CanREA pretends, “Here they come to save the day”

Mere days after COP 26 came to a close CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) issued a press release about their new 62 pages of gibberish.  The press release stated “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision presents an illustrative, but realistic, scenario to support this net-zero target by relying on Canada’s abundant and low-cost wind and solar energy resources to supply two-thirds of the new electricity required by 2050. This requires an almost ten-fold expansion in this country’s wind and solar energy capacity in the next 29 years.“

Reading the gibberish in the CanREA “Vision” had me reflecting back to my childhood and the “Mighty Mouse” cartoons with the accompanying song and the line in the song; “here I come to save the day“! Does CanREA really believe they can deliver on their claim(s) or do they think as adults we will buy into the BS they tout?  Industrial wind and solar generation won’t get us to “net-zero” emission reduction by 2050 and instead will cause blackouts and increase energy poverty when paired with battery storage as their 2050 Vision suggests.

The CanREA “Vision” doesn’t mention the blackouts caused by wind and solar generation’s failure in Southern Australia, California, Texas and of course the EU. The latter is not related to blackouts but the occurrences in the UK with fired up coal plants during the UN COP26 Climate Conference was due to the failure of those off shore industrial wind turbines to generate power.

It is also humorous to note CanREA’s Vision fails to mention the lifespan of typical wind and solar generation is about 20 years so, one-third of the “ten-fold” expansion they suggest, will require replacement before the 2050 target is met.  

The other issue only casually mentioned is the recyclability of industrial wind turbines, solar panels and EV batteries. The “Vision” suggests wind turbine manufacturers are working hard to come up with recyclable wind turbine blades which signifies existing blades are not recyclable.  An interesting article posted in “e&cn” (Chemical and Engineering News) in April 2018 examines the difficulties associated with recycling wind turbines, solar panels and batteries! The article suggests recycling all three is difficult and also refers to the need to use gas fired furnaces in portions of the recycling process which seems ironic if the aim is “net-zero” emissions.  The article concludes with this final sentence: “Industry experts and watchdogs agree that if old solar panels, wind turbine blades, and electric car batteries pile up for lack of good recycling options, waste will become a black eye for these supposedly clean industries.“

As one would expect the ‘Vision” says nothing about wind turbine’s harm to humans (audible and inaudible sound and shadow flicker) or how it often affects aquifers in rural communities causing a loss of clean water for households.  It only casually mentions birds and bats but in an affirmative way, suggesting IWT (industrial wind turbines) generators have focused on harm to them reputedly; “resulting in leading research and tools for the mitigation of impacts on birds and bats.

It seems obvious to anyone with even a narrow knowledge of “renewable energy” that IWT, solar panels and battery storage are not “here to save the day” and instead are focused on simply enriching the CanWEA members who both ignore their costs and harm to the rest of the human race. 

We Canadians need “Mighty Mouse” to swoop down and save us from those aiming to kill our economy.

Some Naked Facts (?) on – Batteries, Solar and Wind

NB: I received this from a friend and felt it was worth posting as it is full of interesting facts!

When I saw the title of this lecture, especially with the picture of the scantily clad model, I couldn’t resist attending. The packed auditorium was abuzz with questions about the address; nobody seemed to know what to expect. The only hint was a large aluminum block sitting on a sturdy table on the stage.

When the crowd settled down, a scholarly-looking man walked out and put his hand on the shiny block, “Good evening,” he said, “I am here to introduce NMC532-X,” and he patted the block, “we call him NM for short,” and the man smiled proudly. “NM is a typical electric vehicle (EV) car battery in every way except one; we programmed him to send signals of the internal movements of his electrons when charging, discharging, and in several other conditions. We wanted to know what it feels like to be a battery. We don’t know how it happened, but NM began to talk after we downloaded the program.

Despite this ability, we put him in a car for a year and then asked him if he’d like to do presentations about batteries. He readily agreed on the condition he could say whatever he wanted. We thought that was fine, and so, without further ado, I’ll turn the floor over to NM,” the man turned and walked off the stage.

