A Short History about wind’s electricity generation arrival
“Scottish engineer and physicist James Blyth (1839-1906) was credited as the first to generate electricity by constructing a windmill attached to a dynamo to light his cottage in his home village of Marykirk, Scotland in 1887. He offered to allow his current to be used to light the main street of the village, but superstitious residents reportedly considered the mysterious electric light to be “the work of the devil“!
The Ups and Downs of Industrial Wind Generation
A day in the life of industrial wind turbines in Ontario
On November 11th Ontarians were treated to the up and down vagaries of IWT (industrial wind turbines) spread throughout the province. They did a great job exhibiting their spasms and inability to generate power when needed but cranked it out when unneeded. A few examples over the day follow!
At Hour 1, IESO forecast IWT would generate 3,936 MW but only accepted 3,253 MWh on the grid so we should assume the difference (683 MW) was curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh allocated to ratepayers. The market price (HOEP) was 0.00/MWh over the hour as we supplied Michigan, New York, and Quebec with 2,428 MWh. The 2,428 MWh represented 74.6% of the above noted grid accepted IWT generation so clearly wasn’t needed but, we ratepayers picked up their costs of over $327,000. To drive the point home IWT frequently generate power when its unneeded! Ontario’s peak demand in Hour 1 was only 12,591 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro alone but the “first-to -the-grid rights allotted to IWT companies usurps our other generation sources! Hydro at that hour generated only 3,307 MWh, their lowest hourly generation for the day!
Moving on to Hour 4 (hour ending at 4 AM) IESO reported it as the lowest Ontario peak demand hour (12,095 MW) for the day and those IWT were still humming and forecast to generate 2,938 MW. IESO accepted 2,718 MW (22.5% of demand) and sold off 2,497 MW (91.9% of accepted IWT generation) to the same Hour 1 buyers for the princely sum of $3.49/MWh generating $8,714.53 of revenue but it cost (assuming it was all IWT generation) us Ontarians $337,095.00 without including curtailed costs.
Hours 1 to 7
Hours 1 to 7 saw IESO forecast IWT generation of 19,866 MW (58% of their capacity) and 17,884 MW was accepted while exporting 16,422 MW (91.8% of IWT grid accepted generation). The HOEP average was $8.90/MWh for those 7 hours meaning if those exports were either all IWT generated power (very likely) or caused by them the net cost to Ontario ratepayers was: $1,963,000 (16,422 MW X $135 plus 1,982 MW [curtailed] X $120 minus 16,422 MW X $8.90) for those 7 hours!
Hours 8 to 19
As the day progressed Ontario peak hourly demand increased while generation from IWT fell and at Hour 18 they only supplied 267 MW or 1.5% of Ontario’s daily peak demand of 17,237 MW! IWT failure at that hour to provide generation meant “net imports” were 1,004 MW as we purchased power from Quebec and even some from Michigan. We paid an average of $46.93/MWh for that imported power greatly exceeding the cost of our sales to them in the middle of the night when those IWT were generating power we didn’t need. As IWT generation fell the HOEP market price climbed and from hours 8 to 19 averaged $50.12/MWh a vast improvement from the early morning prices.
Hour 17 and hours 20 to 24
IWT generation at Hour 17 was at its lowest for the day generating only 240 MW but it started to ramp up slowly and by hour 20 was generating five times what it generated at hour 17. For hours 20 to 24 IESO accepted 10,357 MW as peak demand fell and exports climbed. Needless to say, as demand fell over the final five hours IWT generation increased while the HOEP fell from $34.40/MWh during Hour 20 to $2.11/MWh in Hour 24 as our unneeded generation from those IWT climbed!
The “first-to-the-grid” rights granted to the IWT owners by the Ontario McGuinty/Wynne led government(s) continue to burden us ratepayers with costs as the foregoing clearly demonstrates! As it turned out November 11th, 2022, captured the intermittency and unreliable nature of IWT over a 24 hour period clearly demonstrating how they operate not just daily but, weekly, monthly and annually!
