Ontarians should be thankful Sunday March 12, 2023, was both a weekend day and also kind of an early spring day which contributed to a relatively low electricity demand day. Ontario’s peak demand came at Hour 19 (hour ending at 7 PM) and was only 17,614 MW. While the below screenshot of IESO data shows (at the top) the output of all electricity sources at 8 PM the coloured graph ends at Hour 20 and it shows the peak hour occurred at Hour 19 and at that hour all those IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated was a miserly 244MW or 5% of their capacity and 1.4% of peak demand.
Now squint at the coloured graph above and focus on the green, yellow and red lines at the top which are respectively IWT, solar and biomass generation to recognize why they can’t ever hope to replace flexible natural gas (dark blue), hydro (light blue) or nuclear generation (orange).
Over the full 24 hours of the day total wind generated was 7,215 MW which represented 6.13% of their capacity and at their low point at Hour 15 they only managed to generate 163 MW (3.3% of their capacity). At Hour 1 (ending at 1 AM) they hit their high for the day generating 484 MW (9.9% of their capacity).
Ontario’s natural gas plants stepped up to meet our needs yesterday generating 43,653 MW or six (6) times what those IWT generated. What the foregoing makes obvious is that Ontario would need another 29,400 MW of IWT capacity to replace what our gas plants generated in addition to the 4,900 MW of existing grid connected capacity. Adding that capacity to the grid would also increase the need to upgrade the transmission system and both of those additions would drive up the cost of energy further.
As yet another addition to the foregoing Ontario would need a minimum of approximately 7,500 MW of BESS (battery energy storage systems) with the capabilities to deliver stored power to replace what those gas plants generated. That 7,500 MW of battery storage would need to store their power in the days before the wind disappeared and it wouldn’t happen if the wind wasn’t blowing.
Blackouts would be the alternative to the above.
Now try to imagine how much more IWT generation coupled with BESS units we would need on a hot summer day when demand peaks at over 22,000 MW!
The Toronto Sun newspaper had a February 23, 2023 article written by Lorrie Goldstein noting a report released by the CCI (Canadian Climate Institute) disclosed Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2021 by 19 million tons or 2.8%. Goldstein pointed out correctly that the results fly in the face of past assurances from the likes of PM Trudeau and former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson that they would decline! The article went on to point out the impossibilities to achieve the goals they had set unless they shut down Canada’s complete industrial sector along with our oil and gas sector. In other words unless they cripple the Canadian economy the goals, they have committed to will be unachievable!
While Goldstein correctly points out the negative place Trudeau and his minions now find themselves, the picture painted by the CCI’s report was actually spun differently by them! To wit: The CCI press release about the results had the following quote from Rick Smith, President of CCI:
“It’s promising to see Canada starting to make tangible progress in reducing carbon pollution, especially coming out of the pandemic. Time is short, and our goals are ambitious.Hitting those goals is crucial to Canada’s future security and prosperity.
Perhaps the foregoing quote from Smith (formerly head honcho at Environmental Defence) is simply a take on the old idiom; “don’t bite the hand that feeds you“ based on the CCI’s charitable status. A review of their year-end March 31, 2022 filing with the CRA indicates their employees are well paid and we should suspect Smith is at the top of the following chart from their filing:
It is also worth noting Rick Smith and Gerald Butts (PM Trudeau’s former Principal Advisor) are closely connected as both were the heads of two of the Strathmere Group’s 12 members as outlined in a series of articles. Smith also has a close relationship (they even co-authored a book) with Bruce Lourie, one of the CCI’s directors and he is also listed as the Secretary-Treasurer of the CCI in the CRA filings.
If one examines their CRA filing as a “charity” it discloses gross revenue of $2,487,656 with $2,433,119 (97.8%) of it simply our tax dollars handed to them by the federal government. Please note they didn’t claim any of their total expenditures of $3,646,724 as being “on charitable activities”.
It is apparent based on the numbers above the CCI overspent their revenue by about $1.159 million. Rest assured they will seek additional taxpayer funding and a recent search on the Government of Canada’s “Grants and Contributions” website indicates they were handed $500,000 on December 5, 2022 by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change where Minister Steven Guilbeault now hangs his hat! The grant is reputedly to do a “Policy analysis and stakeholder views on climate and environmental impacts of inactive oil and gas wells“.
If one seeks financial information on the CCI website the only information one can find for their 2021-2022 year is the following one page “snapshot” and it’s in their “Annual Impact Report”:
I would think based on the foregoing, 99% of all Canadians would not consider anything the CCI contributes to Canada and Canadians to be what can be considered charitable.
