Who gets the carbon credits for recycling wind turbine blades and other burning questions?

As a climate change “realist” this past week has been what I would term, over the top. It seemed there is total confusion about what we should do and what we should avoid to push for net-zero emissions and move to the “circular economy”.  Some examples:

Industrial Wind Turbines are not yet part of the Circular Economy          

Cement giant LafargeHolcim and GE’s renewables wind turbine unit are teaming up and the purpose is “to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.” The main objective of the partnership is to focus on “circular economy solutions”.  The same article notes one of the largest companies producing IWTs, Vestas, in early 2020 said it was aiming to produce a “zero-waste turbine” by 2040.  If one gives some thought to the Lafarge/GE team you conclude recycling fiberglass, etc. blades should result in the handing out of “carbon credits”! Both of those team members would presumably want them as they both are facing rising costs associated with “democratic” governments punishing them with a carbon-tax due to their emissions. The proponents of renewable energy from wind turbines must now be wringing their hands in confusion as they had pushed the concept that energy produced from them was emissions free but refused to admit their manufacturing generated emissions and that the blades were not recyclable.  It should also be noted that cement if it was a country would reputedly “rank fourth in the world as a climate polluter.”  IWT, based on many research papers could, “warm the surface temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius, with the largest changes occurring at night when surface temperatures increased by up to 1.5 degrees.”  So, will those carbon credits be shared or will they both be rewarded with the carbon tax we consumers are paying now and in the future?

Swiss CO2 law defeated at the ballot box means no carbon tax for the Swiss  

The Swiss held a vote on a CO2 law, based on the “polluter pays” principle,”. It targeted “road vehicles, air traffic, industrial emissions, and the renovation of buildings. Those who cut their CO2 emissions would have benefited from exemptions.” Presumably those who didn’t “cut emissions” would pay an emission tax. Switzerland’s government now has a problem as they have committed to the EU they would cut their emissions. 

It was interesting to note “Urban cantons including Basel, Zurich and Geneva voted in favour of the bill.  But 21 of the 26 Swiss cantons struck it down.”  One should suspect had Canadians voted on the recent move by the Trudeau led government to impose the increase to $170/tonne on emissions the outcome may well have turned out similar. Most large urban community voters seem to fail to realize the outcome will drive the cost of living up as the “carbon tax” climbs whereas the rural communities have a much better understanding of basic economics!

Interestingly the nay side “argued that Switzerland will not make a critical difference to global climate efforts since the real game-changers are China and the United States when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions” which many sane Canadian voters also understand.

So, the question is; when will Canadian voters be given the opportunity to vote yay or nay to the carbon tax?

Meteorologist Says Snow in June In Line With Historical Snowfall on Avalon                                          

The forgoing story about snow in Avalon, Newfoundland June 10, 2021 caught my eye due to having recently watched a video with Natural Resources Minister, Seamus O’Regan doing the introductory speech in a video at the launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  As an aside, OCAF is proposing to spend $57.4 billion tax dollars to make the City of Ottawa achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050. In the opening welcome from O’Regan he opined about last winter stating, “average temperatures of 10 degrees higher than normal in the height of winter” in parts of Labrador suggesting it was caused by climate change. What he failed to say was average winter temperatures in Newfoundland and Labrador can swing widely by as much as 30 degrees so 10 degrees hardly seems unusual. Nevertheless If you’re pushing the “net-zero” theory to justify handing out tax dollars to groups like OCAF you may only want to present information that is one-sided.

The question someone in the media should ask O’Regan is; do you think snow in June is caused by “climate change”?

Centre Block renovation to take until at least 2030 to complete, cost up to $5Billion                     

Another article that caught my eye was once again all about Ottawa and referenced how the renovation associated with the Peace Tower and Centre Block was not only going to cost taxpayers $5 billion but would also not be completed until 2030 or 2031.  One of the strange issues arising out of the renovation had nothing to do with the $57.4 billion the City of Ottawa wants to spend to make the city reach “net-zero” as the Peace Tower and Centre Block are owned by the Government of Canada. The article noted:

It’s being promised by PSPC (Public Services and Procurement Canada) that the renovation will result in transforming the “largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter” within PSPC’s portfolio of federal buildings into a carbon-neutral facility with significant reductions to energy and water consumption.”

I’m sure PSPC has numerous properties emitting “greenhouse gas” but probably none of them are places where so many politicians are present so perhaps, as taxpayers, we were aware of where the largest “carbon emissions” emanate from; when parliament actually sits. 

