Strange Things that Caught My Eye Over the Recent Week

Should you, as I do, consider recent events to be off the scale of normal, it is worth pondering the cause!  Is it related to the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, the “woke” generation, government bureaucrats or those in political power or perhaps a combination of some or all of them?  Some recent examples:

Planting Trees in Brampton as Part of Two Billion Trees                                                                             

I’m sure most will recall just before the last Federal election in 2019 our PM Trudeau met with Greta Thunberg and promised her we would plant 2 billion trees.  Well, it appears the process, under the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan has finally started according to a press release on August 4, 2021 which contained the following:

Today, Maninder Sidhu, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Brampton East, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, announced $1,280,000 to the City of Brampton in support of the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over 10 years. This project will see 8,000 trees planted across the region this year and contribute to the rehabilitation of the city’s urban tree canopy.”

Quick math on the cost per tree being planted comes to $160.00 each meaning if Minister O’Regan Jr. continues at this level the total cost to Canada’s taxpayers will be $320 billion for the 2 billion trees. Those 8,000 trees will, eventually, absorb about 174 tons of CO2 meaning the cost per ton of emissions removal is about $7,400. Pretty sure O’Regan could have purchased “carbon offsets” for a few dollars each from former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney and saved the taxpayers money!

CONFIDENCE IN CHARITY LEADERS HAS FALLEN SHARPLY OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE SECTOR?

In late June Charity Village released a report that tracked “four research streams that asked about perceptions of charity leaders over time, representing 27 distinct surveys.” The surveys cited go back as far as 2000.  One of the comments in their report stated: “In 2000, 27% of Canadians reported a lot of trust or confidence in charity leaders, but in the Environics Institute’s research, only 8% reported having a lot of confidence in 2020,”. Another finding was, “between 2009 and 2020, confidence in charity leaders dropped by 22 percentage points, compared to only eight percentage points for business leaders, six for union leaders, and three for government leaders.” The preceding findings may (in my mind) be a reflection of the growth in eco-charities who provide no real charitable benefits to those in need and are well funded by domestic and foreign charitable foundations. The former includes many of Canada’s colleges and universities with departments focused on “climate change”! Needless to say, the drop in confidence has resulted in fewer Canadian tax filers donating: “In 2000, 25.5% of Canadian tax filers reported charitable donations, but by 2018 it was only 19.4%.” 

Toyota CEO Agrees With Elon Musk: We Don’t Have Enough Electricity to Electrify All the Cars

Toyota’s CEO at the company’s year-end press conference in mid-December 2020 said; “The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse. The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets…When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline; do they understand this?” 

Interestingly enough, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla just a couple of weeks earlier noted “Increasing the availability of sustainable energy is a major challenge as cars move from combustion engines to battery-driven electric motors, a shift which will take two decades, Musk said in a talk hosted by Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer.”  Musk also said; “electricity consumption will double if the world’s car fleets are electrified, increasing the need to expand nuclear, solar, geothermal and wind energy generating sources.” In respect to “wind energy” it is interesting to note the Global Wind Energy Council in an article claimed, at the end of 2020 there were “743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide”.  To put that in perspective the Federal Government’s “Canadian Centre for Energy Information” tells us at the end of 2017 Canada’s total electricity capacity was 145,214 MW which is only 145.2 GW! 

As industrial wind turbine’s (IWT) life span is around 20 years we should expect about 50% of those in operation globally will reach their end-of-life in the next 10 years and the rest by the time Musk forecasts capacity must double.   Approximately the same life-span applies to solar panel and batteries for storage. Those politicians and Musk should also understand the USA in 2020 generated 60.3% of it’s electricity consumption from fossil fuels!  I would therefore suggest the “politicians” cited by Toyota’s CEO along with Musk himself have no understanding of what EV will do to the electricity system globally and why both are way off base and have no bearing on getting us to “net-zero” emissions by 2050!

