Quebeckers are Hopefully Grateful for Ontario’s Natural Gas Plants

The past couple of days in Ontario have demonstrated the ups and downs of energy demand both from those of us in Ontario and our neighbours tied to us via the intertie grids.

February 2, 2023

Starting with February 2, 2023, examining IESO data, clearly demonstrates the ups and downs of demand for electricity coupled with the market price variation (HOEP) of overproduction of IWT (industrial wind turbines).  The wind was blowing hard all through the day but with baseload nuclear and hydro providing most of the demand what wasn’t needed was most of the power being generated by IWT.  IESO forecast IWT would generate 94,503 MW over the full day (80.3% of capacity) but it wasn’t needed. Recorded output was 72,115 MW (61.3% of capacity) meaning IESO instructed IWT owners to curtail almost 22,400 MW. As most Ontario ratepayers know the IWT contracts provides them with “first-to-the-grid” rights and also pays for curtailed power at the rate of $120/MWh and $135/MWh for the accepted power. For the full 24 hours on the day the price allocated for accepted and curtailed IWT generation amounted to over $12.4 million in costs to Ontario’s ratepayers/taxpayers and about $172/MWh in costs for the accepted power.

Coupled with the foregoing; as demand was low for most of the day, the market price (HOEP) averaged $3.12/MWh so IESO were busy disposing of unneeded power for pennies of its costs.  Even at the daily peak hour (Hour 19) the HOEP was only $5.18/MWh.  For the full day exported power was 41,911 MW representing 58.1% of the generation IESO accepted from IWT.  If one assumes the unneeded power from IWT represented all of the exported power or caused it, the cost added to the 30,200 MW of IWT generation consumed by Ontario ratepayers is another $7.1 million bringing the cost of the 30,200 MWh, added to the grid, to $11.2 million or $370/MWh (.37cents/kWh).

The happenings on February 2nd once again demonstrate how we Ontarians continue to provide cheap power to our neighbours. We do that by absorbing the costs of those intermittent and unreliable IWT sprinkled throughout the province allowing our neighbours to buy our surplus energy for pennies on the dollar while we eat the costs.

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023, turned out to be a “Top 10” Ontario peak demand day reaching 21,388 MW and 24,821 MW for the “market peak” at Hour 19! The result was the HOEP for the full day averaged about $41.70/MWh. While that represents a large jump from the prior day those IWT were still costing us a lot more then the aforementioned HOEP average. 

To put the foregoing in context, IESO data in the first 5 hours forecast IWT generation would be 18,795 MW but they only accepted 13,838 MW meaning about 5,150 MW were curtailed and the HOEP over those 5 hours was a piddly 0.62 cents/MWh.  If one, then calculates the HOEP for the remaining 19 hours in the day it becomes $56.60/MWh so, much higher than the first 5 hours! Continuing to look at those 5 hours it becomes apparent we Ontarians absorbed the costs of almost $2.5 million to generate those 13,715 MW. Hopefully our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec appreciate our generosity for those MW which was very close to the IESO accepted IWT generation. 

Looking at the full day, IWT were forecast by IESO to generate 69,174 MW but their output was 62,940 MW meaning we paid for around 6,200 MW of curtailed generation but as noted in the preceding paragraph only about 1,000 MW more were curtailed in the following nineteen hours.  Over the day IESO were busy selling off approximately 87,000 MW to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec with the latter taking well over a third of them.  The last point should be no surprise as Quebec is a winter peaking province and on February 2nd  Hydro Quebec asked their customers to reduce their electricity consumption due to the anticipated cold starting late Thursday night.

The other interesting happening related to generation on February 3rd was how much gas generation there was over the day. Ontario’s natural gas plants produced 88,172 MW which coincidently was only slightly higher than our total exports.  It is worth pointing out when a MWh of natural gas is generated ratepayers are only paying the raw costs of the natural gas plus a small markup as the capital costs and the approved ROA (return on assets) have been included in the price of electricity since those plants were originally commissioned.  In other words once a gas plant is operating it generates power that is very much cheaper compared to both wind and solar.

Quebec Support

About 60% of households in Quebec heat with electric furnaces or electric baseboards so are dependent on electricity to stay warm during cold winter days. For that reason we should suspect Ontario’s natural gas plants may have played a key role in ensuring those Quebecers were able to avoid a blackout on the recent very cold days we have just experienced.

The other thing Ontario’s natural gas plants may well be doing is allowing Quebec EV owners to recharge their EV batteries. Approximately 10% of all new cars registered in Quebec* are EV possibly due to the large $8,000. grant the province provides to purchase them.  Interestingly, while Hydro Quebec tells households to turn down their heat and avoid using certain appliances during peak hours, they say nothing about when you should or shouldn’t charge your EV.

