount to in excess of $2 billion dollars which co-incidentally is approximately even more than the previous government provided via the Fair Hydro Act.

Hmm, perhaps we didn’t need to push those costs off to the future for our children and grandchildren to pay!

Now that I have formulated a plan to reduce electricity costs by over $2 billion per annum I can relax, confident that I can indeed handle the portfolio handed to me by the new Premier of the province.”

Throw out the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) Program with the Garbage

Universities and Hospitals and many other government operations are allowed to qualify as “Class A” institutions so take advantage of the ICI program by picking peak hours to go off-grid for their electricity needs.  The following “note” was found on page 7 in a study London Economics Institute did for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters dated October 22, 2019.

Examples of larger load customers that are not industrial (i.e. not the focus of this paper) include hospitals, large office complexes, and university campuses. The boundary for a “large” customer is generally around the 5,000 kW mark.” 

In other words, if peak demand at a university or hospital reached 5 MW, they qualified to access the ICI program.  

Former Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, reduced the qualification to 3 MW in 2015 and then to 500 KW in 2017.  The reduction expanded the number of Class A customers and would obviously allow many other government institutions such as colleges and good-sized government buildings or departments to become ICI entities.  So, presumably for years, Class B ratepayers have been subsidizing numerous government institutions be they provincial or federal.  Unfortunately, IESO doesn’t publish a list of Class A ratepayers so it’s impossible to know how much additional taxes we Class B ratepayers are paying to support those government entities who are beneficiaries of cheap electricity prices.

As both a ratepayer and taxpayer it doesn’t seem right government institutions get preferred rates!  It allows them to suggest their budgets are lower so they can pay their professors, etc. more!  They basically access after-tax dollars from Class B ratepayers who have been forced to spend additional funds to obtain electricity for their small business or to heat their homes and cook their meals. 

Pretty sure York University where they crank out eco-warrior graduates via the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) are one of those taking advantage of the ICI as several years ago, they installed two gas generators which was covered in an article your truly penned back in 2020. The article from July 2020 provided details on how York University takes advantage of the ICI program in much more detail while outlining how their Professor Mark Winfield, an eco-warrior, claims it was “the leading edge of innovation in electricity systems around the world”.  

The time has come for Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith, to stop the double taxation allowed under the ICI program by simply cancelling the benefit for government related institutions.  An exchange with a contact brought me the following observation from someone I have much respect for as they know the system much better than yours truly. 

The ICI program has become a government welfare system for large industrials and it undermines the emission reduction efforts of others.  It should be redesigned to make sure everyone pays their appropriate share of the fixed costs of the electricity system that serves them.

PS:  Here is the link to article titled: Ontario is a Bottomless Pit for Class B Ratepayers as the ICI Demonstrates

Bits and Pieces Related to the “Net-Zero” Push

There were a few recent announcements and events that should have caught the attention of the general population over the past couple of weeks so let’s look quickly at a few of them!

Largest private storage battery in North America’ to help Imperial Oil cut emissions in Sarnia

This one was in the Financial Post back on February 16, 2022 and stated an Italian company would build a 20 MW battery storage unit for Imperial Oil that would reputedly reduce “their energy expenditures by millions of dollars per year.” They would download cheap energy in the middle of the night to charge the battery storage unit and then use it during peak hours. Many of the “Class A” customers in Ontario already take advantage of this using gas generating units firing them up during peak hours saving millions.  Scott Luft noted in a post a couple of years ago; since the ICI (industrial conservation initiative) inception in late 2011 through to the end of 2019 the cost to Class B ratepayers was approximately $1.4 billion (average of about $170 million per annum) paid to reduce the GA for those large industrial ratepayers. One should assume the Ford government could have changed the way the burden is put on Class B ratepayers to subsidize Class A ratepayers but they have done nothing. The burden continues to fall on Class B ratepayers and part of that has been transferred to taxpayers first by the Wynne led government and then increased by the current Ford led government. Hmm, wondering, would it be cheaper for Imperial Oil to buy those Clean Energy Credits (CEC) Minister Smith is considering instead of using that battery storage unit?