Hydro One submits five-year Investment Plan to the Ontario Energy Board to energize life for communities

Just a few days ago Hydro One issued a press release announcing they had submitted a 5 year plan to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) seeking approval to spend $17 billion over that time to reputedly: “reduce the impacts of power outages for its distribution customers by approximately 25 per centand “enable economic growth and prepare for the impacts of climate change.” The proposed capital expenditures are about double what they have been over the past several years (eg: 2019 was $1.667 billion and 2020 was $1.878 billion).  The press release claims “If approved, the five-year Investment Plan will have bill impacts below the expected rate of inflation, with the monthly bill for a typical year-round residential customer increasing by an average of $1.68 each year from 2023 to 2027.” Reviewing the OEB’s Yearbook of Distributors to get a sense of how those “power outages” compare due to “defective equipment” the 2015 report states the hours interrupted due to “defective equipment” were over 4.6 million hours and in 2019 (2020 report is not yet published) they had dropped to just under 4.4 million hours.  Since 2015 Hydro One’s residential customer base also increased by 60,000 so hours per customer have dropped.

As a former banker I don’t believe the approximately $2 million the 1,2 million residential customers will cough up at the suggested $1.68 annual increase will be sufficient to pay the interest on the $1.9 billion of new debt (the foregoing additional debt assumes Hydro One will maintain is debt to equity ratio at 2020 year-end levels) they will incur annually.  By 2027 it will be a pipe dream!

Let us all hope the OEB does its job for the benefit of Hydro One’s customer base of which I am one.

Let’s thank our lucky stars Hydro One was not allowed to buy Avista

While on the subject of Hydro One it should remind all that back a few years ago they were intent on purchasing Avista Corporation via an all-cash purchase at $53 (US) per share.  The total cost for the all-cash offer was estimated at Cdn$6.7 billion.  The closing price on Avista’s stock on Friday July 7, 2021 and over three years after the purchase offer was $42.67 (US).  At the time the purchase offer was made Glen Thibeault was the Ontario Minister of Energy and was keen on the takeover saying: “One of the benefits of broadening the ownership of Hydro One was to unlock the potential for precisely this sort of transaction,”.  Thibeault went on to say; “As the single largest shareholder in Hydro One, the Ontario government would benefit from the company’s receipt of additional regulated returns expected to begin in 2019. Those benefits will be above and beyond the proceeds already attributed to the Ontario Trillium Trust as a result of the IPO and subsequent secondary offerings.”

Needless to say, those of us who felt Hydro One should focus on Ontario’s ratepayers were delighted US regulators in the states where Avista operated refused the takeover. Hydro One had planned to borrow $3.4 billion and issue another $1.4 billion of debentures convertible into Hydro One shares which would have, in all probability, detrimentally impacted all of their existing Ontario ratepayers.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, it appears those we elect as our representative politicians often are more influenced by those lobbying them continually such as the “climate change” advocates or they bow to the bureaucrats who are the beneficiaries of our tax dollars for their pay. Combine the foregoing with the “woke” generation screaming and their mainstream media support along with the push for globalization and we should unfortunately recognize what is continuing to happen appears to be the “new normal”!  

‘Record’ Heatwave 2021 was nothing compared with 1930’s

I was on the Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM this morning to talk about the recent heat wave they experienced out west. I was inspired by a chart posted by Tony Heller which led to the interview. I sent the chart out to many and it is the one below. In addition Marc and I also discussed an article (or two) I am researching. It has to do with the incredible influence Mark Carney (former Governor of the Bank of Canada and Governor of the Bank of England) has in the world of the “climate change” religion. He holds this influence with the super rich and many naive politicians around the world who also believe mankind is reputedly responsible for such things as the aforementioned heat wave. Many of the super rich see an opportunity to become richer; is what appears to be behind this push.

You can listen to our chat for todays (July 13, 2021) podcast starting at 1:04:45 and ending at 1:22:45 here:

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Political Promises, High Electricity Costs, Climate Change, EV and Line 5

I was invited on the Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM today and the above title suggests some of the topics we covered. You can listen to our discussion on Sauga 960’s Marc Patrone Show starting at 1:03:25 of the podcast of his July 6, 2021 show by going here:

No Peaking Without Gas

As summer in Ontario finally arrived temperatures rose over the past few days and resulted in IESO reporting, so far in 2021, hour 18 of June 28, 2021 is the #1 peak hour with demand reaching 22,258 MW (megawatts).  While that is the highest demand hour so far in 2021 it is by no means the highest peak over the past three years with September 5, 2018 at hour 18 reaching 23,240 MW.

Nuclear was operating at close to 100% capacity at hour 18 generating just over 47% of peak demand and hydro 22% of demand and operating at almost 69% of capacity. Our gas plants thankfully were at the ready generating slightly more than 26.5% of our peak demand and operating at 63% of their capacity.