The question that anyone examining the financial aspects of this “charity” called the Canadian Climate Institute should immediately ask is:
Why in hell should the CCI be considered a charity when here in Canada and in so many other places around the world we are seeing “energy poverty” skyrocket? Charitable food banks are pressed to help families suffering from poverty caused by increased costs of energy in the form of intermittent and unreliable renewable energy as well as carbon taxes on fossil fuels needed in so many aspects of our day to day living from farming to delivering the food to your local grocery store. Paying our tax dollars to ENGO such as the CCI amplifies the unjust treatment we are now experiencing!
To paraphrase Rick Smith’s ramble: Hitting the goals to reduce emissions is crucial if the plan is to increase energy poverty!
Time to right the wrongs and rescind the charitable rights of these hundreds of ENGO here in Canada using our tax dollars to further escalate energy poverty!
Yesterday, Ontario’s IWT (industrial wind turbines) were humming and supplied the Ontario grid with 81,736 MW despite IESO appearing to have curtailed another 5,600 MW of their potential generation!
Due to the fact it was a Sunday with businesses shut for the weekend coupled with a mild winter day, demand was light so the peak reached at Hour 19 was only 16,478 MW. Because of those factors, IESO were busy selling off our surplus power to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec for pennies of its cost to Ontarians. Total exports were 69,070 MWh or 84.5% of the accepted IWT generation and the sale price averaged $5.45/MWh or just over a half a cent per kWh (kilowatt hour).
To put the foregoing in perspective the 69,070 MWh is about what 2.4 million Ontario households consume daily and represents around 46% of all Ontario households.
Based on the foregoing data from IESO it is obvious that generation by the IWT were fully responsible for the 69,070 MW that was exported. What that illustrates is with the guaranteed contracted prices of $135/MWh that generation cost Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers $9.324 million and adding the cost of the 5,600 MW of curtailed generation (at a cost of $120/MWh) it brings the additional costs to $9.996 million.
Oh yes, and we exported those 69,070 MW for the HOEP market price of $5.45/MWh, so we earned $376K (3.8% of their costs) reducing the overall costs to $9.620 million.
So one might ask, so how much did it cost us per MWh for the 12,666 MWh we didn’t export, and they would be shocked to find out it works out to $759.51/MWh or 0.76 cents/KWh.
Going “green” sure hurts the ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario but our neighbours are surely delighted we are providing them with our highly subsidized “emissions free” electricity!
Now, try to imagine if we did the foregoing every day of the year and shake your head at the $3.5 billion it would cost us!
In fact, the taxpayers in Ontario are actually burdened with an annual cost of $6.274 billion for “Electricity Cost Relief Programs” associated with those renewable energy contracts as outlined in the very recent 2022-2023 Third Quarter Finances update from the Provincial Ministry of Finance.
From the Update:
Now try to imagine how that money could have benefited our health sector or built out some needed infrastructure!
Southern Ontario is currently experiencing what the eco-warriors would call “global warming” with lots of wind so it led to a IESO DATA look and it was a bit shocking to see what was going on. The wind was doing a great job at generating intermittent and unneeded IWT (industrial wind turbines) generation that wasn’t needed but with their “first-to-the-grid” rights IESO were forced to accept both lots of it on February 14th and 15th as the following highlights.
As a co-incidence a Provincial press release about the provinces 2022-2023 finances hit the in-box and in in it they disclose the province was projecting a deficit of $6.5 billion for the year. In a quick look at the financial information it was interesting to note that $6.6 billion in expenses for the Energy base ($327.6 million) plus $6.274 billion allocated for “Electricity Cost Relief Programs” brought the total to the $6.6 billion of expenses in the press release. Imagine, without the latter the province would be forecasting a small surplus of $100 million and that would have been something to brag about!
As many Ontarians may not know the Electricity Cost Relief Programs were established by the Ford led government to absorb the above market costs of the pricy wind and solar contracts signed by the McGuinty/Wynne governments. Those governments; in the push to “green” the electricity sector; was what they bought into when eco-warriors were demanding the world must stop using fossil fuels due to the “global warming” (now referenced as “climate change”) scare.
The IWT generation for all of Tuesday and part of today (Wednesday) makes it obvious why the almost $6.3 billion of costs for the “Relief Programs” exists!
February 14, 2023
IESO’s wind generation forecast for the full 24 hours was 44,037 MWh but they cut the output to 41,251 MWh suggesting about 2,700 MWh were curtailed. That resulted in a total cost for the IWT generation and curtailment of $6.279 million for the day ($135/MWh for accepted generation and $120/MWh for curtailed). Total exports to our neighbours throughout the day were 46,938 MWh so one could easily suggest all of it was either IWT generation or caused by it! The average market price (HOEP) over those 24 hours was $10.74/MWh meaning it earned a miserly $504K reducing the cost of IWT generation to $5.775 million.