The generosity of Ontarians is astounding due to the treatment of IWT and the contracts in place providing those “first-to-the-grid” rights. On top of that, if we are subsidizing the sales of our IWT surplus power to other markets where it may be used to charge EV it just doesn’t seem quite right!

Maybe the Ford Government should ask Quebec to provide Ontario with carbon credits to offset the “emissions” of our natural gas plants that keep their people warm in the winter!

*A September 22, 2022 New York Times article stated the following about EV in Quebec: “Quebec has 150,000 electric vehicles on the road, compared with 113,000 in New York State, an indication of how ubiquitous charging can encourage ownership.“

Five ENGO Demand More Government Bureaucracies to Execute the Just Transition

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.

Now, let’s take a look at BLUEGREEN a not-for-profit whose membership consists of four charities (Pembina Institute, Environmental Defence, Columbia Institute and Clean Energy Canada), one not-for-profit (Broadbent Institute) and two unions (United Steelworkers and Unifor)!

BLUEGREEN

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.

Conclusion 

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 “the hundreds 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

Climate Change, the Road to Net-Zero and some Recent Eye-Catchers

Over the past week or so those with an interest in what has been going on in Davos, Switzerland, at the WEF conflab may have missed a few interesting happenings.  Here is a brief review of a few of them.

New York state to forgive $672 million of overdue gas, electric bills

A January 19, 2023 article in Reuters carried the news, New York Governor Kathy Hochul was going to forgive $672 million of unpaid electricity and gas bills for almost 500,000 customers. She said it was “the largest utility customer financial assistance program in state history.” The forgiveness will provide “one-time credits to all residential non-low-income customers and small-commercial customers for any utility arrears through May 1, 2022.“ Governor Hochul went further and “launched a pilot program that guarantees its low-income participants will not pay over 6% of their incomes on electricity, and set aside an additional $200 million in discounts on electric bills for over 800,000 New York state residents who make less than $75,000 who are ineligible under the current discount.“  As a matter of interest New York state has the 9th highest residential electricity rates of all US states and the $672 million is only about 10% (without currency conversion) of the $6.5 billion Ontario taxpayers absorb annually to keep our electricity rates at current levels. Ontario’s huge cost increases were caused by the McGuinty/Wynne led governments and their renewable energy push with high contract prices driving rates up by over 100%. It is worth noting wind and solar contributed only 6% of NY’s total generation in 2021 and Governor Hochul has set 2030 as their carbon free targets at 70% and 100% by 2040. We should have serious doubts those targets are attainable without more financial pain to New Yorkers!

For all their ferocity, California storms were not likely caused by global warming, experts say                                        

The foregoing headline was from the LA Times January 19, 2023 edition, and as one should suspect the Times is considered a MSM news outlet.  The article was related to the outcry from ENGO blaming the recent “drought-to-deluge” cycle that impacted California causing floods, property damage and 19 deaths on (as one would expect) “climate change”! It is so refreshing to see the reporter actually did research and this particular paragraph stands out in the article: “Although the media and some officials were quick to link a series of powerful storms to climate change, researchers interviewed by The Times said they had yet to see evidence of that connection. Instead, the unexpected onslaught of rain and snow after three years of punishing drought appears akin to other major storms that have struck California every decade or more since experts began keeping records in the 1800s.“

It’s so nice to see a few MSM journalists actually consult with real weather “experts” not just those like Al Gore or Greta who push for mankind to stop using fossil fuels to save the planet!

It’s Armageddon: Media Silent on Biden Admin Plan to Snatch Public Land For Solar Farms

The captioned headline was from the Washington Free Beacon a few days ago and noted:  “In December 2022, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that her department would expedite plans to build solar energy farms across tens of thousands of untouched public land in 11 Western states. The announcement has garnered little to no national attention, save for the occasional report that the Biden administration is expanding renewable energy production.“ The article, linked to a presentation by the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), referenced those 11 Western States and specifically provided details on six of them.  The public land identified in those six states totalled 440,200,000 acres of which 97,921,069 acres (22.2%) were designated as “Available for Development by BLM! One acre could potential hold up to 2,000 panels so at that level for just those 6 states there could be as many as 19 billion solar panels installed. We should all wonder after their “end of life” where would those solar panels wind up. A Harvard Business Review article about solar panels suggested: “In an industry where circularity solutions such as recycling remain woefully inadequate, the sheer volume of discarded panels will soon pose a risk of existentially damaging proportions.“ The article went on to note;  “The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s official projections assert that “large amounts of annual waste are anticipated by the early 2030s” and could total 78 million tonnes by the year 2050.“  The Harvard article goes on to say: “With the current capacity, it costs an estimated $20–$30 to recycle one panel. Sending that same panel to a landfill would cost a mere $1–$2.“ Perhaps solar panels are not the nirvana pushed by those eco-warriors who want us to completely abandon fossil fuels including US President Biden! 