The remaining generation capacity consisting of wind (4,500 MW), solar (438 MW) and biomass (238 MW) managed to only produce 13.9% of their capacity (just over 3% of demand) or a miserly 716 MW during the peak hour. In other words, they weren’t performing when we actually needed them!  As a result, IESO imported power from Michigan and New York when prices hit their peak for the day of $232.79/MWh.  Those two states regularly buy Ontario’s surplus power and in 2020, on average, they purchased it for $13.90/MWH.  Interestingly according to the US IEA; “Natural gas accounted for 33% of the state’s (Michigan) net generation, while coal’s share declined to 27%.” What that means is we were importing fossil fuel generation.  That should upset the eco-warriors and the Federal Liberals under Trudeau who want to eliminate all usage of fossil fuels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or perhaps they think the pain should only be inflicted on Canadians?

Looking to the future one wonders what will happen should Ontario see those 27 municipalities; (who have signed on to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance’s [OCAA] push for all gas plants to be shut down) get what they asked for.  Where is the peaking power going to come from as it won’t come from intermittent and unreliable sources like wind and solar?  Perhaps all the Ontario EV drivers will agree to provide all the power that gas generation previously did as envisaged by the OCAA.  We can anticipate those same EV car owners will be told, as they were very recently in California, when they can’t charge their batteries or we will experience brownouts and/or blackouts.  

Also, what happens if a peak demand day comes on a cold winter day in January (one did on January 21, 2019) after the 67% of homes currently using natural gas as a heating source are forced to convert to electric heat?  Where will that additional electricity generation come from as EV lose a large percentage of their power in cold weather?

From all perspectives it seems the eco-warriors and our Federal government aim to punish all low and middle-income households in the province in their efforts to deliver on their religious beliefs.

Mankind cannot control the sun or Mother Nature so why is it so difficult for them to understand!

Clean Energy is in the eye of the Beholder

It was interesting to note two articles appearing on the same day (June 23, 2021) had wildly conflicting information on the benefits and harm of eliminating fossil fuels in the electricity generating sector.  The article in the Financial Post was headlined: “Canada’s clean energy push to create more than 200,000 jobs by 2030: reportand cited a new dispatch from Clean Energy Canada (CEC) of Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Navius Research, an outgrowth of SFU and Professor Mark Jaccard. Professor Jaccard is full blown in his belief the world is doomed unless we achieve “net-zero” emissions and was cited in a CBC article stating: “Fossil fuels are wonderful except for destroying the planet“. 

It is fascinating the eco-warriors, in the CEC report, use data on a continuing basis that is impossible to verify. As an example, the CEC report suggests “Canada’s clean energy sector already employs 430,500 people—more than the entire real estate sector—and by 2030, that number is projected to grow almost 50% to 639,200 under the federal government’s new climate plan.” The foregoing 430,500 (already employed) appears to be a number picked out of a hat as the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario back in December 2020 issued a “policy brief” and in it noted; “electric power, generation power and transmission” employed 104,315 people in 2019. So, one should ask, where are those 430,500 people, actually employed?  One example the CEC report suggests is; “Jobs in electric vehicle technology are on track to grow 39% per year, with 184,000 people set to be employed in the industry in 2030—a 26-fold increase over 2020.”

According to Unifor as of August 2020 current employment in the Canadian automotive industry is “129,000 people in Canada, in vehicle assembly (44,000) as well as body and trailer (13,000) and parts manufacturing (72,000). Factoring in various other auto-dependent jobs and workplaces, some estimates peg the overall number of direct jobs at over 188,000”! Apparently, according to CEC and Navius, it is a foregone conclusion 184,000 jobs in 2030 somehow translates to a 26-fold increase over 188,000 in 2020 instead of a loss of 4,000 jobs! The foregoing should remind all Ontario ratepayers how, when former Ontario Energy Minister, George Smitherman, responded to a question in the Ontario legislature as to how the Green Energy Act would create 50,000 jobs said; “Across the landscape of these investments, we feel quite confident that 50,000 jobs will be created.” As we Ontarians know those jobs never materialized but electricity rates inceased well over 100%!