Based on what Ontarians and many others around the world are currently experiencing, due to the unreliable and intermittent nature of those “windmills”, we should, perhaps reconsider the events from 135 years ago! Eco-warriors around the world have pushed to have IWT replace reliable electricity generation from fossil fuels in their push for “net-zero” so perhaps the label by the residents of Marykirk, Scotland in 1887 should be resurrected and applied to IWT but not the electric light.
Perhaps it really is the “work of the devil” posing as an eco-warrior out to save the world from “climate change” that brought on the push for those intermittent and unreliable IWT!
The OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) joined with Environmental Defence and 23 other eco-warriors to sign a letter dated October 26, 2022 addressed to PM Trudeau and copied to Ministers Guibeault and Wilkinson. Needless to say, the letter is full of claptrap claiming: “Ontario can avoid the need for new gas plants and lower its electricity costs by up to $290 billion by investing in zero-carbon options to keep our lights on, including solar power, energy storage and smart efficiency programs.”
It is obvious those who claim those “lower electricity costs” fail to recognize the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar “zero-carbon options” that can easily lead to rolling blackouts.
The foregoing was demonstrated via IESO data yesterday (October 27, 2022) as at Hour 1 those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were busy and generated 2,766 MWh (56% of their capacity) when Ontario’s demand was very low at only 12,021 MW. By Hour 15 with demand at 14,210 MW those IWT generated a miserly 45 MWh or less than 1% of their capacity. If we were in mid July or August demand at Hour 15 would have been in the 18,000/20,000 MW range so without gas plants or the 3,000 MW of Pickering Nuclear; currently offline for a VBO (vacuum building outage) we would have experienced blackouts throughout the province.
Ontario’s peak Hour for October 27th came at Hour 19 reaching 16,592 MW and while IWT had ramped up a little they only managed to generate 279 MWh or 5.7% of their capacity and 1.7% of demand. As one would surmise, solar was absent at Hour 1 and absent at Hour 19. At Hour 15 Ontario’s natural gas plants were generating 1,910 MW, hydro 4,007 MW and nuclear 6,628 MW and at Hour 19 they were respectively generating 2,604 MW, 4,983 MW and 6,642 MW. Hour 15 also had IESO importing 1,703 MW, principally from Quebec but by Hour 19 we were importing 2,763 MW (16.7% of demand) from Michigan, NY and Quebec and even a little from Manitoba. Thankfully those imports, coupled with gas and hydro generation saved us from rolling blackouts but as Quebec is a winter peaking province, we shouldn’t anticipate they can supply us during high demand winter days so hopefully the 3,000 MW of Pickering nuclear will be available on the upcoming cold winter days!
As an aside hydro has been a major source of generation during the Pickering VBO and perhaps is the reason Lake Ontario is currently 23 centimetres below it’s average level as noted by the US Army Corps of Engineers despite recent heavy rainfalls. This heavy hydro generation could well mean it will be less available during the coming winter so we should pray for Pickering’s return to action and for those gas plants to be at the ready. Also, as noted above, Quebec is a winter peaking province and Hydro Quebec encourages all their customers to be mindful of that, telling them: “In very cold weather, it’s best to reduce your electricity use during peak periods to avoid putting more pressure on the grid.“
IWT and solar cannot be counted on to deliver power when it is needed due to it’s intermittent and unreliable nature. At the same time those politicians, et al, should become cognizant of the fact our neighbouring sources of imported power cannot be counted on to deliver what we may need to keep the lights on and our businesses operating during cold winter days or hot summer ones.
In summary, yesterday should be recognized by our politicians as a fortunate occurrence as we avoided a blackout. They should ignore the cultists such as those charities like the OCAA or Environmental Defence who continually fail to conduct proper research and push their net-zero” emissions are bad agenda!
Many well accredited scientists have shown conclusively that mankind’s emissions have little effect on Mother Nature’s climate events!
Many around Ontario are probably unaware all the units at the Pickering Nuclear plant have been shut down to perform an VBO. A VBO is usually conducted on a periodic basis for the purpose of confirming the integrity of the equipment and infrastructure of the vacuum buildings. In the past, VBOs have been cycled with one or two units out for three to four weeks in the Spring or Fall when Ontario’s “peak demand” is generally low, but the wind is frequently blowing. On this occasion OPG has apparently shut down all the Pickering Nuclear* units for the VBO.