Wind Turbine Setback Promises Not Kept

Before and during the last election campaign the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party promised if elected they would review the setbacks for industrial wind turbines (IWT) as well as the contaminated well water in the Chatham/Kent region.  In the almost four years they have been in power they have done nothing related to either of the two foregoing promises.  WCO (Wind Concerns Ontario) have recently (for the umpteenth time) pointed out the 7,000 complaints filed about IWT noise levels and also posted an article from four years ago about the Chatham Kent well water problems which have also been ignored.  Sure, looks to be almost one of those “Promise Made, Promise Missed” sayings which Premier Ford loves to cite except for that final word.

OPG Year-end 2021

OPG released their 2021 year-end results March 10, 2022 and despite a 4.5 TWh drop (5.5%) in generation they still managed to generate $1,325 million a slight (2.6%) fall from 2020.  Forgone generation due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) dropped from 4.3 TWh in 2020 to only 1.9 TWh in 2021 meaning “water rental payments” declined by $30 million. Currently two of the Darlington nuclear units are down for refurbishment with Unit 3 scheduled to be returned to service in the first quarter of 2024 and Unit 1 in the second quarter of 2025. With both those units undergoing refurbishment we should expect greater dependency on our gas generation plants meaning both OPG’s Napanee and Lennox plants should benefit by supplying more peak generation and maintain profitability for OPG without driving costs up.

Bitcoin mining data centre opens in Sarnia

It seems back in yesteryear, mining referenced; “the business or process of working mines” and extracting ore! In recent years it seems all about setting up an elaborate data centre with complicated math problems which when solved supposedly create a “bitcoin”!   One of those bitcoin mines has recently started operations in Sarnia.  Established by “Bitfury Group, an Amsterdam-based Bitcoin mining and crypto tech company” it will start with a 16 MW capacity and expand by 12 MW by May end. It may eventually expand to 200 MW.  To put the latter number in context; a plant capable of generating 200 MW per hour is about what 200,000 average Ontario households would consume annually. The power to support the “mine” will be provided by TransAlta’s Sarnia Cogeneration Plant, a 499 MW capacity natural gas-powered plant. The TASarnia plant is also under contract to IESO and several other Sarnia located companies. Curiosity piqued about how much energy “bitcoin” operations consume globally led to an almost one year old article in the Harvard Business Review. The article suggested, at that time, it was 110 TWh (terawatt hours) which is equivalent to about 80% of Ontario’s annual consumption.  One should assume all of that 110 TWh was/is provided by reliable fossil fuels or nuclear power as intermittent wind and solar could never be relied on to ensure those mining data centres continued to operate.

As one should assume from the foregoing “bits and pieces” the path to net-zero is full of pot-holes eco-warriors and inane politicians seem unable to visualize!

PS:  I was called out on the following “(Scott Luft noted in a post a couple of years ago; since the ICI (industrial conservation initiative) inception in late 2011 through to the end of 2019 the cost to Class B ratepayers was approximately $1.4 billion (average of about $170 million per annum) paid to reduce the GA for those large industrial ratepayers.)”.  I would point out I always have a lot of faith in what Scott posts so I must assume it related to something as simple as a misplaced period “.”!  It turns out the OEB, Market Surveillance Panel back in December 2018 evaluated the ICI and in their report stated:  “In 2017, the ICI shifted $1.2 billion in electricity costs to households and small businesses—nearly four times greater than the amount in 2011. In 2017, the ICI increased the cost of electricity for households and small businesses by 10%.”

The OCAA is Seeking Future Blackouts for Quebec in the Winter

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) under Jack Gibbons was busy throughout 2021 making the rounds of various cities and municipalities throughout Ontario convincing them they should tell the Ford government to close all the natural gas plants in the province.  A total of 32 cities and municipalities joined hands with Gibbons thanks to inept (the only descriptive that made sense) councils and told the government of Ontario to shut those gas plants.  Gibbons somehow convinced them Quebec has a huge surplus of hydro generation that will easily replace those gas plants when our power demand needs them.  Apparently, none of those councils bothered to investigate Gibbons claim.