The second article on June 23rd in the National Post was titled: ‘Solar trash tsunami’: How solar power is driving a looming environmental crisis.   The article spelled out; the problem with solar panels as it turns out, is significant!  The article notes: “Put simply, we can expect a lot more solar panel waste within the next decade than we are prepared for,” wrote a team led by Calgary-based supply chain researcher Serasu Duran in a pre-publication paper.” The study tried to estimate the tonnage of solar panels set to hit landfills and warned if the solar industry doesn’t get a handle on its trash problem, “we may soon face the dark side of renewable energy.” IREA (The International Renewable Energy Agency) in 2016, noted by 2050 the world would need to deal with up to 78 million tonnes of solar panel trash. In order to wrap your mind around that; consider the City of Toronto manages more than 786,000 tonnes of residential waste each year (1% of what IREA estimate solar panel waste will be) and in 2020 diverted 413,673 tonnes of residential waste from landfill through several programs. Solar panels are not part of that diversion!

The report from Duran suggests IREA’s number is a vast underestimate because it assumed the world’s existing solar panels would remain bolted to roofs for 30 years but they estimate millions of people will replace those panels to install cheaper and more efficient ones. The report suggests by 2030 solar waste could be 50 times higher then IREA’s estimate which would equate to about 39 million tonnes.

Perhaps what the CEC report suggests is the 200,000 jobs “clean energy” will reputedly create by 2030 may be related to recycling solar panels.  Perhaps some of those jobs will also be involved in grinding up IWT (industrial wind turbines) blades that are each 120 feet or longer so the fiberglass, etc. can be mixed with cement rather than being dumped in landfills as they are currently. 

The report by Duran, et al, in a recent review of their research for the Harvard Business Review suggests “the solar industry could be generating 2.5 tonnes of waste for every tonne of solar panel it installs”.

The foregoing may require CEC and Navius Research to revise their report as more jobs will be needed to recycle that increased solar panel trash and grind up those wind turbine blades!

Now we know the real value of what the eco-warriors claim is “clean energy”!

California power grid teeters as EV demand strains supply

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

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

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

Podcasts

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Ottawa spending billions to get to net zero

Marc Patrone, host of the weekday show from 9 AM to 11 AM had me on as a guest this morning (June 17, 2021) to talk about the City of Ottawa’s “Energy Evolution”. While we discussed the foregoing briefly we also touched on several other energy related subjects such as the Line 5 pipeline and what the Ford Government has done in respect to the electricity sector in Ontario and the wind projects.

You can listen to the podcast starting at 1:17.37 here:

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

ENERGY EVOLUTION: OTTAWA’S COMMUNITY ENERGY TRANSITION STRATEGY

City of Ottawa plans to spend $57.4 Billion to get to net-zero by 2050 and Carney is helping them

On April 24, 2019 the City of Ottawa passed a motion declaring a “climate emergency” and only two councilors voted against it.  Interestingly one of the “No” votes came from Rick Chiarelli, 2nd cousin of Bob Chiarelli, former Ontario Minister of Energy who during his term of service was a big fan of renewable energy which caused electricity prices to rise over 100% in the province.

Passage of the motion led to the appointment of councilor Scott Moffat as Chair of the City’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management. Moffat presumably accepted the position with his belief in the reputed and upcoming “climate emergency” motion he supported.

As an outgrowth of the “climate emergency” declaration, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), a registered charity with assets of $178 million (CRA 2019 filing) launched the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  The official launch occurred May 14, 2021 and was moderated by Diana Fox Carney, who happens to be Mark Carney’s wife. 

As yet another coincidence, it was earlier announced on May 3, 2021, by Eurasia Group, “the world’s leading political risk research and consulting firm” (their claim), that “Diana Fox Carney, a widely respected expert on global climate and energy policy, will be joining as a senior advisor. At Eurasia Group, Fox Carney will work closely with Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, who helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, to bolster the firm’s growing climate and energy practice. Most Canadians and particularly Ontarians will recognize the “Butts” name as it was he who; “behind the scenes”, influenced former Ontario Premier, McGuinty in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) driving up electricity prices in the push for wind and solar generation.

On the launch day of May 14, 2021 the OCAF issued a press release announcing a: “$21.7M investment from the Government of Canada to bring Carbon Down and Community Up“.  As one would expect the press release carried words of wonder from Ministers Seamus O’Regan and Catherine McKenna on how those tax dollars would help save the world from the climate emergency while creating jobs and making life better for our kids and grandkids.