The question becomes: is it the intention to demonstrate the viability of extending their life or to show the vulnerability of the energy system without the approximately 3,000 MW capacity of Pickering or both?
Since all the units have been fully shut down (the last units were shut early on October 6th), IESO data clearly shows even though Ontario peak hourly demand on October 6th was only 16,375 MW and 16,303 MW on the 7th we were importing significant power from Quebec. We imported the power despite the fact IWT (industrial wind turbines) eventually ran well above their annual average of about 30% of capacity and natural gas peaked at Hour 11 on the 6th at 3,147 MW while wind was on an upward move and generated 925 MW.
On the 6th, Quebec supplied 22,354 MWh and on the 7th we imported 26,731 MWh from them. As a matter of interest, the latter is about what 1,000,000 average Ontario households consume daily. It is worth pointing out Quebec is a “winter peaking” province principally due to the fact most households in the province heat with electric powered furnaces or baseboard heaters. Hydro Quebec therefore asks their customers to reduce demand during cold winter periods. For that reason, Ontario may well find its neighbour unable to supply any power during the winter so it would be expected Ontario might experience rolling blackouts without the Pickering units up and running.
The other interesting fact is; the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) market price over the two days has averaged over $60/MWh which will presumably affect the ICI (Industrial Conservation Initiative) ie: even picking some or all the top five peak hours over the year may not generate the same savings as in the past for those companies using a minimum of 500 KW per hour or as much or more then 5 MW per hour should the HOEP climb further.
From all appearances it seems the intention of the Pickering Nuclear shutdown for VBO purposes is clearly to signal the necessity of retaining the 3,000 MW of their capacity or subject the province to potential rolling blackouts as California has experienced.
The full “electrification” of the province as advocated by the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party may not be looking like the shining star to make the eco-warriors happy while bringing grief to the rest of us Ontarians. The Ford led government should remember we Ontario voters went through a similar experience under the Ontario Liberal Party and turned them into the “minivan” party and it was related to the “energy” file!
We should hope Ford and his Minister of Energy, Todd Smith have seen the light about the “net-zero” push and realize it may be the train in the tunnel heading for us Ontarians and will wipe out their current majority come the next election!
*I was informed by two knowledgeable engineers the Pickering Units must all go through the VBO process at the same time.
Yesterday was another example of a low peak demand day in Ontario which frequently occurs in the Spring and Fall. The Ontario peak hour occurred at Hour 19 (hour ending at 5 PM) and only reached 16,083 MW.
Wind at that hour generated 167 MWh which was 4.4% of their (approximate) grid connected capacity (4,900 MW) and 3.4% of peak demand. Thankfully Ontario’s natural gas generators were at the ready and produced 10.5% (1,701 MWh) of peak demand while nuclear and hydro delivered the rest.
Had Ontario eliminated natural gas generation as the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) has convinced 34 municipalities, one should wonder; where would the 1,701 MWh of electricity natural gas plants produced have come from or, in its absence, what might have happened?
Looking at the foregoing and assuming Ontario was without variable natural gas generation which can be ramped up or down; how much IWT capacity would we have needed to avoid a blackout at that hour? Based on how those IWT performed at that hour we would need almost 50,000 MW of their capacity (10.2 times current levels) just to have avoided a blackout. The 50,000 MW capacity would represent the 167 MWh existing IWT provided along with the generation (1,701 MWh) we received from those natural gas plants at the 4.4% level the IWT generated at hour 19.
Currently Ontario has around 2,500 IWT (average of about 2 MW capacity per turbine) sprinkled throughout the province and the additional 45,000 MW capacity would add another 20/25,000 of them just to replace the power our natural gas plants provided during that peak hour yesterday.
Now try to imagine how many birds and bats those additional 20/25,000 IWT would kill and how much harm they would cause us humans when they are spinning and generating high decibel and infrasound?