Putting aside the fact that our parliamentarians spew “greenhouse gas” one wonders why PSPC didn’t look for alternatives to spending all those tax dollars?  Was the only choice to spend $5 billion to make it “carbon-neutral” or perhaps they should have considered buying some of those California “Global Emission Offset Credit’s” priced at US $20.32/tonne for June 2021? $5 billion would buy a lot of those “offset credits”!

PwC to add 100,000 jobs in US$12 billion strategic revamp

An article in the Financial Post last week stated “PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing US$12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.” The article went on to note: “The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment” and went on to state; “The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends across its operations.” ESG was a creation of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was founded by the German economist Charles Schwab.  ESG is fully supported by the big four audit firms as it will allow them to increase their audit bills and some of those funds will presumably result in hiring more staff with those (whatever they are) ESG audit skills. It will also allow the big investment firms like Bloombergs, Brookfield, etc. to make lots of money trading those carbon credits that many firms will be required to purchase due to regulations and “Acts” imposed by government bodies at all levels.

My question is related to the foregoing imposition of ESG!  ESG imposition seems destined to make the very rich even richer and those in the middle and poorer classes poorer and is that it’s objective?

A bird stands in the way of India’s green goals  

India has so far escaped the need to impose carbon taxes but they do seem concerned about “climate change” so have been handing out contracts for more coal generation as well as wind and solar generation. This article indicates they have received push-back from the Wildlife Institute of India on the latter contracts and they were successful pushing for buried transmission lines in order to save an endangered bird known as the “great Indian bustard”.  The Supreme Court ruling supported the Institute but now the developers are crying because burying the transmission lines will reputedly increase costs to them by $4 billion.

The question I would have for the Canadian judicial system is why in most cases when similar objections were raised by opponents of wind and solar generation in Ontario and elsewhere did the rulings handed out favour the developers and ignore wildlife proponents?

IESO and OEB join forces to support innovative projects to help meet province’s growing energy needs

The IESO (independent Electric System Operator) and the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) recently issued a Press Release announcing they have formed a new partnership. The partnership “would test the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in providing services at both the local and provincial levels.” The DER resources they want to test are identified as: Some examples include rooftop solar panels, battery storage units and demand response devices, such as smart thermostats, that help reduce or shift consumers’ electricity usage.”  While industrial wind turbines are missing from the examples one should assume they are part of the mix as approximately 600 MW (megawatts) of their capacity are already part of the DER!  Ontario’s ratepayers have already experienced those “innovative projects” (sarcasm intended) which caused electricity rates to jump over 100% creating energy poverty while driving energy dependent businesses out of the province. IESO will also subsidize those “innovative projects” via their Grid Innovation Fund (GIF) while the OEB will provide “temporary relief” from regulatory guidelines.

My question is; why is the Minister of Energy allowing this to happen when the outcome has already been clearly demonstrated?

Conclusion  

From all appearances it appears confusion reigns supreme throughout the world when itcomes to the question of “climate change”, and the myriad ways governments and their regulators are dealing with it.  It is time realism is deemed important in respect to the global movement to effectively increase energy poverty and for governments to respect scientific opinion that has been tossed aside by the super-rich out to increase their wealth while harming the rest of mankind!

The time has arrived for governments to answer our “climate realism” questions!

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:

If you are a subscriber to NEWSTALKCANADA you can listen here:

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

Ontario gifts Michigan cheap energy as US state threatens Line 5

I was on Sauga Radio 960 AM at the invitation of Marc Patrone for his morning show on May 19, 2021. Our discussion was related to the cheap power we have been exporting to Michigan and other locations and Michigan’s threat to shut down Line 5.

You can listen to our chat starting at 1:22.18 of his show on the podcast here:

Podcasts

You can also listen to our discussions at NEWSTALK CANADA if you are a subscriber here:

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

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”.

Greenpeace Canada, York University Professor and OCAA Chair attack the Ford Government

The Doug Ford led Ontario government took almost three years since they were given the mandate to govern the province (decimating the Wynne led government) to recognize “renewable energy” is given preferential treatment by IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator)!  What they recently did was to state they would “repeal sections of the Electricity Act, 1998 and the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 that were introduced under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 to promote and prioritize the development or renewable energy.”  They opened the comment time for 40 days commencing April 15, 2021.