The City of Ottawa’s plan to get to net-zero by 2050 consists of 101 pages and starts with a “Thank You to Our Partners”. The report states; “The city extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to almost 200 public and private stakeholders representing more than 90 organizations” in discussions and technical workshops! One of those listed is Pollution Probe (a charity) who have been pushing environmental issues for several decades.  The interesting issue in respect to the City of Ottawa’s plan is it appears to have been created by Pollution Probe. When you link to the plan in PDF format it suggests it was PP’s creation not the City!  Also interesting is in the list of OCAF’s appointed advisors one finds an individual by the name of Chris Henderson.  If one looks at Pollution Probe 2020 GALA webpage the moderator for one of the sessions was Chris Henderson.  Coincidental, or is Ottawa’s “net-zero” plan a creation of PP rather than City officials?

The official OCAF online launch with Diana Carney as moderator took place on the same day (May 14, 2021) as the $21.7 million in tax dollars were announced.  The video recording of the launch is just over one hour and included presenters; Seamus O’Regan, Catherine McKenna and a few others including Councilor Moffat!  O’Regan waxed on about temperatures last winter being 10 degrees higher than normal in Labrador as a sign of the climate emergency but if he bothered to investigate history, he would have noted average winter temperatures in Goose Bay, where he grew up, vary by as much as 30 degrees from a low of -30 C to 0 C in January. Ottawa MP McKenna screeched she want’s Ottawa to be the greenest capital ever!

Reverting to the PP plan it is interesting to see the following:  “Financial analysis indicates that cumulative community-wide investments from 2020 to 2050 total $57.4 billion with a present value of $31.8 billion.” To put that in perspective the $21.7 million taxpayer dollars just awarded to the City is 0.4% of the investments reputedly needed and those investments are 14.5 times the City’s current annual budget of $3.94 billion. As one should suspect the plan recommends complete electrification of everything and utilizing renewable energy in the form of solar and wind (lowest power density of energy sources).  From the plan: 

The model indicates that the minimum results required to meet the 100% scenario under the electricity sector are:

• Solar photovoltaic (PV) reaches 1,060 MW by 2050 (approximately 36 km2 of solar PV47 mostly on rooftops)

• Wind generation reaches 3,218 MW by 2050 (approximately 710 large scale turbines)”

The proposal to have 1060 MW of solar panels (40% of what Ontario currently has) and 3,218 MW of wind turbines (60% of what Ontario has currently) to supply Ottawa with the power needed to achieve net-zero by 2050 is a dream Ontarians have already suffered though. Residents in Ottawa should get ready for electricity prices to more than double every 10 years.

The 101-page plan says absolutely nothing about the toxic elements in those 1060 MW of solar panels that will require disposal in 15/20 years when they reach their end of life and need to be removed from the 36 square kilometers of rooftops they will cover.  Interestingly enough, many will have to be removed and replaced before we even reach 2050.

The same concern should be considered in respect to those “710 large scale turbines” whose life cycle is about the same as solar panels and will be 160 metres in height as compared to the 98 metre height of the Peace Tower. I presume Catherine McKenna would welcome solar panels on her roof and one of those industrial wind turbines near or at her residence if she really wants Ottawa to be “the greenest capital ever”.

The OEB yearbook of Distributors for 2019 indicates the hourly peak demand for Hydro Ottawa in the summer was 1,348 MW and winter peak was 1,257 MW, By 2050 or sooner those peaks will double or triple. What that could mean is residents and businesses will be faced with rolling blackouts similar to those experienced by California, Southern Australia and were partially to blame for the Texas blackout. Those three regions have opted for unreliable and intermittent wind and solar generation although Texas hasn’t gone quite as far as California and SA have.

Those of us in the rest of Ontario should insist Hydro Ottawa be disconnected from the grid to ensure only the City of Ottawa is affected by blackouts or brownouts in the future.  Let them spend the $57.4 billion but only use the tax dollars generated by those living in Ottawa and the rest of us can sit back and watch what happens when politicians are eventually accused of harming those who voted for them.

Net-Zero by 2050 Seems Destined to Reference Money Left to Buy Food for Most of Canada’s Population

Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association), recently finished a three-part series about the wonders of wind, solar and storage and indications (based on his verbiage) are; he is delighted with how the Trudeau led government are committed to achieving “net-zero” emissions by 2050.  The final sentence in his last article “Cape diem, Canada” tells the reader: “We have a fleeting opportunity to avert a catastrophe for our children and grandchildren. We need to seize it. Today.”  As one can imagine Hornung believes the world can be saved from the “changing climate” which he tells us is causing events showing: “our permafrost is melting, our coastal sea levels are rising, our snow-cover patterns are changing, and our weather is becoming more extreme, with floods, droughts, and intense storms on the rise.”  As one would expect he says the foregoing can be stopped as our electricity needs “can easily be supplied by Canada’s massive untapped renewable energy resources”.