February 15, 2023
IESO DATA for the first 18 hours disclosed they forecast generation of 75,648 MWh but the output recorded was 54,881 MWh meaning 20,767 MWh were curtailed. That suggests the first 18 hours of the day cost $9.901 million and as the average HOEP over those 18 hours was a tiny $2.22/MWh the exports of 49,095 MW returned only $109K of those costs paid to the owners of the IWT.
The taxpayers/ratepayers of Ontario were forced to absorb $15.567 million to provide our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec with those 93,255 MWh over those 42 hours. Those MW we basically gave away is about what 3,2 million average Ontario households would consume in one day!
Hopefully the foregoing brings to light why the Ford government allocates the $6.274 billion for “Electricity Cost Relief Programs”. It also suggests we should all wonder why they haven’t cancelled those IWT contracts instead of now indicating they will extend their contracts. They recently extended the Transalta Melancthon 200 MW IWT development near Shelbourne, Ontario which stands out for having a long and controversial history.
We should wonder as taxpayers if that $6.274 billion cost will only get larger in the future as the past 42 hours suggests it won’t diminish!
The Ford led government had a chance to balance the budget but instead seems content with burdening Ontario taxpayers in supporting our neighbour’s electricity costs! Not sure how that will attract jobs to the province?
An article from March 2022 cited a Hydro Quebec strategic plan they had just released and it forecast they would need 100 TWh (terawatt hours) annually of additional energy in order to meet Quebec’s net-zero emissions target by 2050.
To put context on that 100 TWh; it currently represents about 50% of generation Quebec Hydro annually distributes to Quebec ratepayers and grid connected export markets! If one does the math the annual generation of 100 TWh would require about 11,500 MW of new generation (baseload) capacity running at 100% and that is, coincidentally, more than double the capacity of Churchill Falls (5,428 MW) which is owned by Newfoundland & Labrador (N/L). The existing contract between the two provinces for the power generated at Churchill Falls expires in 2041 and currently costs Hydro Quebec a very low $2.00 per MWh or $2 million per TWh. The $113 million Hydro Quebec paid N/L in 2021 suggests Churchill Falls supplied them with 56.5 TWh hours or about 25% of what Hydro Quebec distributed in 2021 and around 30% of Quebec ratepayers total demand!
We should guess N/L will be looking for much higher rates for any future contracts come 2041 or instead will run transmission lines to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and/or to New England to achieve a much better return and perhaps help pay those cost overruns for the Muskrat Falls project. The foregoing would raise Quebec’s needs to over 150 TWh by 2050 or at the very least drive up their energy costs!
Hydro Quebec’s 2021 annual report indicated they sold 210.8 TWh of which 35.6 TWh (63% of Churchill Falls generation) were exported to New England, New York, Ontario and New Brunswick.
In respect to the Ontario/Quebec relationship; Ontario will try to supply power to Quebec in the winter (Quebec’s peak demand period) whereas Quebec will try to supply Ontario in the Summer which is generally when peak demand occurs. The agreement between Ontario and Quebec is referenced as the “Seasonal Capacity Sharing Agreement.“ As an example, Ontario, using natural gas generation, recently supplied Quebec with power during the cold snap. We should wonder how importing generation from natural gas plants will help Quebec meet its “net-zero” target or Ontario’s by generating fossil fuel power to supply Quebec?
Hydro Quebec issued a press release in November 2022 forecasting by 2032 they will require an additional 25 TWh principally to support the transition to electrification for transportation, building conversion, green hydrogen production, battery production, etc. etc. The press release suggests: “The anticipated growth takes into account significant energy efficiency efforts that will make it possible to curtail 8.9 TWh by 2032. Hydro-Québec programs such as the Efficient Heat Pump Program for residential customers and the Efficient Solutions Program for business customers will help optimize electricity use.“ They will also seek a “demand response” of 3,000 MW during the coldest winter days from those labeled as “various customer segments”. The release also indicated they have put out a call for tenders including; “one for 300 MW of wind power and the other for 480 MW of renewable energy—are already underway“, and “Two more, for 1,000 MW of wind power and 1,300 MW of renewable energy, respectively, will be launched in the next few months, and others will follow in the coming years to meet the needs“.
We should find it odd Hydro Quebec would believe 1,300 MW of wind and 1,780 MW of renewables (solar?) will be sufficient to provide them with the 25 TWh they forecast needing by 2032 due to their intermittency and unreliable nature but perhaps they are really counting on the 3,000 MW of “demand response” to keep the lights on and households warm during cold winter days. We should also wonder where the other 75 TWh they will need by 2050, will come from?