As if the foregoing wasn’t bad enough start imagining how many of them would be needed during our summer and winter peak hours which frequently reach 20K MWh or more! With the push for electrification of our transportation and heating sources by our politicians and the eco-warriors we should see those peak hours at much higher levels in the future meaning more dependence on IWT, and an incredible cost for battery storage. The result would bring the cost of a kWh (kilowatt hour) to levels the UK, Europe are now experiencing or higher and bring widespread “energy poverty”! It would also bring blackouts or restrictions on our use of electricity as is currently happening in Europe.
The time has come for politicians of all stripes to recognize the damage their push is causing and will continue to cause!
As elections for our municipal politicians loom next month, we much ask them (emphasis on the 34 municipalities) if they understand and appreciate the harm intermittent and unreliable electricity generation from IWT and solar panels will cause in their push to reputedly save the world from “climate change” by advocating and supporting the harmful “net-zero” UN target!
Numerous events recently have caused yours truly, and hopefully many more, to wonder; are we are being led by elected politicians, federally, provincially and municipally with IQs (intelligent quotients) that would easily qualify them for a place in the “Dumb & Dumber” cast of the movie of the same name! Those politicians take it upon themselves to direct bureaucrats; responsible for managing public services (entities paid with our tax dollars), to do what they are told. The bureaucrats do as they are told as they are well paid with lots of perks so they don’t “pushback” no matter the stupidity of the directives!
Let’s have a look at a few issues related to mankind’s need for “energy” firmly under control of politicians. Energy, until recently, has caused the world to become a better place; reducing poverty, climate related deaths, increasing lifespans, and damage from weather anomalies i.e.; not “climate change”!
Ottawa is a Great Example of Municipal Idiocy
With municipal elections just around the corner, Ottawa’s Mayoralty Candidates are having “eco-debates”! The candidates include Bob Chiarelli a former mayor of Ottawa and when he was Ontario Minister of Energy is famous for suggesting the $1 billion cost associated with moving the planned Oakville gas plant was the cost of a Tim Horton’s coffee. It should come as no surprise the debates relate to the city councils approved; “Energy Evolution”, an 86 page document forecast to cost $57.4 billion and will reputedly transition Ottawa to a “net-zero” city by 2050. With a population of about 1.1 million that represents a cost per resident of about $52K or more than $200K for a family of four. An earlier article about Ottawa’s plan to get to “net-zero by 2050” strongly suggests it was written by Pollution Probe a group dedicated to convincing us all to abandon our use of fossil fuels to achieve the COP-26 targets. As if to exacerbate the push to spend those billions of dollars the City of Ottawa contracted Innovative Research Group to conduct a survey* that seems destined to produce favourable results for the Ottawa politicians due to the skewing of the questions. Perhaps Pollution Probe also had a hand in generating those survey questions? It would be great if those municipal politicians running for mayor or council took the time to look at what has happened in the UK or Germany where energy prices have skyrocketed due to their push to “green” the electricity sector. This winter they plan to control the temperature households set to heat their homes! It seems apparent research isn’t something those seeking reelection or election to the City of Ottawa have bothered to do!
Province of Ontario Demonstrates Provincial Idiocy
From all appearances it seems almost conclusive the Premier Ford led government is simply carrying on with what Ontario experienced under the McGuinty/Wynne led government which brought us an almost tripling of the cost of electricity in the province. While Ford did cancel the GEA (Green Energy Act), it is obvious they are still committed to eliminating fossil fuels completely which affects reliability and will surely drive-up generation costs.
Beyond the announcement OPG would be adding a 300MW SMR (small modular reactor) which may be in service in 2028 at the Darlington site we have seen nothing from the current Ontario government aimed at ensuring we have a reliable supply of electricity in the future! With the approximately 3,000 MW of the Pickering Nuclear plant scheduled to close by 2025 the Ford government (via his Minister of Energy, Todd Smith) is pushing the “Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D)” which fearfully, doesn’t seem to project reliability. The latter is concerning, as via a recent directive Minister Smith “asked IESO to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system.” From all appearances the directive has led to the upcoming (September 19, 2022), Ontario Energy Conference “Navigating to Net Zero” classified as “Ontario’s Energy Transition”! According to the page describing the conference a key issue is; “Energy customers are demanding clean energy solutions with some urgency” but doesn’t disclose who those “energy customers” are. My (personal) guess would be they are not small/medium sized businesses or households suffering from inflation but may include eco-warrior charities like Environmental Defence, David Suzuki Foundation, etc. etc. In reality, it appears to be simply Ontario’s politicians complying with the wishes of Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault; famous for his actions when he was an eco-warrior climbing on the roof of former Alberta Premier, Ralph Klein’s home and scaring his wife as well as his criminal action of climbing the CN Tower!