All Canadians should realize we are now all being asked/told to relive what Ontarians were told by the McGuinty led government back in 2009 when they ushered in the GEA (Green Energy Act). The GEA caused electricity rates to more than double due to the push for renewable wind and solar generation. Ratepayers and taxpayers in the rest of Canada should take Hornung’s gloomy prognostications and concern themselves about the “net-zero” aspirations he exudes!

Hornung goes further and touts “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy,” the report released by Jonathon Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MECC) in December 2020 bringing us the $170/tonne carbon-tax.  Hornung also seemed enamoured by another report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices whom I devoted four articles to in early 2020.  The CICC was a creation of Wilkinson’s predecessor Catherine McKenna using $20 million of our tax dollars.  The report Hornung referenced from the CICC is “Canada’s Net Zero Future” and it is 132 pages full of the fabrications Wilkinson and his boss, PM Trudeau, presumably ordered!  Doing a word search in the report for “net-zero” provides only 14 hits but one for “net zero” (without the hyphen) provides 588 hits. The word “tax” only appears twice-ie: 2 mentions, and it’s not in respect to the $170/tonne carbon-tax as it is referred to as a “carbon price”!

The report breaks down the various existing “safe bets” and possible “wild card” technologies that will purportedly allow us to meet Canada’s 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets. The “safe bets” include renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro and also include storage (battery) and nuclear and of course transformation of our transportation modes via conversion of personal vehicles to EV. The report claims using those technologies along with increased insulation and heat pumps for buildings limited carbon capture, etc. etc. will easily allow us to meet the emissions reductions by 2030.  The “wild card” technologies include hydrogen, CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and sequestration), direct air capture, small modular reactors and a myriad of other technologies including changing our diet to consume less meat and dairy products and those will allow us to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Naturally they reference the UNIPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) several time as well as the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) in a favourable fashion as well as utilizing their reports to augment their views and recommendations.

The report also uses scary references and their reputed costs such as suggesting air pollution causes 20,000 annual deaths in Canada: “Harmful air pollutants that increase the risk of disease and premature death—pollutants such as particulate matter and ground-level ozone—are common by-products of GHG emissions. Globally, air pollution represents the single largest environmental threat to human health, according to the World Health Organization (2016), and it also takes a significant economic toll. In Canada, estimates suggest that air pollution kills around 20,000 Canadians annually, with more than 17,000 of those deaths attributable to fossil fuel use (Lelieveld et al., 2020). The direct welfare costs of fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone in Canada is estimated at as much as $46 billion per year (IISD, 2017), while Health Canada (2019a) estimates the total annual economic damage to public health from air pollution is approximately $114 billion.”  I should note Health Canada’s recent report echoed the same scary stuff and used the same reference perhaps to prepare us for the next pandemic and accompanying lock-downs.

Needless to say, the CICC report suggests the move to lower levels of carbon emissions coupled with the recommendations on using “safe bets” and evolving “wild card” technologies will not only help to reduce “global warming” and presumably reduce air pollution; but it will also reduce our expenditure on energy as a share of income. 

We should view the graph above, suggesting energy expenditures as a share of income will drop as pure unadulterated fabrication!  Not even the Ontario Liberal Government during the McGuinty/Wynne era promised our electricity costs would drop due to the adoption of clean energy from wind and solar.  They suggested rates would increase one percent (1%) but Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers know we were lied to and the actual cost increase was well over 100% and we must live with that for 10 more years!  One should doubt the CICC report has provided us with anything close to actual outcomes!

Some of those at the CICC, such as Bruce Lourie patted themselves on the back for being instrumental in getting the Ontario Liberals to buy into the renewable energy push. He and others* have played a big role in getting the CICC established and have continued to successfully push their agenda.

We should all suspect the Hornung forecast of the “catastrophe for our children and grandchildren” will be related to the unaffordable costs of just trying to survive a Canadian winter with those “baseboard”** electric heaters the CICC sees in our future!

*Rick Smith, a Lourie cohort has just been named as the new President of CICC

**Reminds me of the early sixties adds about how we could “live better electrically”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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