They shouldn’t count on Ontario being able to supply them as the Ford led government here in Ontario is on the path to also achieve the same “net-zero” target our Energy Minister, Todd Smith, asked IESO to achieve via his October 7, 2021, letter to them. While he has subsequently backtracked somewhat on the foregoing in his October 6, 2022, directive it nevertheless may detract from attracting new generation as the following sentence from his directive implies: “New build gas facilities will be required to submit emissions abatement plans to IESO as part of their future contractual obligations, including considerations for operating in special circumstances such as emergency events, if applicable.“
Ontarians and Quebecers should wonder; in the future, will those emergency events include us sending our natural gas generation to help them keep the lights on and their households warm during winter cold snaps in Quebec and will they be able to supply Ontario with power on those very warm summer days when our peak demands occur?
No doubt by the time the foregoing potential problems become a regular occurrence our current group of politicians will have retired from politics and be living on nice taxpayer funded pensions so will not care about the consequences of their failed policies.
We voters should find a way to make elected politicians responsible for their ineptitude but perhaps that is far too much to hope for, just as “net-zero” is simply “wishful thinking” if we want reliable and competitive power prices!
Marc Patrone had me on his show again today and we covered lots of climate change issues in different countries around the world as well as right here at home. Touched on the WEF and how India is refining Russian Crude and selling it to Europe and the US.
You can listen to the podcast here starting at 1:03:20 ending at 1:18:15!
Recently we have been inundated with articles demonstrating many of the current crop of elected politicians in charge of many countries around the world are seemingly trying to outdo each other to show us: “they know not what they do”! Some very recent examples follow, and I will leave it to the reader to decide if there are any smart politicians associated with the five disclosures below!
Dozens of giant turbines at Scots windfarms powered by diesel generators
A recent article out of the UK Daily Record stated two windfarms owned by the Spanish company, Iberdrola were recently producing power using diesel generators and suggested it was because; “The Scottish Government wants to make our country attractive to foreign investors as 40 per cent of the wind that blows across Europe blows across Scotland.“ Interestingly enough a May 2022 report claimed:
1.5.8TWh of wind curtailment due to system actions across 2020 and 2021 and
2.Enough to power 800,000 homes! and
3. 88% of wind curtailment is in Scotland and £806m of associated consumer costs in 2020-2021, with £200m in November 2021 alone.“
At least those diesel generators produce power when it is actually needed so they could easily displace the wasteful generation “windfarms” frequently produce that cost £806m for unneeded power.
Oil’s New Map, How India Turns Russian Crude into the West’s fuel
While the EU and all NATO countries agreed to ban the purchase of Russian crude, India refused and are now dependent on it and use it to benefit their fossil fuel sector. In point of fact, a recent article out of India indicates they are also refining it into gasoline and diesel and selling it to other countries. The article stated: “India shipped about 89,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel to New York last month, the most in nearly four years, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. Daily low-sulfur diesel flows to Europe were at 172,000 barrels in January, the most since October 2021.” Now, isn’t the foregoing ironic and those elected politicians, seemingly, do not recognize the ban enacted after Russia started their war with the Ukraine has resulted in them, in a round about fashion, supporting Russia!
Quebec’s Highest Electricity Peak Demand Supported by Ontario Natural Gas
On February 3, 2023 electricity peak demand in Quebec set a new record reaching 42,701 MW at 5.30 PM and that was after Hydro Quebec asked their customers to reduce electric furnace levels by a few degrees and not fire up their high demand electric appliances such as their cooking stoves and washers and dryers. Ontario meanwhile fired up their gas plants to help Hydro Quebec out of their dilemma. For some reason Hydro Quebec didn’t include asking EV owners to avoid charging their vehicles even though Quebec has the second highest percentage of them in Canada on their roads and that resulted in long lineups at charging stations in both Quebec and Ontario due to the very cold weather.
Are ‘Renewables’ Worth the Trouble?
The above headline is somewhat conclusive; but is an interesting article starting with observations of a debate/discussion between: “Francis Menton and Lord Christopher Monckton. It turned on what Lord Monckton calls the “Pollock limit.” Named after Chilean engineer Douglas Pollock.“ The theory is basically about how the “plated capacity” of wind turbines is always much higher than what it delivers on average varying from 25% to 32% from different studies. The article goes on to create a fictional small town of 10,000 households requiring a constant supply of 12 MW of power who contract for six wind turbines with a nameplate capacity of 12 MW and in the first year they deliver an average of 3 MW so the mayor decides to contract for another 12 MW. I will not disclose further details from the article but would encourage the reading of it in full from the link in the above opening sentence. I think you will find it both interesting and amusing and suggest you pass it on to any politician you believe may need some enlightenment.
Wind Turbine Manufacturers are Losing Money-Say it isn’t so
Two of the largest wind turbine manufacturers just released the bad news they lost lots of money in their 2022 year despite both having increased revenues. While they will undoubtedly seek to raise the costs of those wind turbines, they will also have to contend with some major issues which were connected to the losses. The major issues for them relate to turbine failures and some full turbine collapses! It appears while turbines are getting larger, quality control is getting smaller as a recent article in Popular Mechanics states. Both Vestas of Denmark and Siemans Gamesa of Germany recently released their 2022 results and both reported considerable losses. GE the third large wind turbine manufacturer does not disclose if their “renewable energy” sector is profitable or not but wording in their press release suggests generators manufactured for gas plants appear to be! The release states: “In GE Vernova, Power is delivering with Gas Power stable, and Renewable Energy is taking action to drive operational improvements as it also begins to benefit from external catalysts like the Inflation Reduction Act.“ I will leave it to the reader to judge the meaning of the sentence.