It is worth noting that IESO had previously been asked by Minister Smith to evaluate the phaseout of natural gas and their report indicated the cost to eliminate it by 2030 would be $27 billion and raise electricity prices by 60%. Interestingly on the page with the link to the foregoing report IESO note; “Did you know that natural gas provides just 7% of Ontario’s electricity needs, but on the hottest summer days can provide up to 30%?” This was a clear message from IESO that without natural gas, Ontario would have to increase its generation considerably to ensure reliability and prevent blackouts.
A clear message about vulnerability totally ignored by Minister Smith and the Ford Government!
Only a Few of Many Examples of Federal Idiocy
Looking back to August 19, 2021 and viewing a video of Trudeau announcing one of his handouts before the upcoming election is an interesting exercise! At the press conference in BC he promised to provide funding “to support the training of 1,000 new community-based firefighters and the purchasing of new equipment to continue to fight the impacts of climate change across the country”. A question presented to him asked about inflation and the Bank of Canada possibly loosening inflation controls and his response was: “You’ll forgive me if I don’t think about monetary policy”! We should also suspect his Minister of Finance and Deputy PM, Chrystia Freeland, is of a like mind so, spending our tax dollars on the “net-zero” pledge requires no thoughts about the consequences on Canada’s future despite the federal deficit having reached $314 billion in the year that had just ended on March 31, 2021.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently visited Canada with the presumed hope Canada might be able to supply some natural gas via LNG shipments but all he got was a promise that maybe, sometime in the future, we might be able to supply Germany with “green hydrogen” generated by IWT (industrial wind turbines) out of Newfoundland. An article out of Germany however about the latter titled“Will rescue come from Canada?”casts serious doubt on that possibility as the following from the article notes (from the Google translation): “So does this prove the feasibility of LH2 imports from Canada? The technical possibility may be given. However, the profitability is more than questionable. If you look at the whole supply chain: wind energy – electricity – electrolysis – liquefaction – ship transport – distribution – storage – generation in fuel cells – feeding into the grid – then you have to be very skeptical. It would be maddeningly expensive. Maybe then the LH 2 tax will be introduced in Germany and the kilowatt hour will ultimately cost one euro.” This was the best PM Trudeau could offer as the Liberals have stifled the generation of fossil fuels and the pipeline that would have brought them to export terminals.
The Trudeau led government during their reign in Canada have continued their efforts to achieve “net-zero” crippling our natural resource sector, advocating for EV to replace ICE vehicles by subsidizing their purchase and increasing the carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. He and his minions such as Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, despite having some of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world, have refused to allow the building of the infrastructure needed to export our oil and gas resources!
The “Build(ing) Back Better” advocacy pushed by the WEF (World Economic Forum) has become the recent version of the former communist “Five Year Plans” by the Liberal Government and enshrined in past budgets of the Trudeau government. It appears they haven’t realized Russia abandoned those Five Year Plans many years ago! Canadians are now experiencing the results of those plans with inflation climbing, record Federal Debt, taxes rising and investment fleeing the country despite Canada’s abundance of resources. It sure appears “Building Back Better”, by eliminating Canada’s exploitation of our natural resources is cripplingly us and harming those citizen’s who are not members of the elite’s of the Canadian Liberal Party.
We should all find it fascinating a couple of months ago PM Trudeau was in Nova Scotia for a staged presence once again handing out $255 million of our tax dollars with $125 million destined for wind projects and $130 million for battery storage. While making the announcement he was standing in a farmer’s field and in the background were several wind turbines that were totally dormant. We should doubt Trudeau actually noticed how those IWT demonstrated their intermittency and unreliability!