The takeaway of the proposed changes was focused as: “Prioritizing renewable generation is no longer appropriate. Going forward, Ontario will ensure value for ratepayers by allowing all resources to compete to meet system needs.”  

As one would expect pushback from the eco-warriors started and Keith Stewart, Senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada (Stewart worked for Gerald Butts at WWF as Director, Climate Change) jumped! He was ticked with the proposed changes in regulations and expressed his distain via twitter:

Keith Stewart@climatekeithDoug Ford isn’t only screwing up the pandemic response. His latest climate move: Proposal to Eliminate Renewable Energy Requirements for Ontario’s electricity system#onpoli https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-3471 9:48 AM · Apr 25,

Many will recall Greenpeace lost it’s charitable status in 1999 after having operated as a charity since 1976. Revenue Canada “refused to recognize the new Greenpeace Environmental Foundation as a charity, saying its activities have “no public benefit” and that lobbying to shut down industries could send people “into poverty.” It appears Greenpeace continue wishing to “send people into poverty”, ignoring the governments proposed changes are specifically focused to;  “ensure value for ratepayers”.  

An interesting aside! Greenpeace Canada has evolved and created a new entity having charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency with an “Effective date of status: 2020-09-02”. The new entity is Greenpeace Canada Education Fund (GCEF).

They claim GECF is: “Separate from the campaigning arm of Greenpeace, the Greenpeace Canada Education Fund invests in scientific research, education, and other activities aimed at raising awareness of the environmental issues that affect people in Canada and around the world.” It goes on to state; ”To maintain our independence and integrity, we never take money from governments or corporations. That means the Greenpeace Canada Education Fund relies on donations from individuals, foundations and other non-profit organizations to achieve our goals.” The foregoing echo the words from Greenpeace Canada’s website but a simple search noted Greenpeace Canada got two grants totaling $100K from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada a division of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change so it appears they will take money from governments!

It is also worth noting the new charity and Greenpeace Canada have the same address at 33 Cecil St., Toronto. The December 31, 2019 annual report for Greenpeace Canada claims they spent over $760K on “Public outreach and education” and almost $3 million on fundraising.  They must feel using the new entity will help them reduce “fundraising” expenses due to their ability to issue tax receipts meaning, taxpayers will pick up a good portion of the fundraising costs in the future. 

One should wonder why the CRA changed its mind?      

The other individual who jumped on the bandwagon to condemn the Ford government’s initiative was none other then Mark Winfield*, a York U Professor and former Program Director at Pembina. Joining him with “quotes” in an article posted on “The Energy Mix” was Keith Stewart and Jack Gibbons** of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance). The article headline is capitalized and scarily states: “Ontario Creates ‘Innovation Wasteland’ with Latest Renewables Rollback, Critic Warns”.  Some of the scarier quotes from the three individuals in the article are: “allergy to renewable energy”, “evidence-free decision making”, “a political vendetta”, “a program of extermination”, etc. etc. Their concerns seem over the top and aimed at scaring the reader.

Ontarians, who have experienced huge electricity cost increases since the advent of the GEA however, seems oblivious to the unidentified author of the article and the three individuals quoted! Perhaps someone else pays their electricity bills or they have solar panels on their roof or simply, facts don’t matter to them! 

The facts were formerly presented by  Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk in her December 2, 2015 report which stated: “Between 2004 and 2014, the Ministry issued two policy plans and 93 ministerial directives or directions that did not fully consider the state of the electricity market, did not take long-term effects fully into account and sometimes went against the OPA’s advice.”  The report further described the costs to Ontario’s ratepayers as follows! “In particular, the Global Adjustment fees, covering the excess payments to generators over the market price, cost consumers $37 billion during that period, and are projected to cost another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032.

Those eco-warriors who are dependent on our tax dollars are totally unconcerned about the plan to “ensure value for ratepayers” and instead are hell-bent on further destroying the Ontario and Canadian economies and the well-being of all Canadians!

The time has come to remove the charitable status of them all (including University Foundations)*** unless they dismiss the professors demonizing fossil fuels so they can appreciate what those in the private sector are burdened with!

* For more on Winfield and York University check out this article!

**More on Gibbons and the OCAA here!

***York University Foundation’s (registered charity) April 30, 2020 annual report indicates total revenue of $1.268 billion and a claim that $1.095 billion of that was spent on “charitable activities”.