Two of the five referenced short issues reported above suggest fossil fuels (natural gas and diesel) provide stability to the energy sector and a third one the importance of it to international trade. The other two reflect on the intermittency, unreliability and costliness of IWT (industrial wind turbines) which seem to be fully endorsed by those many politicians who continue to demonstrate they are involved in decisions affecting their citizens in a negative way.
Those politicians in Canada and around the world who have promised us all a “Just Transition” should either undergo some basic training about technology and economic issues or be thrown to the curb in the next election.
Five ENGO* (BLUEGREEN, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Equiterre and IISD) recently issued a 28 page proclamation labelled: “Proposals for the Canadian Just Transition Act”. Needless to say they push the Justin Trudeau led Federal Government and all the provincial governments to jump on board the “Just Transition”. They want the Federal Government to establish a “Just Transition Ministry” and equip it with bureaucrats ensuring the utopia of a “carbon-free” Canada with lots of low carbon, sustainable “green jobs” as the outcome!
If one does a word search in the 28 pages using the symbol “$” or the word “dollars” you come up with a big “0” but if you plug in “Net-Zero” you get 3 hits and if you try “emissions” it will generate 28 hits. As one would expect searching the words “transition” and “just transition” respectively generated 391 and 293 hits. The proclamation is sprinkled with examples the authors feel exemplify what should be done in Canada. They cite Spain, Scotland, New Zealand and Germany as examples of countries moving in the “Just Transition” direction but don’t bother to mention those countries are all suffering from high energy prices coupled with climbing energy poverty. You certainly won’t find any concerns expressed about the costs of the Just Transition on families or households in the 28 pages.
The word “objective(s)” can be found 32 times and aligns with the word “Tables” found 27 times as the proclamation insists the Federal and Provincial governments establish objectives via those tables that must be adhered to under legislation set by the federal and provincial governments. Naturally these objectives require “monitoring” by more bureaucrats.
We should all be troubled by the fact that four of the five ENGO (more on BLUEGREEN below) are registered charities and all of them seem somewhat dependent on handouts (grants) and contracts from all three levels of government. A quick review of the four and their CRA charity filings indicates over the five years of CRA records they have reported receiving over $27 million tax dollars, mainly as grants. IISD is one example with grants committed of almost $40 million. Equiterre is another example reporting having received almost $7.7 million in grants/donations in their CRA filings over the past five years from Federal and Provincial governments. Equiterre was reputedly co-founded by Steven Guilbeault, current Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Additionally two of them (Environmental Defence, IISD) have been contracted by government Ministries or subsets. It is also worth noting IISD also gets millions of dollars from UN Agencies, International Governments and their agencies as well as Foundations as noted in their Consolidated Financial Statement of March 31, 2022.
BLUEGREEN”s homepage states: “We can create good jobs across the country by making renewable energy, using energy more efficiently, decarbonizing manufacturing, and building more public transit.“
The above statement seems incongruous with what most would imagine, the two biggest private sector unions in Canada, would buy into, should their leaders reflect on how accomplishing the foregoing would impact their members. Interestingly no one from either of the unions were cited as “Contributors” to the “proclamation” paper but two of them from Unifor were named as “reviewers”!
If one looks at their respective websites for their views on “climate change” they appear somewhat less committed, then the proclamation in the “Proposal”. One senior individual within the United Steelworkers Union (USU) at an event last year stated: “In the past, we knew that investments in our plants would provide long-term benefits. Today, the same logic must apply to the environmental question.“ Identifying those investments is not an easy task as a major ingredient attracting investments is cheap energy but that is what the “Transition” will affect the most so, “long-term benefits” appear elusive. That should send a not-so-subtle message to PM Trudeau and his Ministers!
USU sent two observers to COP 27 in Egypt and one of the issues they noted was the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and their synopsis stated: “This measure involves the introduction of a price (tax) on high-carbon products entering Canada. Other countries are preparing for the implementation of such a measure.“ Obviously this has implications for Canada’s trade relationship with other countries, but it appears the USU recognizes the impact it may have on their members unless we implement it too!
In respect to Unifor an article on their website emphasized: “Revenue from carbon pricing be invested in ensuring that transitions for workers and communities are appropriately managed through training and matching displaced workers with new opportunities.“ That statement suggests the Federal Government abandon the current carbon tax rebate program and instead “invest” it to create those “transitions” the Proposal recommends.