“Good evening,” NM said. He had a slightly affected accent, and when he spoke, he lit up in different colors. “That cheeky woman on the marquee was my idea,” he said. “Were she not there, along with ‘naked’ in the title, I’d likely be speaking to an empty auditorium! I also had them add ‘shocking’ because it’s a favorite word amongst us batteries.” He flashed a light blue color as he laughed.

“Sorry,” NM giggled then continued, “three days ago, at the start of my last lecture, three people walked out. I suppose they were disappointed there would be no dancing girls. But here is what I noticed about them. One was wearing a battery-powered hearing aid, one tapped on his battery- powered cell phone as he left, and a third got into his car, which would not start without a battery.

So I’d like you to think about your day for a moment; how many batteries do you rely on?” He paused for a full minute which gave us time to count our batteries. Then he went on, “Now, it is not elementary to ask, ‘what is a battery?’ I think Tesla said it best when they called us Energy Storage Systems. That’s important. We do not make electricity – we store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid. Also, since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from coal-fired plants, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered, n’est-ce pas? He flashed blue again. “Einstein’s formula, E=MC2, tells us it takes the same amount of energy to move a five-thousand-pound gasoline- driven automobile a mile as it does an electric one. The only question again is what produces the power? To reiterate, it does not come from the battery; the battery is only the storage device, like a gas tank in a car.” He lit up red when he said that, and I sensed he was smiling. Then he continued in blue and orange.

“Mr. Elkay introduced me as NMC532. If I were the battery from your computer mouse, Elkay would introduce me as double-A, if from your cell phone as CR2032, and so on. We batteries all have the same name depending on our design. By the way, the ‘X’ in my name stands for ‘experimental.’ There are two orders of batteries, rechargeable, and single- use. The most common single-use batteries are A, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and lantern types. Those dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. Please note they all contain toxic, heavy metals.

Rechargeable batteries only differ in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium. The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills. California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled. If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.

All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy. You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old ruptured battery. When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or light, you think of it as dead; well, it is not. It continues to leak small amounts of electricity. As the chemicals inside it run out, pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, it cracks. The metals left inside then ooze out. The ooze in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery in a landfill. All batteries eventually rupture; it just takes rechargeable batteries longer to end up in the landfill. In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle batteries like me or care to dispose of single-use ones properly. But that is not half of it.

For those of you excited about electric cars and a green revolution, I want you to take a closer look at batteries and also windmills, and solar panels. These three technologies share what we call “environmentally destructive embedded costs.” NM got redder as he spoke. “Everything manufactured has two costs associated with it, embedded costs and operating costs. I will explain embedded costs using a can of baked beans as my subject. In this scenario, baked beans are on sale, so you jump in your car and head for the grocery store. Sure enough, there they are on the shelf for $1.75 a can. As you head to the checkout, you begin to think about the embedded costs in the can of beans. The first cost is the diesel fuel the farmer used to plow the field, till the ground, harvest the beans, and transport them to the food processor. Not only is his diesel fuel an embedded cost, so are the costs to build the tractors, combines, and trucks. In addition, the farmer might use a nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas. Next is the energy costs of cooking the beans, heating the building, transporting the workers, and paying for the vast amounts of electricity used to run the plant. The steel can holding the beans is also an embedded cost. Making the steel can requires mining taconite, shipping it by boat, extracting the iron, placing it in a coal-fired blast furnace, and adding carbon. Then it’s back on another truck to take the beans to the grocery store. Finally, add in the cost of the gasoline for your car. But wait – can you guess one of the highest but rarely acknowledged embedded costs?” NM said, then gave us about thirty seconds to make our guesses. Then he flashed his lights and said, “It’s the depreciation on the 5000 pound car you used to transport one pound of canned beans!” NM took on a golden glow, and I thought he might have winked. He said, “But that can of beans is nothing compared to me! I am hundreds of times more complicated. My embedded costs not only come in the form of energy use; they come as environmental destruction, pollution, disease, child labor, and the inability to be recycled.”