Gibbons bio indicates he is an “economist” and reportedly “studied economics at the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen’s University (M.A.) and the University of British Columbia“!  We should have serious doubts about his claim based on the rhetoric associated with his push to close the gas plants. Gibbons comes across like a pitchman selling snake oil in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

If any of the mayors or council members bothered to do even a little research they would have discovered Quebec’s peak demand occurs in the winter.  Hydro Quebec encourage their ratepayers to use less power during the December to March period as 61% of households use electricity to heat their homes versus only about 17% in Ontario.

If the Ford led government in Ontario responded to the OCAA desires the results would have a negative effect on households in both provinces but in particular Quebec due to their peak winter demand*. 

A recent four (4) days of cold winter weather in both Ontario and Quebec dispel the “Gibbons/OCAA” notion!  Ontario was called on to provide considerable power to Quebec over those four days and without the availability of our natural gas plants (most of which were built to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation) our ability to provide that power would have been close to NIL as our Ontario demand was also relatively high.

Over the four days commencing January 13th through to January 16th we exported just over 106,000 MWh (megawatt hours) to Quebec for an average of 1,104 MW/hour and the peak day was the 16th with an average of 1,410 MW/hour.  Over those four days Ontario’s gas plants generated just over 395,000 MW so we were able to provide our neighbours with what they needed (27% of our gas plant generation) to keep those electric furnaces and baseboard heaters operating so they would avoid blackouts and freezing households.  We provided those 106,000 MW at an average cost of less than 5 cents/kWh based on the HOEP prices over those four days so their cost didn’t drive up Hydro Quebec’s energy prices whereas Ontario’s ratepayers lost money on every kWh exported.

Carbon Credits please

Perhaps Hydro Quebec should either provide Ontario with “carbon credits” or pay the Federal “carbon tax” for the power supplied, allowing us to recover some of the costs for that natural gas generated power to keep them warm. Unfortunately, Ontarians should doubt that will ever happen!

* In Québec, peak periods occur during winter because so many of us heat our homes with electricity.

California power grid teeters as EV demand strains supply

I was a guest this morning on 960 AM SAUGA radio on the Marc Patrone show. We talked about California and the problems they are experiencing due to a heat wave which has caused the ISO (Independent System Operator) to issue warnings about potential brownouts and asked people to avoid charging their EVs during certain hours.

We also discussed solar panel trash, the promise of hundreds of thousands of jobs if we tackle climate change according to a report out of Simon Fraser University and what the carbon tax is doing to our Cost of Living in Canada.

You can listen to the podcast here starting at 1:08:48.

Podcasts

Or if you subscribe to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen

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

The Ontario Liberal Electricity Legacy is Complicated

The Cost of Subsidizing Green Energy Contracts for Industrial and Large Commercial Ratepayers came from the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) of Ontario in a report issued March 18, 2021!  What it states is the upcoming three years (2021-2023) will burden taxpayers with a cost of $2.8 billion.

My take on that “burden” was an estimate of $3.8 billion in an article posted November 9, 2020 just days after the Provincial budget was released announcing the subsidy. I did note, at that time, my estimate was a “back of the envelope” calculation and several events have occurred since then affecting the cost estimates.  The FAO’s forecast is the cost is 2.2 times what the budget estimated it was going to be whereas my estimate was 2.9 times the budget number.

The FAO report goes into further detail suggesting out to 2040 “the renewable generation subsidy program will cost the Province a net total of $15.2 billion.” The latter is referenced in the FAO report as the “Net cost to the Province” as the report stated; if the current subsidy program remained in effect through to 2040 for all segments of electricity consumers the total cost would have been $38.6 billion plus a loss of $1.3 billion in HST.  What the recent amendments to the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) program did was reduce the “OER discount provided to residential, farm and small business ratepayers”, which resulted in a reduction of $24.7 billion in estimated costs over the 20 years.

No doubt many Ontario ratepayers will recall Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, in 2015 issued a report castigating the Ontario Liberal Party stating; “From 2006 to 2014, the electricity portion of the hydro bills of residential and small-business consumers increased by 70%. In particular, the Global Adjustment fees, covering the excess payments to generators over the market price, cost consumers $37 billion during that period, and are projected to cost another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032.”