The foregoing event occurred shortly after Trudeau displayed his new haircut patterned after Jim Carrey when Carrey stared in the movie series, Dumb & Dumber. Now isn’t that ironic in how his new haircut and those dormant wind turbines enunciate how incredibly incompetent our current crop of elected leaders appear!
The time has come for politicians to take off the blinkers and do basic research before accepting what the eco-warriors incorrectly see as the end of the world unless we achieve “net-zero” emissions.
*Full disclosure: I completed the survey twice using my e-mail address without pushback so eco-warriors from Pollution Probe or others may well have completed it dozens of times.
Well, August 17th has come and gone and to the best of my knowledge Ontarians didn’t experience any blackouts in our electricity grid.
The day itself was a nice warm (not hot) summer day and while Ontario’s electricity demand wasn’t amongst the top 10 for the year it did peak at Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM) reaching 19,856 MW. Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) at that hour managed to only generate 350 MWh (1.8% of demand) just short of their peak generation for the day.
For the full 24 hours IESO data disclosed the existing IWT generated 4,673 MWh which was about 3.98% of their capacity and at their lowest point (Hour 11) they managed to generate only 42 MWh or 0.86% of their capacity. Their average generation per hour was 194 MWh so would not have been missed during any of the 24 hours.
While those IWT were pretty well useless at providing sufficient reliable generation over the day, we should be thankful we had natural gas plants available. Ontario’s natural gas plants were there for us at the peak hour providing 4,164 MWh (21 % of demand) and over the full day generated 65,820 MWh for an average of 2,743 MWh per hour. At hour 3 they generated 658 MWh and at hour 18 they produced 4,331 MWh demonstrating their flexibility to respond to actual demand. Without the gas plants being at the ready Ontario would have been blanketed with “blackouts” so one wonders why the push by the eco-warriors to shut them down?
In the event those eco-warriors are convinced IWT could supply what those gas plants did yesterday one should doubt they have bothered to calculate how many more of those IWT we would require when they generate electricity at only 3.98% of their capacity.
Presently we have close to 2,300 wind turbines connected to Ontario’s grid so in order to simply replace our natural gas plants we would require approximately fourteen (14) times the number to meet yesterday’s electricity generation needs. The result would mean the need would be for almost 32,000 more turbines rated at 2 MW each. Those turbines would be spread throughout the province eating up rural farmland, killing birds and bats, affecting aquifers and creating health problems for people and animals. Their approximate 64,000 MW capacity would be almost double what our current grid connected generation of nuclear, hydro, gas, wind, solar and biomass is! That strongly suggests electricity costs would skyrocket harming businesses both big and small and drive many Ontario ratepayers into energy poverty.
It seems apparent eco-warriors like the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) and others have absolutely no concept of the harm existing IWT cause and how much more they would cause should they convince politicians to replace our reliable and dependable natural gas plants with them!
It is apparent the “greening” of the world is upon us as the politicians and bureaucrats in charge continue to tell us about their belief in “climate change” and the necessity for mankind to contain the emission of CO 2 by eliminating the use of fossil fuels!
The weird thing is they wonder into pits that make absolutely no sense. The latter includes telling all sectors of our economy what they must do to contain those emissions. They have applied their stupidity now to the manufacturers of cement and presumably bricks. As it happens our township sits on an immense amount of limestone and a cement plant, Lehigh Hanson (LH), has operated here for decades as noted in an article about their contribution to the local hospital foundation. One should suspect the new hospital planned for the county will require a considerable amount of cement and bricks but depending on when the build starts the energy used to produce the cement will be the epitome of what eco-warriors consider “green” and reputedly non-emitting.
The following screenshot of part of a public announcement by LH discloses what their future energy source may be instead of natural gas.
According to the above, future energy used by LH to produce cement will be 200 tonnes per day of what are referred to as ALCF’s (Alternative Low Carbon Fuels) consisting of; wood from construction and demolitions, non-recyclable paper and plastic, textiles, tire fibre, fluff, as well as non-recyclable household waste. The “daily throughput” of 200 tonnes per day might mean the local community of less than 25,000 people will have to UP their generation of those “energy” sources to at least 3 tons of garbage per resident annually or will it be imported driving up the costs of producing the cement?