O’Toole’s carbon “tax” may be even worse that the Liberal one

Marc Patrone, the host of a two hour morning show on SAUGA radio 960 AM had me on his program today April 19, 2021 and we again covered a fair amount of ground. The main topic was the recent announcement by the leader of the CPC, Erin O’Toole and his version of the carbon tax. We also touched on the recent news from the Canada Infrastructure Bank run by Catherine McKenna who told us in their press release they were doling out $655 million of our tax dollars to run an underwater transmission line under Lake Erie.

You can listen to our conversation starting at 1:18:40 of the podcast here:

If you happen to be a subscriber of NEWSTALK CANADA you can hear our conversation here:

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

The Canadian Version of “Dumb & Dumber”

Having just read the press release from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) on how they are partnering up with ITC Investment Holdings Inc., and using $655 million of our tax dollars to build a 117 kilometre underwater transmission line connecting Ontario with the PJM Interconnection, the 1994 movie, “Dumb & Dumber” immediately came to mind.

ITC is a Michigan based company (subsidiary of Fortis Inc.) and they will own 60% of the project with the balance owned by the CIB.  As a bit of an oxy-moron Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is planning to shut down the Line 5 pipeline which supplies oil to Ontario refineries (includes aircraft fuel, etc.), chemical plants etc. in Sarnia, and where propane is produced and supplies Ontario and Quebec farms and households. Line 5 also supplies refineries in the US and homes and farms in Michigan with propane.  Interestingly enough, Line 5’s entry into Michigan is also underwater and is the reason Gov. Witmer wants it closed. What this implies is if Whitmer is successful, it will cause job losses in Ontario while our tax dollars will create jobs in Michigan.  That suggests those in Canada making the decision on this project are “dumb”!

The time estimate to complete the Lake Erie underwater PJM connection is 4 years which would mean it should be operative in 2025,  That year happens to be the same year the Pickering nuclear plants will be taken out of service. Those plants currently provide 2,500 MW of capacity and generally run at their maximum so closure will remove 2,500 MWh (megawatt hours) of supply to Ontario’s ratepayers almost every hour of the day.  Additionally, Ontario’s grid operator, IESO, forecasts the closure will create a supply deficit in the summer months when Ontario demand peaks. One wonders if IESO were consulted or involved in the discussions leading to the CIB jumping on board and if not then it adds “dumber” to the announcement.

The “Endorsements” contained in the CIB press release serve to make the reflections of those quoted look “dumb and dumber”.  Here are a couple of their quotes with some observations! 

First, we will start with Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank who stated: “This project will allow Ontario to export its clean, non-emitting power to one of the largest power markets in the world and, as a result, benefit Canadians economically while also significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the PJM market. The project allows Ontario to better manage peak capacity and meet future reliability needs in a more sustainable way. This is a true win-win for both Canada and the U.S., both economically and environmentally.”

Had Mr. Cory actually done some research with IESO he may have learned Ontario will be facing a shortfall from the time Pickering Nuclear is closed in 2025 until new reliable power is added, meaning Ontario will not have any of “its clean, non-emitting power” available to export.  How then could it contribute to any “greenhouse gas emissions reductions”? Dumb?

Second, here is what Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs had to say: The Lake Erie Connector demonstrates the advantages of public-private partnerships to develop critical infrastructure that delivers greater value to Ontarians. Connecting Ontario’s electricity grid to the PJM electricity market will bring significant, tangible benefits to our province. This new connection will create high-quality jobs, improve system flexibility, and allow Ontario to export more excess electricity to promote cost-savings for Ontario’s electricity consumers.”

Three years into the portfolio and from the basis of his comments he has still more to learn! Similar to Mr. Cory above it appears Minister Rickford also didn’t speak with anyone at IESO as he suggests the $655 million in Federal tax dollars used to build the Lake Erie underwater transmission line will “allow Ontario to export more excess electricity to promote cost-savings for Ontario’s electricity consumers “.  Had he spoken to IESO they would have perhaps explained we will be potentially facing an energy shortage once the Pickering Nuclear plants are closed. What that infers is we will not have “more excess electricity” to export! Dumb?

Third, this is what Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities apparently said: With the US pledging to achieve a carbon-free electrical grid by 2035, Canada has an opportunity to export clean power, helping to reduce emissions, maximizing clean power use and making electricity more affordable for Canadians. The Lake Erie Connector is a perfect example of that. The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s investment will give Ontario direct access to North America’s largest electricity market – 13 states and D.C. This is part of our infrastructure plan to create jobs across the country, tackle climate change, and increase Canada’s competitiveness in the clean economy.”