The Broadbent Institute is of course named after Ed Broadbent the former leader of the Federal NDP and as one would expect they are gung ho on the Just Transition and push Canada to spend lots more! Rick Smith who has become an icon of the “climate change” push wrote an article for the Broadbent Institute saying “we should be spending in the hundreds of billions, not just billions in the single digits.“
The four charities include Environmental Defence where Rick Smith was the head honcho for 9 years but now he is the President of CICC, a taxpayer funded ENGO pushing the “net-zero” initiative on behalf of the Trudeau government. Needless to say ED has received grants and contracts over the years from us taxpayers.
The Columbia Institute in its CRA filings does not claim any contributions from any of the three levels of government seemingly obtaining most of its revenue from other “charities”.
Clean Energy Canada is a “climate and clean energy program” within the confines of Simon Fraser University so doesn’t report on an individual basis to the CRA charities. As one would suspect SFU on the other hand in it’s March 31, 2022 filing with the CRA reportedly received over $358 million (38.3%) of its gross revenue from the three levels of government. A search of Federal contracts disclosed many to SFU from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change which we should assume went to Clean Energy Canada.
Now examining the Pembina Institute’s CRA filings one sees they claimed to have received $5,576K in grants from three levels of governments. A search of the Federal Governments “Grants and Contribution” site however indicates they handed out $10,450K to Pembina! That is almost double the information filed with the CRA but with the CRA Union suggesting they will go on strike in early April they are unlikely to investigate. The Pembina Institute also were handed $963K in contracts by the Federal Government over the same five years.
The objective of ENGO employees, numbering in the tens of thousands, receiving huge support from taxpayers both via donations they receive (providing tax benefits to contributors) and via the various handouts from Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments is self evident!
Those ENGO employees are concerned events happening around the developed world countries with costs of energy rising to historical levels are creating pushbacks on their views the “net-zero” target may be abandoned. The result is their jobs are in jeopardy so for that reason they continue to push the narrative about climate change and the “Just Transition” objectives. The bulk of those employed by ENGO fail to do proper research but have been hugely successful at manipulating elected politicians in Canada and those appointed to organizations, such as the United Nations, convincing them mankind are in full control of the weather.
We, here in Canada and elsewhere around the world need to continue the pushback or we and our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences! Spending “thehundreds of billions“ proposed by Rick Smith in the Broadbent Institute article is beyond belief with energy poverty spiralling around the world.
The time has come to put an end to the Just Transition!
*ENGO are Environmental Non-Government Organizations
Back on November 2, 2022, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced: “the Government of Canada has ordered the divestiture of the following investments by foreign investors in Canadian critical mineral companies:
Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co., Limited is required to divest itself of its investment in Power Metals Corp.
Chengze Lithium International Limited is required to divest itself of its investment in Lithium Chile Inc.
Zangge Mining Investment (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. is required to divest itself of its investment in Ultra Lithium Inc.”
The divestitures Minister Champagne ordered were all China controlled companies. For some reason however, another Chinese controlled company; MMG Limited, wasn’t included in the order despite the fact their mining rights include both copper and zinc. Copper is considered a “critical mineral” associated with the manufacture of EV batteries and zinc appears to be an upcoming “critical mineral” based on some recent news and patents filed! Zinc based batteries reputedly offer improved intrinsic safety over lithium-ion batteries aligned with a high energy storage capability.
Hmm; was the omission of MMG Limited intentional or simply missed?
One should note the Trudeau government was certainly aware of MMG’s longstanding mining rights as pointed out in a September 19, 2021 article about the Strathmere Group. The article said: “suddenly back on August 13, 2019 Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced a project: “$21.5 million to complete preparatory work necessary for the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The proposed 230-kilometre all-season road would be the first road to connect Nunavut to the rest of Canada.“
That project, co-incidentally, was seen as the means to cash in on the opening of the Arctic, something China had attempted to accomplish back in 2011 via a Chinese company with mining rights (MMG Limited) and whose principal shareholder was the Chinese government. At that time MMG backed away from further plans as the cost of the roads and port made it too costly! As noted in an article in the Walrus on January 4, 2021, “The vast mineral deposits of zinc and copper near Izok Lake, in the Northwest Territories, lay glittering but ultimately untouchable“ until Garneau’s pledge. Shortly after the pledge by Garneau, Mr. G. Gao, CEO of MMG in a press release said; “On behalf of MMG, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Canadian government for their support and funding,”.
The Walrus article went on stating: “CHINA’S GROWING INTEREST in the Canadian Arctic, one of the least defended regions on earth, has been a calculated move. In 2013, despite not being one of the eight Arctic nations, China gained official observer status at the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum, and later declared itself a “near-Arctic state”—a phrase that seems to ignore the 5,000 kilometres between its northernmost point and the Arctic Circle.”