The other issue not mentioned, concerns what the emissions will be after conversion, versus those from the natural gas previously used and that may be a concern!
Residents of Bowmanville raised the alarm a year ago about the use of ALCF as noted in an article on DurhamRadioNews! “Some local residents say the Ministry of the Environment has failed to protect people living in Bowmanville, after St. Marys Cement plant was given the go-ahead to burn more types of waste as fuel.” The article went on to state; “The group says the cement plant is “putting out approximately 14 times more dioxin, 29 times more cadmium, 82 times more mercury, and 260 times more lead than Durham-York incinerator. They’re calling on local decision-makers to “find their voices” and fight against this expansion.”
Surely the local politicians in Bowmanville and those resident in the Provincial Government researched the potential pollutants before granting approval to St. Mary’s Cement or was it driven by the Federal Government who are pressing to eliminate natural gas due to its classification as a “fossil fuel”?
We should surmise it’s the Federal Government with PM Justin Trudeau and his minion, Steven Guilbeault, holding the title of Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, as the driver of this conversion!
Marc had me on his show today and my chat with him was preceded by his conversation with Jocelyn Bamford the Chair and founder of the CCMBC (Coaliation of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada. You can listed to her discussion with Marc starting at 48:00 of the podcast followed by yours truly at 1:04:12 and ending at 1:18:24.
Jocelyn covered lots of subjects related to what the Trudeau led government is doing that is negatively affecting the economy and businesses in Canada and my chat with Marc was related to renewable energy here in Ontario and how it has badly affected the EU and in particularly Germany and the UK. Naturally we also talked about industrial wind turbines and EV (electric vehicles) reflecting on a couple of my recent articles.
You can listed to both Jocelyn’s and my chat here at the times noted above:
Following is a screen shot taken on the IESO website and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) shown on it is a reflection of what Ontarians would experience on a regular basis should our natural gas plants shut down as pushed by the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance). The combination of the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment) comes to $293.49/MWh or 29.3/cents per kWh and getting close to what many European countries pay due to their move to renewable energy. It should be recognized the 29.3 cents doesn’t include distribution or other costs so my guess is the all-in cost would be up around what residential ratepayers in Germany are currently paying. Germany is now firing up their coal plants in order to survive the upcoming winter as their gas supplies have been severely impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war and Russia has reduced the transmission of natural gas via their pipelines.
Most European counties anticipate electricity shortages over the next two years so we should expect the same here in Ontario should we shut down our gas plants as desired by the OCAA and the 33 municipalities who have endorsed their closure.
Industrial wind generation’s peak on August 2, 2022 came at the hour ending at 1 AM when they produced 1,927 MWh (39.3% of their capacity) but at the hour ending at 6 PM when peak demand hit 20,561 MW they managed to only generate 258 MWh or 5.2% of their capacity. Hour 4 when peak demand was lowest for the day at 13,796 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro but, wind turbines ran at 26.2% of their capacity generating 1,283 MWh when it wasn’t needed.
The ups and downs of wind generation were particularly visible this day demonstrating their inability to deliver power when it was actually needed.
The time has come for the politicians and the eco-warriors citing the purported benefits of those industrial wind turbines to acknowledge their uselessness and how they do nothing more than add costs to our electricity and tax bills and must be backed up with natural gas plants!
Part 1 of the EV transition highlighted some of the costs associated with it and Part 2 of this series outlined some of the negative issues of EV and their batteries. In an effort to keep it readable at less than 1,500 words it was stated a Part 3 would be a requirement so here it is!
Should one do a simple Google search using the words “tesla car fire” and then hit the video button you will get dozens of videos of intense fires (presumably caused by the batteries) including some simply parked in a garage or stopped at an intersection. Some news story with videos where deaths have occurred note Tesla is being sued. It surely makes one hesitant to consider their next vehicle should be an EV as it’s not just Tesla EV catching fire as another Google search discloses. As these happenings gain more publicity the push-back on the government decrees in the developed world, including here in Canada where the decree is; “all vehicle sales (cars and trucks) by 2035 will be electric” will surely grow!