As one will note Minister McKenna, also famous for attending an illegal cock fight and eating dog pretty well maximizes the fallacies of the prior two quotes illustrated above and expands on them.  Once again, a call to IESO or perhaps a chat with Minister Rickford should have disclosed in 2025 when this project may be complete it would have spelled the end of “an opportunity to export clean power, helping to reduce emissions, maximizing clean power use and making electricity more affordable for Canadians.“  It will do none of those things!  If this is part of their “infrastructure plan to create jobs across the country, tackle climate change, and increase Canada’s competitiveness in the clean economy“ we are in big trouble!

Throwing our tax dollars at a plan that cannot be justified in any way is a total disservice to all Canadians or to summarize, this is both “dumb and dumber” than perhaps anything we have seen before aimed at wasting our taxes.

To paraphrase Mr. Corey; this a true economic loss for Canada and our taxpayers.

Some good news on electricity costs

The foregoing title is a little deceptive as when Marc Patrone and I were speaking this morning on his show at Sauga Radio 960 AM we also covered a fair amount of other ground. Some of the other topics discussed were short spurts about pipelines, China, Russia’s forests and even briefly about housing costs. You can listen to our full discussion on the podcast starting at 41:10 and ending at 58:00 here:

or if you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

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

Wow! January and February 2021 show declining Ontario electricity costs!

For the first time in a decade Ontario experienced a reduction in the costs of grid generated electricity for two months in a row so the question should be; who should we thank?

As it turns out the Ontario demand for electricity in the first two months of 2021 were actually up slightly (1.3%) from 2020 or just under 300,000 MWh (megawatt hours) and about what 200,000 average households would have consumed in two months.  The costs of generation for January 2021 including both the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) plus the GA (Global Adjustment) dropped from $116.24/MWh to $99.83/MWh and for February it dropped from $127.31/MWh to $82.94/MWh.

So, why did costs decline?                                                                                                                                              

Was it because the Ford led Government took action and passed an Act to reduce the rates paid to wind or solar* generators or the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) decreed they would reduce rates or because IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) suddenly contracted for low-cost generation?

The answer is none of the above!  As it turns out we can thank “Mother Nature” for a big part of the cost reduction as wind generation fell by 17.2% or almost 438,000 MWh (what almost 300,000 households would consume in two month). That drop in output by those IWT (industrial wind turbines) saved $60 million in costs alone and additionally the slight increase in consumption noted above coupled with the fact that one of the Darlington nuclear units was shut down for refurbishment meant we had much less surplus generation that had to be sold to our neighbours in NY or Michigan.  Our net exports (exports less imports) sold in 2021 were only 1.007 TWh (terawatt hours) versus 2.694 TWh in 2020. The drop in sales of the surplus power of 1.687 TWh was also sold for a higher price (less suplus generation results in higher prices) which resulted in a reduction in our loss on those sales of $221.2 million year over year.  In 2020 the cost of our exports added $289.8 million to the costs of electricity but that cost dropped to $68.6 million in 2021 for those two comparative months.

To account for the reduced wind and nuclear generation Ontario’s natural gas plants stepped up to meet our needs generating an additional 522,000 MWh at prices reflecting only fuel costs and a small margin.  Most of those gas plants were added to ensure our grid reliability after the Green Energy Act was legislated back in 2009 and the OPA (Ontario Power Authority), since merged with IESO; contracted wind and solar generation they knew required backup due to their intermittent and unreliable nature.

No doubt the eco-warriors will be up in arms when they notice natural gas generation increased in January and February 2021.  Those eco-warriors should take a few moments to reflect on the fact that without electricity from natural gas generators many Ontarians may have died from the cold.

This is just another demonstration of the wasted cost Ontarians are continually forced to pay due to the GEA (Green Energy Act) and the contracts granted to wind and solar generators.

*Solar produces little power during the Ontario winter months and 2021 saw generation of only 0.071 TWh in January and February 2021 but it’s cost added about $32 million for very little generation.

Jack Gibbons, Chair, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the “coffee and a donut” guy tells lies

The eco-charities and those who run them such as Jack Gibbons for some reason believe whatever they say should be accepted as the truth.  Prior articles noted how Gibbons and his side-kick Angela Bischoff (two of the three staff at OCAA) are running around the province (hope it’s virtual) convincing naïve city and town council members they should pass recommendations slanted to their beliefs.  Those councils are to write Premier Doug Ford to tell him to close all of our gas plants and to purchase all the power we need from Hydro Quebec.