That report from the AG was the bedrock used by the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party to make it a major issue during the leadup to the last provincial election and at that time they promised to reduce electricity rates by 12%.  We ratepayers are still waiting for that to happen!  With the advent of the relief provided by the province as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic our rates were reduced but the announcement from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) on February 22, 2021 stated; “residential and small business customers will resume paying Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered pricing under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) at prices that were set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) on December 15, 2020.”  To put the foregoing in context a look at TOU rates before the Ford government were elected and comparing them to those announced by the OEB discloses the 12% promise is a distant memory as we see the percentage increases in all three categories has jumped by a large multiple of the inflation rate as the following depicts!

Time of Use    March 2018    March 2021    % Increase
Off-peak              6.5/kWh            8.5/kWh           30.7%
Mid-peak            9.5/kWh           11.9/kWh          25.2%   
On-peak             13.2/kWh          17.6/kWh           31.8%       

The difference between then and now is simply that back then the Wynne led government was using taxpayer monies to provide relief via the “Fair Hydro Plan” which subsidized rates by 29% (based on my bill) whereas the Ford government is now using taxpayer dollars to provide a subsidy of almost 98% (based on my bill).  It’s simply a case of incurring taxpayer debt to subsidize ratepayers.  Instead of taking money from our after-tax pocket they are incurring it for future taxpayers to pay.

In an interview back in March 2020 Premier Ford in response to the question about why he hadn’t achieved the 12% reduction in electricity rates went on and used the phrase “it’s extremely complicated”.  That phase is very similar to the phrases used by former energy ministers such as Bob Chiarelli and Glen Thibeault as well as the current leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Steven Del Duca. 

What is obvious from the foregoing is the time has arrived for someone/anyone with basic common sense be appointed to the Ministry and make a serious effort to uncomplicate it!

Perhaps it’s simply a pipe dream!

This is what a kilowatt hour of electricity in Ontario REALLY costs

Our household just received the electricity bill from Hydro One and our consumption for the month dropped by 14% compared to the 2020 bill.  If one does the simple math on the latest bill, ie: total cost including taxes divided by consumption it suggests the cost per kWh (kilowatt hour) was 13.8 cents. Going through the same process for the 2020 bill produces a higher cost of 15.9 cents/kWh.

The foregoing year-over-year drop of 2.1 cents/kWh does not really represent a more efficient system, instead it is a reflection of the Ontario government’s move to “lock-down” all of us commencing December 26th due to an anticipated jump in Covid-19 cases.  Shortly after the “lock-down” the Ontario government instructed the electricity sector to only charge residential ratepayers 8.5 cents/kWh from January 1, 2021 for 28 days and subsequently extended that order for an additional 12 days.

The bills on page 1* from Hydro one in a separate little box in dollars and cents, provides what is referenced as “Total Ontario support”. For our household it worked out to 13.6 cents/kWh meaning collectively, the all-in cost per kWh consumed was 27.4 cents with 98.2% of that allocated to taxpayers.

Examining our bill for March 2011 indicated the full all-in cost at that time, was 12.5 cents/kWh. Compared to the recent bill with an all-in cost of 27.4 cents/kWh it represented an increase in 10 years of 119%.

To put the above in context, the OEB in their “Yearbook of Electricity Distributors” for 2019 indicated Ontario had almost 4.8 million residential ratepayers who, on average, consume 750 kWh monthly! In 2021 the all-in costs of one month’s consumption by those residential ratepayers was approximately $1,315.2 million whereas in 2011 it was about $600 million.  Over 12 months residential ratepayer all-in costs for 2011 were $7.2 billion. For 2021 all-in costs could amount to $15.8 billion shared by residential ratepayers and taxpayers.