It’s hard to spot any solar panels on the roof of President Biden’s beachfront home pictured below.

The Biden Administration Finally Admits Its Mistake in Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline

Last but not least was a great article disclosing how the US Department of Energy quietly released a report about the effects of President Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline right after his inauguration. As the article discloses; the cancellation; “has already cost the United States thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth while families suffer under the weight of record high energy prices.“ The article was written by Tom Harris and posted in Real Clear Energy just a few days ago. The article included specific details from the report noting: “the pipeline would have created between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and would have had an economic benefit of between $3.4 and 9.6 billion.“ What the foregoing also suggests is there was an effect on Canada as the crude oil that would have been carried in that pipeline would have been from Canada and have generated both royalties and taxes to government coffers. The sale of that crude would have benefited the economy and increased the value of the Canadian dollar giving it more buying power and have helped to reduce our inflation rate.

The article goes on to state:  “Two years into sowing its Green New Deal policies, the administration is reaping a bitter harvest. Due to Biden’s folly, oil, natural gas and electricity prices have more than doubled in just a single year. Meanwhile, more than 28 percent of Americans abstained from purchasing food or medicine to pay an energy bill in 2021.“ Additional points in the article clearly outline the cascade caused by the cancellation and its effect on global energy prices that hit the European community even harder then North America.

The follies of the Biden Administration’s mistakes will undoubtedly go down in history in a negative way as will our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who didn’t fight back on behalf of Canadians after Biden’s decree.

We should all recognize and note the damage being done on a collective basis by the WEF, the UNIPCC, etc. but we mustn’t forgive or ignore the damage being caused by our local politicians be they municipal, provincial or federal!

As has been highlighted in the foregoing four above brief synopsis the road to “Net-Zero” is paved with bad intentions and bad outcomes.  

IWT Delivered a Meagre 1.1% of Peak Demand on January 18,2023

Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) along with solar panels once again demonstrated their inability to provide Ontarians with reliable power when it’s actually needed!

Peak hour on January 18th came at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) when Ontario’s peak demand reached 19,250 MW and those 4,900 MW of grid connected IWT managed to only generate 218 MWh or 1.1% of peak demand and 4.4% of their capacity.  At that hour the sun wasn’t shining so no solar generation occurred. Our natural gas plants however, filled in the gap providing 4,038 MWh or 21% of peak demand while the balance came from our nuclear and hydro generation sources.

If one travels back in the day and notes what IWT were doing, they once again demonstrated their nasty trait of generating unneeded power. From Hour 1 to Hour 13, IESO forecast they would generate 29,859 MW (46.8% of their capacity) but accepted only 25,040 MW meaning just over 4,900 MW were presumably curtailed. Due to the “first-to-the-grid” rights and the generous contracts granted the owners of those IWT we taxpayers and ratepayers paid for both the accepted and curtailed power.

Over those same 13 hours our net exports (exports minus imports) were 19,827 MW (79.2% of accepted IWT generation) and the intertie price only averaged $17.47/MWh or 1.7 cents/kWh over those hours. As IESO were selling the surplus power off we were paying $135/MW for the IWT accepted power and $120/MW for what was curtailed.  The foregoing suggests it cost us (ratepayers/taxpayers) about $3.5 million for that unneeded IWT generation over those 13 hours.

While natural gas stepped up when needed in Ontario, we should also understand it’s importance by simply seeing what most of Europe is experiencing without natural gas. Many households are suffering from the lack of reliable electricity generation due to their various government’s endorsement of wind and solar while exiting fossil fuel generation except for a little bit of natural gas. That push coupled with Russia’s curtailment of natural gas sales into Europe has driven up their costs of power and is even creating energy poverty for many “middle class” households!   In some instances rationing of electricity is happening as charging EV and running your heat pumps could cause the electricity grid to collapse.

We Ontarians should take a moment to thank Alberta for providing us with natural gas which in addition to helping keep the lights on and power our businesses also provides heat for over 60% of all our households in the province.

Why wasn’t MMG Limited’s Mining Rights Cancelled by Industry Minister Champagne?