It seems ironic Garneau’s Bill C-48 designed to halt Canadian fossil fuel exports from Canada’s west coast was passed just two months earlier before he turned around and catered to Chinese interests in obtaining critical minerals associated with EV battery manufacturing by China. With Champagne announcing the required divesture of critical mineral mining rights by those three Chinese companies one should wonder; why wasn’t MMG Limited included? Don’t these ministers talk, or do they simply take orders from above?
MMG’s website states: “MMG’s major shareholder is China Minmetals Corporation (CMC). Founded in 1950, CMC is one of China’s major multinational state-owned enterprises.CMC’s subsidiary China Minmetals H.K. (Holdings) Limited (Minmetals HK) currently owns approximately 67.68% of the total shares of MMG, with the remaining 32.32% owned by public shareholders including global resources and investment funds.”
MMG’s Press Release after Garneau made the announcement had this to say:
“The Izok Corridor Project includes the Izok and High Lake deposits located in Nunavut in the Canadian arctic within a geological formation known as the Slave Geological Province. Izok is a zinc/copper deposit with a Mineral Resource of 15 million tonnes at 13% zinc and 2.3% copper. The High Lake deposit, located north of Izok, has a Mineral Resource of 14 million tonnes at 3.8% zinc and 2.5% copper.The Izok Corridor Project offers the potential for significant socio-economic contributions to the Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Canadian economies.”
The press release went on to note: “Project development requires construction of a 325-kilometre all-weather road, as well as a deep-water port on the Arctic Ocean to facilitate transportation of metal concentrates to overseas markets. MMG also holds several other base metal deposits and exploration tenements in this highly prospective region.“
It seems obvious MMG will not finance either the road or the port and will not exploit their mining rights unless they are complete and paid for by Canadian taxpayers. On the question of costs to complete the road and the port it is extremely difficult, nay impossible, to find factual estimates. A 2021 Government Environmental Scan however did state: “Steady growth is expected on the Territories’ construction sector as a number of new projects are expected to begin shortly. For instance, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association is proceeding with its Grays Bay Road and Port project in Nunavut following a nearly two-year delay as a result of COVID-19 and rising construction costs. The estimated $550M project includes a 227-km all-weather road and a deep-sea port at Grays Bay on Coronation Gulf.“ One should note the Government of Canada’s “scan” suggests their estimated cost covered only 227-km of the 325-km “all-weather road” touted by MMG and it wasn’t specific on the individual costs of either the road or the port! No matter, though if all the costs are paid by the Federal and Territorial governments it will be the Canadian taxpayers who are paying for both!
If the foregoing costs of the road and the port fall on the backs of Canadian taxpayers, we should view it as the Trudeau government simply handing out our tax dollars to China so that can mine our resources, ship them to China for processing and use them to manufacture EV batteries. This may well happen despite the billions of dollars the Federal and Provincial (Ontario and Quebec) have promised to auto makers and future battery manufacturers.
When the foregoing happens, we taxpayers can sit back and repeat what our PM Trudeau said: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime“. The last few words of his comment might be altered to; “to turn their economy around on a few billion of Canadian taxpayer dollars”
Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith should think seriously about December 20th and contemplate; if we were without natural gas generation, how would the province have avoided blackouts? What would we need to have in place to provide the 124,792 MWh (what 4.1 million average Ontario households consume daily) our gas plants supplied on that December day?
More wind, more solar? If he picked those two intermittent and unreliable sources, we would need a multiple of at least five times current capacity. Even then, if they only generated five times the 232 MWh, they did at Hour 3, we would have experienced a blackout in the middle of the night during a low demand hour. Natural gas generators at that hour produced 4,003 MWh (26.8% of demand).
Throughout the day grid connected wind generated about 21,000 MWh and solar 547 MWh. At peak demand, Hour 18 ending at 6 PM, wind generation neared its peak for the day generating 1,341 MWh (6.8% of demand) whereas our gas plants generated 6,033 MWh or 30.4% of peak demand. Because demand was relatively high and wind failed to generate less than an average of 900 MW per hour the market price (HOEP) averaged $82.88/MWh over the day so the 39,000 MW we sold to our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec generated a reasonable price compared to days when the wind is blowing hard and the sun is shining.
If Smith said hydro, it would be sensible, however Ontario has pretty well exhausted its hydro sources near population centers so that’s not an option. We would need to open up the northern reaches of the province and spend billions of tax dollars to build roads, transmission systems and the hydro plants themselves to get the power to where its needed. Not feasible for well over a decade!
Nuclear would be a good and logical source, however the only possible new nuclear we might get in the next 10 years is a 300 MW capacity SMR (small modular reactor) now in the planning stage by OPG.