What the increase of approximately $8.5 billion all-in costs to residential ratepayers/taxpayers over those 10 years represents are principally; the effects of the GEA. Those costs were added as industrial wind turbines and solar panels received 20 year contracts at above market prices over the first few years and then were built and added to the grid.  Lots of other spending under the GEA also increased costs with spending on; conservation, energy storage, rate class establishment containing cross subsidies, gas plant additions to back up the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar etc etc. The gas plant costs include $1 billion of expenses to move two of them. A major scandal eventually evolved from the disclosure on the reason for the moves and the costs.

The Justin Trudeau led government seem to view the recent and very visible history of what happened in Ontario as one he and his party favour.  The outcome in Ontario should serve as a warning to the rest of Canada what happens when the government sees CO 2 reduction as the thermostat to control the climate!

Going green for electricity generation is very costly so get ready to pay up to charge your Tesla!

*Page 2 is the actual bill containing individual costs for kWh consumed, distribution costs, regulations costs, etc.

We should wonder, does the term, “net-zero” reference the future cash available for us to pay to heat and eat during Canada’s cold winters?

Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathon Wilkinson, a few days ago made the announcement that he has chosen his “Net-Zero Advisory Body” and it is reputedly filled with individuals with “a diverse range of expertise in science, business, labour, policy-making, rural economic development, and Indigenous governance.”  Their Mandate; “is to identify pathways to help Canada achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Looking back to December 2020 when Wilkinson released his; “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy” report, one would note it stated; “The Government is proposing to increase the carbon price by $15 per year, starting in 2023, rising to $170 per tonne of carbon pollution in 2030. The increasing price will make cleaner options more affordable and discourage pollution-intensive investments.” 

It certainly appears based on the foregoing claim, increasing the carbon price (tax) would drive emissions down so why does Wilkinson believe increasing bureaucracy with “prejudiced” advisors will somehow add value? Is the “$170/tonne carbon tax”, that will inflict economic pain on all Canadian’s, somehow (in his “Rhodes Scholar” mind) insufficient?  Wilkinson’s Ministry reported: “Over the long term, Canada’s economy has grown more rapidly than its GHG emissions: the emissions intensity for the entire economy (GHG per Gross Domestic Product [GDP]) has declined by 36% since 1990 and 20% since 2005.” The Ministry also noted; “Canada represented approximately 1.6% of global GHG emissions in 2016”. It is worth noting the foregoing occurred before we had a carbon tax!

To make matters worse and add more costs to Canadian households the announced imposition of the CFS (Clean Fuel Standard) with separate requirements for liquid, gaseous and solid fossil fuels will add $1,395.00 in additional annual costs to the average Canadian household based on a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

Both the “carbon tax” increase and the “CFS” were added to Liberal plans meant to reduce and eventually negate Canada’s 1.6% of global GHG emissions. Now, there appears to be further plans to negatively impact the Canadian economy via more tax related issues to achieve that goal.

One of those is associated with the recent Biden/Trudeau chat which suggested the possible implementation of “carbon adjustment fees or quotas on goods coming from countries “that are failing to meet their climate and environmental obligations.” What the foregoing implies is cheap imports from countries like China, India, Vietnam, Brazil, etc. will suddenly attract an import tariff raising the import costs of products from those countries and impact the ability of households to purchase them.  One should expect the foregoing would result in those countries retaliating; meaning they would impose tariffs on imports from Canada, thereby reducing our trade, the associated economic activity and the jobs resulting from that trade.

What followed from the Biden/Trudeau virtual meeting was another meeting the following day between John Kerry and Jonathan Wilkinson and one of the major issues they focused on was; “things like working on vehicle emission standards for Canada and the U.S., again, looking to see how we can accelerate work to both enhance the energy efficiency of the existing types of vehicles that are being sold, but also to look at how we can accelerate the deployment of zero-emission technologies,”. One must assume the reflection suggested in Wilkinson’s remark, references electric vehicles (EV) and some of that EV production will be coming to Canada! Thanks to the generosity of all of Canada’s and Ontario taxpayers who are anteing up $590 million for Ford’s Oakville plant, 3,000 of the current 3,400 jobs at that plant will be saved at a cost of approximately $200K per job to produce electric vehicles.