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

IWT Support Combined with Deforestation Alarmism by Eco-Warriors is Hypocritical

The numerous eco-warriors in Canada and elsewhere around the world continue their push to end the use of fossil fuels despite the damage now being felt in most European countries. Europe’s climbing energy poverty rate was where 36 million European people in 2020 were unable to keep their homes adequately warm during the winter. We should have no doubt winter 2023 will undoubtedly increase those numbers considerably!

Those eco-warriors are sold on the concept that wind and solar generation coupled with EV (electric vehicles) are the magic formula for full electrification. At the same time as they advocate for full electrification of transportation, they ludicrously reject the need to mine for the materials used in the manufacturing of EV batteries, solar panels and IWT (industrial wind turbines). In the latter case they frequently exhibit their “hypocrisy” as those 300-foot blades evident on most IWT are made from composites that are not recycled such as fibreglass and balsa wood. “Balsa wood’s characteristics as a light and soft, yet highly resistant wood – strong and light at the same time – make it perfect for the manufacture of cladding for cruisers, skis, bridges… and especially for wind turbine propellers.“ It seems ironic the advocates of IWT; ie: those same eco-warriors such as WWF Canada and Greenpeace, are frequently the ones demanding retention of the Amazon rain forests in South America where those balsa trees grow. The WWF declared: “there’s no way we can slow climate change without stopping the destruction of our forests, and the Amazon is our planet’s biggest rainforest.“ Greenpeace Canada went well beyond that sending a petition in October 2020 to the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly stating: “prioritize the Amazon rainforest! Canada needs to immediately halt the Canada-Mercosur free trade negotiations and speak up for Amazon protection.”

Many of the IWT in Canada and around the world are reaching their end of life and being retired or refurbished. Disposal of the old blades is having a negative impact as they are not recyclable and are piling up in landfills as the following picture shows and presumably includes balsa wood from the Amazon rainforests.

As noted above much of the balsa wood used in the fabrication of those IWT blades emanates in Amazonian Indigenous communities and makes its way to China, Denmark, etc. Those countries then manufacture those IWT blades that find their way to countries around the world whose politicians have bought the eco-warrior’s objectives to create electricity (unreliable and intermittent) from IWT.  At this juncture it is interesting to point out, Sir James Blyth of Scotland was the first to generate electricity from a wind-powered generator back in 1887.  Blyth’s invention never really caught on until recently when the eco-warriors started shouting about “global warming” sic “climate change” in recent times.

We should all ask the question of those eco-warriors and our politicians supporting their demands: 

How is this saving the world from climate change and how will it achieve your “net-zero” targets when you knowingly ignore the effects those IWT have including the generation of electricity that is both intermittent and unreliable?

The foxes are truly running the henhouse and from all appearances and actions are clearly hypocrites!

Battery Storage Would Cost Ontario Billions to Replace Natural Gas Generation on December 20, 2022

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.

Conclusion

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!

Affordable Housing in Ontario and the Sky is Falling According to Eco-Warriors

According to the eco-warriors using 7,400 acres (0.37%) of the 2 million acres of the Greenbelt land for the creation of “affordable housing” is something that should never be allowed so about 200 of them joined together to sign a letter making their views known. While they have expressed some legitimate concerns with Bill 23 and its negative effects on “conservation authorities” they have failed to recognize the unaffordable nature of housing affecting so many Ontario families.  The CBC reported that a request by the leader of the Ontario Green Party has gone to the Government of Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner asking for an investigation as to whether the plan has broken ethics rules. Those 7,400 acres could easily accommodate well over 74,000 homes or more in local municipalities and somewhat contain climbing house prices in the province but that goes against the wishes of those out to save the planet from “climate change” or what used to be referred to by them as “global warming”! 

Many of those same eco-warriors back in the days of the McGuinty/Wynne led government(s) pushed for the creation of the Greenbelt. They were rewarded by the allocation of those 2 million acres as protected land even though large portions of it were close to communities where housing needs were growing. At the same time the “charitable” Greenbelt Foundation was created and supplied with Ontario taxpayer dollars which continues to this day. 

The Greenbelt Foundation is a registered charity and their March 31, 2021 report indicates 89.4% ($4.079 million) of their gross revenue came from the Province ($3.828 million) and the Federal government ($251K). Only $12K came via receipted charitable donations despite their spending $479K on advertising and promotion and $1,677K on compensation.

Somewhat related to the foregoing pushback by the eco-warriors saw the Minister of Energy Todd Smith, recently receive a response from IESO (independent electricity system operator) in respect to his prior directive(s) to request a plan on how the province could achieve a full “decarbonization” of the electricity system.  The minister had issued those directives even though the current electricity system in Ontario is already slightly over 92% emissions free.