What’s left then for him to contemplate is either hydrogen or storage. The former is still in early test stages and unlikely to be scaled up for a decade or more. Despite the foregoing the push for it by many European countries is on as they view it as the solution to achieving “net-zero”. The big concern about hydrogen is associated with possible leaks as a recent article noted: “Scientists have warned that hydrogen could be a significant “indirect” contributor to the greenhouse effect when it leaks through infrastructure and interacts with methane in the atmosphere.“
One should wonder does Minister Smith have a belief “storage” is the option and if so, how much will be needed? In the near term he seems to have somewhat recognized the fallibility of our electricity system as his Ministerial Directive of October 6, 2022 directs IESO to secure a minimum of 1,500 MW of storage generation and a maximum of 1,500 MW of natural gas generation. On the former he had already directed IESO to negotiate a 250 MW battery storage contract with Oneida on August 27, 2022 despite the need for a cost/benefit study as noted in a earlier article.
Minister Smith had also asked IESO to prepare a plan to allow Ontario’s electricity system to be fully “decarbonized” by 2050 and in their response titled: “The Pathways to Decarbonization” they included 2,507 MW of storage capacity in 2035.
The full costs of that capacity will be in excess of $2.4 billion based on a recent well researched article suggesting battery costs are a minimum of US$700K (CA$950K) per MW of capacity. Battery storage capacity results in about only 80% of it as being available when it’s needed on the grid, but, it can deliver the rated capacity for three hours. That means 2,507 MW of battery storage at a capital cost of $2.4 billion could deliver approximately 6,000 MWh before having to reload.
Now, if we consider the generation provided by Ontario’s natural gas plants on December 20, 2022, one notes we would need twenty-one times more battery storage to generate the almost 125,000 MWh they delivered. The capital cost would be astronomical and amount to about $50 billion. Repaid over the 10-year lifespan of the batteries (including a profit margin of 10%), it would result in adding $5.5 billion of annual costs to ratepayer bills.
What the IESO chart suggests is natural gas capacity coupled with; “New Capacity Online by 2035” in the form of; Demand Response, Solar, Wind and new Nuclear, we will not need additional storage. Let’s hope their forecast is accurate despite the “Disclosure” on Page 2 stating:
“The information, statements and conclusions in this report are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or circumstances to differ materially from the report’s findings. The IESO provides no guarantee, representation, or warranty, express or implied, with respect to any statement or information in this report and disclaims any liability in connection with it.”
The 2035 scenario depicted by IESO also contained the following suggesting they had some faith in part of their report: “New large hydroelectric and nuclear facilities were not selected due to lead times that extended beyond the horizon of this scenario. As firm imports from Québec would require resource development in that province, they proved to be costly and were also not selected. Finally, with 2,500 MW of battery energy-storage systems included in the base supply mix, the value of additional storage diminished, hindering its selection.“
Hmm, kind of makes one wonder if the “Pathways” report is delivering what Minister Smith has in mind?
An article written by Allison Jones of the Canadian Press and dated December 26, 2022 reputedly confirmed Minister Smith’s directive to IESO to obtain the additional 1,500 MW of natural gas generation along with the “2,500 megawatts of clean technology such as energy storage”. The article went on to claim, “Smith said in an interview that it’s the largest active procurement for energy storage in North America.“ Another quote in the article came from Katherine Sparkes, IESO’s director of innovation who apparently said:
“As we look to the future and think about gas phase-out and electrification, one of the great challenges facing all energy systems in North America and around the world is: How do you address the increasing amounts of variable, renewable energy? resources and just make better use of your grid resources,” she said.
“Hybrids, storage-generator pairings, give you the ability to deal with the variability of renewable energy, meaning storing electricity when the sun isn’t shining or the wind not blowing, and then using it when you need it.”
We ratepayers should all be troubled if the foregoing is a quote from IESO’s director of innovation! In that position she should know if the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing there is no energy that can be stored!
On the other hand, if it’s a misquote by the author of the article, its what we have come to expect from the MSM reporters who seem to frequently fail to do any fact checking. The latter is evident in other parts of the article where obtuse comments are made and accepted with one of them suggesting their company will “make power plants obsolete” using EV and another suggesting “the provincial and federal governments need to fund and install bidirectional chargers in order to fully take advantage of electric vehicles.” No indication was in the article as to what sources of energy would be used to power up those EV batteries nor does the author question those making the statements.
It is readily apparent the author of the article failed to either question those interviewed or to seek other views that might challenge their claims. Unfortunately, investigative journalism is no longer within the purview of those associated with the mainstream media.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that benefits mankind in many ways and the cold December day we Ontario residents recently experienced clearly demonstrated how it is needed until something better comes along. It is self-evident the “something better” is clearly not battery storage.
Let’s turn up the heat on our Ministry of Energy and the many reporters in the media who message us with the propaganda perpetrated by those who want us to freeze in the dark!