One recent announcement from the OCAA website was in respect to the City of Toronto. The OCAA’s website declared: “Last night [March 10, 2021] Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council passed a resolution requesting the Government of Ontario to develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible.”

The OCCA with Gibbons at the helm have in the past vilified coal generation and claimed responsibility (as have many others) for having them shut down while he advocated for gas plants.  Gibbons has also pushed (unsuccessfully so far) for closure of Ontario’s nuclear plants but now gas plants are in his headlights so he wants to shut them down.  One should assume nuclear will be on his agenda in the future should he be successful in his current endeavours. 

When campaigning to close the coal plants Gibbons used a report received from the OMA (Ontario Medical Association) which claimed 1,800 premature deaths in Ontario were caused by air pollution based on a report prepared by a company appearing to be located in Pennsylvania. The OCAA in 2015 issued an 88 page backslapping report on their reputed success and it contains much about Gibbons belief in his wonderous abilities noting: Gibbons was shocked and delighted by the report’s finding that total coal-plant emissions could be reduced by up to 83% by replacing coal with combined cycle natural gas generation at a cost to the average Ontario residential consumer of $1.86 per month – as Gibbons framed it, the cost of a coffee and a doughnut a month to avoid the enormous health impacts previously outlined by the OMA.”

The outcome of closing the coal plants found Ontario adding wind and solar to the energy mix under the GEA (Green Energy Act).  Because of the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar, gas plants were added to the system to ensure Ontarians had electricity when demand peaked. The result was electricity rates more than doubled and the Gibbons “coffee and a doughnut” claim became a daily cost for most ratepayers and for businesses the “coffee and a doughnut” cost became an hourly burden! Had rates climbed by only $1.86 per month we would have been delighted.

Gibbons presumably didn’t notice the increased electricity bills that the rest of the province’s ratepayers were experiencing and one should wonder why?  It is very unclear how he earns a living as the OCAA’s charitable status allows one to view their financial statements which show gross revenues of $134,997.00 for their year-end September 30, 2019 and nothing allocated for compensation. One should wonder; who is actually paying Gibbons and his two other staff members?

Another interesting characteristic of Gibbons is his penchant to beat up on anyone who might disagree with his claims and he does this wherever he finds a media outlet willing to publish one of his diatribes. That is evident as the Toronto Star and several of their related newspapers recently published an op-ed penned by him.  He beats up on an individual* with a much better understanding of how the energy sector functions in Ontario then he will ever admit to but such is the makeup of an eco-warrior!

Now returning to Toronto City Council’s actual “resolution” it becomes obvious how Gibbons obscures facts much as he does with his past claims.  The resolution actually passed by Toronto’s Council was not as OCAA suggested as they ignored the very significant amendments made to the original resolution. Obviously, Gibbons didn’t hesitate to make his usual spurious claim!

The actual motion by Toronto City Council they passed was as follows:

“1 – Motion to Amend Item moved by Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Carried)

1.  City Council request the Government of Ontario to develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible to ensure that Toronto has a clear path to achieve our climate action goals, taking into consideration the need to balance the cost to taxpayers, the need to have flexibility of supply and the need to have system reliability during the refurbishment of the Darlington and Bruce nuclear power stations.

2.  City Council adopt the following new recommendations:

 City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee by the end of 2021 on the gas-fire-generated electricity used and produced by the City of Toronto, and its agencies and corporations, and on a plan, including financial impacts, of phasing out the use of gas-fire-generated electricity.

City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee by the end of 2021 on the extra costs that will appear on taxpayers electricity bills as a result of the phase out of gas-fire-generated electricity.

City Council request the City Manager to consult with Toronto Hydro and the Ontario Energy Association on the impacts of phasing out the use of gas-fire generated electricity and report back to City Council through the Executive Committee by the end of 2021.”

As is obvious the “resolution” carries the requirement to have all the FACTS by the end of 2021 not “as soon as possible” as implied by the OCCA!  Those facts will surely bring council to the realization; without gas plants “system reliability” will be a pipe dream despite the lies put forth by Gibbons.

It is past the time to call out the eco-warriors who are responsible for severely damaging Ontario’s economy!

*The individual is Ted Gruetzner who spent 10 years with OPG and was a senior officer for four of them.