The IESO responded with their December 15, 2022 Pathways to Decarbonization a 39 page report that predicts by 2050 Ontario’s capacity will be 88,000 MW (megawatts) versus what the report claims is now 42,000 MW.  We assume the latter includes all DER (distributed energy resources) such as about 2,200 MW of solar, 600 MW of IWT (industrial wind turbines) small hydro, combined heat and power plants, battery storage, electric vehicles, and consumers who reduce electricity use on demand.

The ”Pathways” to get to that 88,000 MW include some interesting turnarounds by the Premier Ford led government who killed the GEA (Green Energy Act) enacted by former Premier McGuinty but now appears determined to make life for Ontarians much worse and more expensive.  The plan put forward by IESO will mean by 2050 Ontario will be reputedly powered by the generation sources in the following chart!

IESO’s estimate of the costs are as low as $375 billion to a high of $425 billion including substantial expenditures on transmission systems.  The report estimates electricity costs would rise to $200/$215/MWh. It is important to note IESO don’t hypothesize on the individual costs of the additional 68,793 MW by source such as the 15,000 MW of hydrogen or nuclear, but they do suggest the province had better start working soon as timelines for new transmission lines and the additional 17,800 MW of nuclear will be a long-drawn-out process. We should also be pretty sure their estimate on the cost of those 15,000 MW of hydrogen is more like a guess rather then a fact based estimate.

It is also interesting IESO includes an addition of 6,000 MW of solar capacity and 17,600 MW of IWT (industrial wind turbines) capacity as part of the “decarbonization” process as both are intermittent and frequently unreliable.  IWT also have the bad habit of causing harm to humans as well as decimating birds and bats.  It is likely those new planned IWT will receive considerable pushback by many municipalities throughout the province.  The latter is a factor as municipalities now have the power to deny access.  One should wonder if the Ford government will legislate; the power to deny access for IWT, is no longer an option for municipalities in their move to decarbonize the electricity sector?

Looking further at the planned addition of IWT and solar throughout the province will also mean the loss of considerable land for both farming and nature as both energy sources require either (or both) land clearing and/or farmland reductions. 

Based on estimates of what land will be required for the additional wind and solar generation should make the eco-warriors very upset.  Land required per MW of IWT varies from 2 acres/MW to 40 acres/MW of capacity so the 17,600 MW would need 35,200 acres on the low side to as much as 704,000 acres on the high side.  The additional 6,000 MW of solar could require as little as 5 acres/MW on the low side or up to 10 acres/MW on the high side meaning as little as 30,000 acres or as much as 60,000 acres.  What the foregoing suggests is both the additional IWT and solar could easily be accommodated on the Greenbelt’s 2 million acres. 

We should wonder how those 200 eco-warriors, who signed the letter to stop “affordable housing” on the Greenbelt, would feel, if the foregoing is the eventual conclusion as to where those wind turbines and solar panels in IESO’s “decarbonization” plan are destined for?

Wouldn’t that make the Greenbelt even greener with all those carbon free generating sources?

Steven Guilbeault, “Green Jesus” or the “Grinch out to Destroy Canada’s Prosperity”

On May 12, 2022, CTV News issued a report with a video about a second minke whale being observed in the St. Lawrence River in Montreal with the first one observed on May 9th!  The article noted this was the first time in over a century two whales had been spotted in the waters off Montreal.

Now, fast forward a few months to October 21, 2022, and an article in the Antarctica Journal stated Montreal would dump 2 billion gallons (about 7.6 billion litres) of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River and they apparently received the blessing of the Environment Ministry.  This wasn’t the first time they had dumped sewage as a CTV article from November 15, 2018, reported: “A suburb of Montreal has begun the process of dumping an estimated 162 million litres (35.6 million gallons) of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River“. They also dumped 8 billion litres back in 2015 and Catherine McKenna, then Federal Minister of the Environment gave her blessings to the dump.

Steven Guilbeault, current Minister of the Environment and Climate Change represents the Montreal riding of Laurier–Sainte-Marie and presumably gave his blessing to the latest raw sewage dump.  We should assume he wouldn’t want that fact to be known and tarnish the “Green Jesus” nickname he was reputedly given by La Presse many years ago.

Two weeks ago Guilbeault was interviewed by the NY Times and during the half-hour interview was quired as follows:

I’m curious about the sort of broader idea of being in opposition to the Harper government. I mean, it’s clear you had something to fight against, which seems like a natural extension of your previous activism. Did it feel like a familiar position?