To top things off the Federal government will also hand out a $5K “incentive” if you purchase an eligible EV and should you be a Quebec resident they will top that up with another $8K and if a BC resident they will add another $5K.                                                                                                                          We Canadian taxpayers are truly generous in our efforts to save the world from “climate change” thanks to the dolts we reward with our votes come election time!   As one of those whose tax dollars they are using to achieve “net-zero” by 2050 I am dubious I will live to see that day. I would suggest I am one of the many, including those who are blithely writing the cheques, who, at that time, will be shocked to realize our elimination of Canada’s 1.6% of emissions to achieve “net-zero” had no effect on climate change

PS:  To all who have read the article, I would recommend you watch a 1 hour and 13-minute documentary released in 2007 called: The Great Global Warming Swindle.   

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance turned its back on gas-fired power plants

An article in the Toronto Star back on August 30, 2020 written by Angela Bischoff of the OCAA was headlined:  “We need to phase out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants, not ramp them up”. That signaled the OCAA had turned it’s back on some of its former funders. The OCAA is a “charity” and if one looks back to an article penned in August 2012 it noted “OCAA disclose in their filing that private funding (over $750 per annum) comes from; Union Gas, European Power Systems (gas equipment), Northland Power (wind developer), Sky Generation (wind developer), Enbridge Gas”!  At that time both Union Gas and Enbridge Gas were funding OCAA’s “charitable” (sarcasm intended) endeavours which were focused on: eliminating “coal and nuclear generation while favouring wind, solar and gas generation.”  The times have apparently changed!

OCAA’s Plan

The article in the Toronto Star states: “Importing low cost power from Quebec is also a sensible alternative. Our neighbours have plenty of power to spare—in fact, they have been dumping it on spot markets in the U.S. for years now.”  The article goes on to make other specious claims but they have been somewhat successful as noted recently having convinced Kingston’s City Council to pass a motion that tells the Province to shut down “fossil fuel generation”.  OCAA’s website now claims they have convinced 13 municipalities* to pass a similar motion claiming Ontario can import clean hydro from Quebec. The next municipality they have focused on is Toronto, where Toronto City Councillors Jennifer McKelvie and Mike Layton will urge Toronto City Council to adopt a motion calling for the phase-out of gas-fired electricity in Ontario “as soon as possible.”

Had Angela Bischoff, her boss, Jack Gibbons, or any of the councillors in those 13 municipalities bothered to search for some facts they may have discovered Hydro Quebec’s peak demand occurs in the winter and the bulk of what they export to the US and the Maritimes is contracted.  The foregoing is relatively easy to find as Hydro Quebec’s financial reports disclose it.

Quebec’s Peak Electricity Demand

 From Hydro Quebec’s financial report for the 1st quarter of 2020: “Hydro-Québec’s quarterly results are not necessarily indicative of results for the year on account of seasonal temperature fluctuations. Because of higher electricity demand during winter months, revenue from electricity sales in Québec is higher during the first and fourth quarters.”

A somewhat dated (2012) report from Statistics Canada states: “Sixty-one percent of households in Quebec used electric baseboard heating systems,” and provides insight on why Ontario would be unable to count on an adequate supply of electricity from Quebec during our winters. Bischoff and Gibbons should stop telling lies!

Again, looking at Hydro Quebec’s 2019 annual report amplifies the foregoing and indicates Hydro Quebec encourages reductions in use during the winter by providing “two new rate offerings for Rate D residential and farm customers and Rate G business customers Winter Credit Option, which gives customers a credit if they reduce their electricity use during peak demand events.”  They refer to it as “Dynamic pricing” and go so far as to say it is: “our way of thanking customers for helping us reduce electricity demand during peak periods.”

With those facts in hand, those OCAA spokespeople shouting; “we need to phase out gas-plants” and count on electricity supplied by wind, solar or “cheap hydro” from Quebec better install a household gas generator. They and those naïve councillors will not like it when Ontario experiences those rolling black-outs that will occur should the Ontario Minister of Energy actually listen to them.

*Kitchener, Windsor, St. Catharines, Burlington, Hamilton, Guelph, Cobourg, Halton Hills, King, Woolwich, Selwyn, Kingston and Waterloo.