Battery Storage Fires
An article by S&P Global on May 31, 2022 titled; “Battery blazes, breakdowns underscore ‘growing pains’ for energy storage” highlights the problems associated with battery storage and the fire occurrence in Southern Australia back in 2021 when it was claimed to be the largest battery storage unit in the world. The article also outlines the latest problem with the 400 MW unit in California (Moss Landing Energy Storage) and now the largest unit in the world which recently experienced their second incident. The article notes: “The breakdowns are among more than 50 known failures at medium- to large-scale battery storage projects in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Daily outage reports from the California ISO, which has more battery storage on its network than any other grid operator, point to additional frequent “plant troubles” curtailing capacity that the state is counting on to keep the lights on during critical periods of peak demand.” The article goes on to state: “Ranging from limited operational hiccups to catastrophic explosions, such incidents are likely to continue to accompany the proliferation of battery peakers, technology and safety experts said.” This certainly suggests the continued use of natural gas plants to back up the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar generation will be with us for a few decades unless our politicians and the bureaucrats advising them are OK with frequent blackouts.
Transit EV Bus Fires
As the push to eliminate fossil fuel use for all the developed world continues the concept of electrifying all transit and transport vehicles gathers steam so, with lots of government support many transit authorities are working to convert their bus fleets. As just one example the City of Ottawa under its $57.4 billion “Energy Evolution” transition plan, have a target aiming to have a zero-emission transit sector by 2030. One should presume the 944 transit buses currently in Ottawa will be converted to battery operated ones by that date. Ottawa isn’t the only city in Canada or around the world with these plans and many European cities are much farther ahead. One example is Stuttgart (check out video) with two of EV transit buses and in the fall of 2021 one of them “is believed to have been the source of a massive fire that destroyed 25 buses in the city and also heavily damaged part of the depot they were parked in.” Once again there are dozens of videos and stories of EV bus fires from various locations around the world including one a few days ago in Connecticut which would make one somewhat reluctant to step on board for a trip or be content to allow your child to take an EV school bus. Needless to say, investigations into these fires are going on wherever they occurred and many of the fleets have parked their EV buses until the investigations determine the cause of the fire(s) is complete and the cause known.
Child Labour mines for Cobalt in the Congo and Zambia
Cobalt is one of the principal ingredients in an EV lithium-ion battery and the Congo has the highest known cobalt reserves in the world representing close to 70% and another African country, Zambia has the 2nd highest known reserves. Interestingly enough CNN back in May 2018 did some investigative work resulting in them posting a video titled “CNN FINDS CHILD LABOUR IN COBALT TRADE.” The video highlights the use of child labour to mine the cobalt and supply those EV battery manufacturers in China, the U.S.A, Europe and shortly, presumably Ontario. The latter have joined hands with PM Trudeau and the Province to provide grants for a new $1.5 billion plant to be built in Windsor with our tax dollars. Obviously, those tax dollars will be supporting the continued use of child labour in the Congo and in Zambia.
Supply Shortages Loom
Another major problem with the whole “energy transition” push is the probable upcoming shortages of key components required for the electrification of everything and one of those is copper. As noted in an article in the Financial Post a couple of weeks ago, “Numerous metals and minerals have been hawked as “the next oil,” but according to veteran energy historian Daniel Yergin, only one metal represents the linchpin of the energy transition away from fossil fuels — copper.“ Yergin “sees a looming supply-demand gap in copper that risks “short-circuiting” the energy transition and stalling global ambitions to slash greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050.” The article cites a report estimating copper supply would need to double from current production of 25 million metric tons to 50 million metric tons by 2035. The report concludes: “copper shortages could delay how long it takes to reach net-zero emissions; Yergin also acknowledged that various other critical minerals — lithium and cobalt, for example — could well have an impact on climate goals too.”
It sure looks as if the electrification of everything is a pipe dream that will continue to exhibit dire consequences on mankind except perhaps for the small but very rich segment of the population. The time has come to kill the wishes of the eco-warriors and those politicians who have consumed their Kool-Aid.