He vaguely answered: “It’s a fascinating question, Lulu, because when you look at the history of the environmental movement, it was really created around being an opposition to something, to companies dumping toxic waters in our rivers and streams and lakes“. Interestingly he made no mention of his Municipality of Montreal’s habit of dumping raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River and the potential damage to the aquatic eco-system in his response but that is what we have come to expect from those eco-warriors.  He turned a blind eye to what is happening in his backyard!  How selective! 

Interestingly enough an article in the National Post October 30, 2021, shortly after his appointment as Minister of the Environment and Climate Change said:  “He told Radio-Canada he had wanted to work on something more local and more solution-oriented. That also meant working with governments on environmental issues, work that wasn’t a natural fit for the activism-oriented Greenpeace.”

The foregoing seems like a rather empty work plan as he has done nothing about his “local” community’s habit of dumping sewage into the St. Lawrence.  The CBC comment though does highlight his involvement with Greenpeace and activism while employed by them from 1997 until 2007.  Shortly after he left Greenpeace, he co-founded Equiterre.

Amazingly from 2010 to 2018 he was a registered lobbyist for Equiterre and after he was elected to Parliament on October 21, 2019 Federal grants to Equiterre took off and we generous taxpayers (surely coincidental) have provided them with almost $2.8 million so far.

His NY Times interview also touched on his arrests for activism while with Greenpeace and he went on and on about his climbing the CN Tower and his very first arrest at a OPG (Ontario Power Generation) coal generation plant in an attempt to prevent delivery by ship of coal to power the unit.

His two other arrests were not discussed but surely one of them should have been in respect to his stunt on Ralph Klein’s roof when Klein was Premier of Alberta.  That climb was to install a solar panel on the Klein’s roof carried out by activists including Guilbeault as an article in the National Post noted just after his appointment as the Minister for the Environment. As the article notes, “On April 11, 2002, Greenpeace pranksters climbed onto the roof of then-premier Ralph Klein’s bungalow in Lakeview. From inside, Klein’s wife, Colleen, saw vans arrive and people in orange uniforms take a ladder to the house. Mrs. Klein later said, “I was terrified,” she told an interviewer years later. She thought it was some kind of home invasion.“

Trying to determine if Guilbeault was jailed or fined as a result of any of the four arrests for his activism and the penalties he may have incurred is difficult. The only one with any detail on what the court decided was for climbing the CN Tower and for that he was fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community work.  We should all surmise the “community work” simply entailed him preaching about “global warming”!

To demonstrate the hypocrisy of Guilbeault, the Toronto Sun back in November 2020 called him out for the car mileage he was racking up during the Covid lockdowns at the rate of well over 3,000 km per month or three times what the average driver does. A year earlier during a radio interview he stated he would try to do without a car. His excuse, in respect to the Sun article was provided by his press secretary who stated, “he had to attend meetings in Ottawa”.  We should wonder why he didn’t simply take the Via train back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa! 

During his NY Times interview when asked if the environmental movement created in opposition could evolve beyond that, his partial answer was, “Everyone talks about electrification of transportation. OK, I’m all for it. I don’t own a vehicle. I’ve never owned a vehicle. I’ll never own a vehicle. But my ministerial vehicle is an electric vehicle.“  His strange response to the question suggests he may have been concerned the interviewee may have done some research that he needed to dispel in case he was asked about the Toronto Sun article! Oh, he probably rode his bike to Toronto to climb the CN Tower and all the way to Calgary to climb on the Klein’s roof (sarcasm fully intended)!

It is also interesting to look back at the two institutions (Greenpeace and Equiterre) Guilbeault spent his time with as both were members of the Strathmere Group; an army of 12 eco-warrior charities/not-for-profit creations that spent time organizing activities/media attention, etc. etc. in a push to scare everyone. Their initial “global warming” scare eventually evolved into “climate change” and their screams grew louder as the UN under the UNIPCC joined in!  Yours truly wrote about the activities of the Strathmere Group in several articles and Part 3 lists the 12 Canadian members.

The Strathmere Group and their affiliates have exerted tremendous influence on municipal, provincial and federal politicians. Those politicians seem to no longer possess either common sense or financial acumen. As a result, today, we find ourselves concerned about what Europe may or will experience this winter being, either a lack of energy or unaffordable costs. Media attention in Europe anticipate there will be a substantial increase in “deaths from the cold” and perhaps as many as 147,000. Many parents in Europe, here in Canada and elsewhere are also concerned how our children and grandchildren will survive in the future without fossil fuels.

As Christmas approaches, my belief is we should regard the “Green Jesus”, Steven Guilbeault and his Liberal and NDP cohorts as the Grinches out to destroy Canada’s prosperity!

Investigative Reporting by a Toronto Star Journalist is Disinformation

Recently invited to be a guest on Zoomer Radio, I agreed, and was informed I would be joined by Bryan Purcell, VP of Policy and Programs at The Atmospheric Fund. TAF is a “not-for-profit” company with almost $100 million of “restricted funds” that have been provided by the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada and appears to have 30 employees.  They use the revenue generated from the funds ($7.1 million in their 2020 and $1.2 million in 2021 financial reports) and other revenue (minimal) to provide grants described as: “has the potential to generate large-scale carbon reduction in the GTHA“ (Greater Toronto Hamilton Area).

The planned discussion/debate was to be in respect to a Toronto Star article posted November 30, 2022 titled “Ontario’s new gas plants will cause your hydro rates to rise, report says” and presumably for Zoomer’s audience to hear competing views on the content in the article from yours truly.

Shortly before the program was to start the Auditor General of Ontario released her annual report so I, and presumably Bryan Purcell, were informed the discussion was cancelled as the host wanted to cover the AG report due to it’s significance in detailing how the AG viewed Premier Ford’s led financial management over the prior year.

The TorStar article was written by Marco Chown Oved* who identified himself as a “Climate Change Reporter” in the article heading! On his LinkedIn profile, he identifies himself as an “Investigative Reporter at Toronto Star”! The TAF representative, Bryan Purcell, also scheduled to be on the radio program, is quoted in the article and on his LinkedIn profile states he is a: “Environmental Professional focused on Climate Change mitigation“ but his qualifications suggest he is stretching the truth.

Below we will examine some of the claims made in the article based on the report prepared by Power Advisory, which we assume TAF paid for with our tax dollars!  The report’s author from Power Advisory was Travis Lusney, whose LinkedIn profile discloses he was the Senior Business Analyst at the OPA (Ontario Power Authority). In that former position he states he; “Managed analysis and implementation of procurement policy. Focused on the Feed-In Tariff Program with emphasis on pricing, connections and stakeholder engagement.“  Hmm, one should wonder if Mr. Lusney, was at least partially responsible for the cost of electricity in Ontario jumping by over 100% due to the FIT contracts to wind and solar proponents which paid them as much as 82 cents/kWh for rooftop solar. Perhaps we should take his recent report to TAF with the proverbial “grain of salt”, or should we simply shrug it off based on the “investigative journalism” claims of Marco Chown Oved, the Toronto Star reporter?

Claims from the article:

Rather than relying on natural-gas-fired generation to meet growing electricity demand, Ontario’s cheapest and most reliable options require new wind and solar,

It is unbelievable the “investigative journalist” didn’t bother to do a little research work on the foregoing claim as he would quickly discover wind and solar are not the “cheapest and most reliable”. Had the author simply bothered to look at the February 2022 report of the FAO (Finance Accountability Office of Ontario) he would have discovered they have driven up the cost of electricity to the point where taxpayers are forced to absorb a cost of “$38.6 billion (32.7 per cent) to move most of the cost of 33,000 renewable energy contracts with wind, solar and bioenergy generators from all electricity ratepayers to the Province.“  Had he also bothered to just examine a few days of IESO data he may also have discerned wind and solar’s bad habits of generating power when it’s unneeded and failing to deliver power during “peak hours” on cold winter days and hot summer ones. Recent examples of unneeded power generation occurred December 2nd and 3rd when IWT (industrial wind turbines) operated at 76% of their rated capacity whereas on December 7th and 8th they operated at a miserly 8.5% of their rated capacity. In the first instance the IESO were forced to sell off that power for pennies of it’s cost and in the latter case natural gas and hydro ramped up to prevent blackouts such as those that occur in California and elsewhere around the world where wind and solar are a large part of electricity grids.

People, governments and businesses are switching en masse to electricity as a power source for cars, heating and heavy industry in an effort to lower carbon emissions and avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Once again, the Toronto Star’s “investigative reporter” obviously did not do any research, or he would have discovered the “en masse” switch is not happening to any great extent without government grants, and they obviously must be higher or people won’t switch.  In the case of EV penetration a very recent article from mid November pointed out EV sales in Canada were low during the first 6 months of 2022 stating:  “Based on average new vehicle registrations, the EV total would have to grow from 55,600 to about 480,000 over six months to hit that 60 per cent target.” The 60 per cent target is for 2030 and the 2035 target is 100 per cent. The Federal government also hand out grants for heat pump conversions as well as interest-free loans of $40K but once again reviewing government statistics the conversion rate is not happening. A StatCan report notes heat pumps as a primary heat source have only grown from 3% in 2013 to 5% in 2019 and forced air furnaces have only declined by 1% from 53% in 2013 to 52% in 2019. Funnily enough, electric baseboard heaters over the same time frame fell from 28% to 26%. The actual data easily demonstrates the “en masse” switch the author suggests is a fallacy!

The report says Ontario needs to start making significant investments in its grid, especially considering the lengthy timelines required to build the transmission, generation and storage required to simultaneously meet demand and reduce emissions.

Hydro One just received approval from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) for a rate increase for planned capital spending on their transmission system.  The spending appears to represent about $7.5 billion over the next five years.  Spending of that amounts suggests the investment is “significant” and a little research by the article’s author would have disclosed that!  No investigative integrity is apparent!  

“It’s very clear that if we’re going to go to net-zero, renewables are going to be part of the mix,” said Travis Lusney, the report’s author and director of power systems at Power Advisory. “How far you go is dependent on a lot of factors, even outside of the electricity sector.”

Well, it is apparent Lusney has a love affair with renewables as his prior role at the OPA (Ontario Power Authority), created by the McGuinty Government handed him the power to construct the mess of the electricity sector in Ontario that (as noted above) the FAO stated in his February 2022 report will cost taxpayers $38.6 billion.

“The report finds that a 97 per cent non-emitting grid can be achieved by building new transmission lines, solar and wind generation as well as energy storage facilities. This would allow the grid to reduce its dependence on natural gas to a few peak demand days in mid summer.”

It is worth noting the report fails to mention Ontario’s electricity grid is already over 92% “non-emitting” and fails to include a cost/benefit analysis to achieve the additional 5% emissions reduction it seeks. The report in the three scenario’s recommends adding as much as 12,700 MW of wind capacity, 5,500 MW of solar capacity and 3,900 MW of storage capacity. The report goes on to suggest those wind turbines, solar panels and the storage capacity be spread throughout the province. The report then forecasts due to the spreading it would require as much as an $8.4 billion spend on the transmission system in order to get the power to where its needed. In summary the Power Advisory report recommends  spending billions of dollars to achieve a 5% reduction in emissions in Ontario’s electricity system.  As outlined above it is very unlikely those new facilities coupled with the additional wind, solar and storage capacity and their associated costs would reduce electricity prices! Instead those costs would drive up prices much as they did in the past with a much smaller capacity addition of renewables. Nevertheless, we should be pretty sure Power Advisory would love the foregoing to happen and Travis Lusney would surely rise in the ranks of his employer, Boston Advisory, who would stand to benefit from the money stream generated by assisting applicants seeking contracts from IESO. 

“In each scenario, hydro prices will be lower than they would be if the province goes through with its plan to build new gas plants, the report concludes, mostly because gas is expected to get more expensive, a rise that will be exacerbated by the increase in carbon tax. Meanwhile, prices for wind and solar, which are already cheaper than natural gas, are expected to fall.”

First off, one should wonder how each scenario will cause “hydro prices” to be lower but perhaps they were actually suggesting “electricity prices” will be lower? Past and current experience in Ontario due to wind and solar generation have actually caused “hydro spills” meaning OPG are paid to simply spill water over dams without running them through the turbines. Ratepayers, however pick up the costs of those spills and for the past several years their costs have been substantial. The spills by OPG are almost always caused by unneeded wind generation as their contracts give them “first-to-the-grid” rights . On the statement, “prices for wind and solar” are expected to fall” is also far from the truth.  As one example an article last month about Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, stated: “Vestas has raised prices more than 30% in the past year to help stem losses.“  It should also be recognized gas prices would fall if our abundant supplies in Saskatchewan and Alberta had more pipelines available but the Federal government has done everything in its power to prevent that from happening.

As the foregoing once again suggests; the Toronto Star, their reporters, and other MSM companies simply accept what they are told or read and fail to do any research to determine if they are providing facts or fiction. In this case it seems obvious it is the latter and reporter Marco Chown Oved should immediately rewrite his LinkedIn memes as it doesn’t suggest he is a “investigative reporter”!

* Marco Chown Oved’s LinkedIn biography brags about how the CAJ (Canadian Association of Journalists) were so enthralled with an article he wrote about “climate change” they blessed him for writing it. Perhaps they will do so again for this diatribe of BS as the MSM seems to have abandoned publishing the truth and the CAJ has endorsed their abandonment!  This is what Marco Chown Oved has on his LinkedIn site: ”Awarded the inaugural Environmental and Climate Change Award from the CAJ for my feature on heat waves in Montreal, a part of the Toronto Star’s Undeniable series on climate change.”