He paused, “I weigh one thousand pounds, and as you see, I am about the size of a travel trunk.” NM’s lights showed he was serious. “I contain twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside me are 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells. It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each auto battery like me, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just – one – battery.” He let that one sink in, then added, “I mentioned disease and child labor a moment ago. Here’s why. Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?” NM’s red and orange light made it look like he was on fire.

“Finally,” he said, “I’d like to leave you with these thoughts. California is building the largest battery in the world near San Francisco, and they intend to power it from solar panels and windmills. They claim this is the ultimate in being ‘green,’ but it is not! This construction project is creating an environmental disaster. Let me tell you why.

The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

Windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and environmental destruction. Each weighs 1688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and contains 1300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard to extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades. Sadly, both solar arrays and windmills kill birds, bats, sea life, and migratory insects.

NM lights dimmed, and he quietly said, “There may be a place for these technologies, but you must look beyond the myth of zero emissions. I predict EVs and windmills will be abandoned once the embedded environmental costs of making and replacing them become apparent. I’m trying to do my part with these lectures. Thank you for your attention, good night, and good luck.” NM’s lights went out, and he was quiet, like a regular battery.

Quebec has joined the BOGA(man), Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance

When first viewed, the word “BOGA” created mind thoughts of things like, boogieman, bafflegab, the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, etc. etc.  Looking further clarified it as the acronym for a COP 26 creation known as “Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance”!

The article where “BOGA” appeared was dated November 11, 2021 and headlined as; “COP26: Denmark and Costa Rica launch ambitious alliance to phase out oil and gas”. The article went on to state: “Led by Costa Rica and Denmark, the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) saw six full members, France, Greenland, Ireland, Quebec, Sweden and Wales, announced at COP26 today“ and further stated; ‘Each member will commit to ending new licensing rounds for oil and gas exploration and production. They must also set an end date for oil and gas production and exploration that is aligned with Paris Agreement objectives.“  Reading further it disclosed California and New Zealand also joined the alliance as associate members and Italy became a ‘Friend of BOGA’.

Looking at the two founding countries of BOGA is interesting:

Costa Rica generates 72% of its electricity from hydro, almost 15% from geothermal sources, 12% from wind and a small amount from biomass and solar.  Costa Rica consumes just under 10 TWh (terawatt hours) of electricity annually. (NB: For context, Toronto Hydro delivered almost 24 TWh in 2020)

Denmark’s electricity consumption in 2019 was 33.7 TWh.  Generation from fossil fuels and waste was 20% (7.4 TWh), wind was 57% (19.2 TWh), solar 3% (1 TWh) and the balance came from net imports. Up until very recently Denmark held the # 1 spot as the EU country with the highest electricity rates but they recently were relegated to 2nd place by Germany.

The other issue with Denmark is related to their purpose in creating BOGA! They are home to the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, the fourth largest employer in Demark with 29,000 employees. Denmark is also home to the world’s top developer of offshore wind farms, Orsted. It seems obvious why Denmark played the major role in creating BOGA as those two companies will reap the benefits going forward and the Government will reap the rewards from any jobs created as Denmark also has the highest personal tax rates in the EU.

As if to exacerbate the BOGA affect, Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jorgensen, in early September announced they were looking for partners in respect to their plan to construct a $34 billion manmade “energy island” and hundreds of “offshore industrial wind turbines” to help the country achieve “climate neutrality by 2050.”  Missing from the equation and braggadocio of Denmark’s Jorgensen, was how those “hundreds of offshore industrial wind turbines”; kill birds and bats, affect marine life or how they will be recycled when they reach their end-of-life.   As demonstrated by countries around the world many parts of those IWT along with solar panels will simply be buried as has continually happened with those fiberglass turbine blades.

Costa Rica, the other co-founder of BOGA, as noted above, appears to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources and one can easily find articles supporting that fact.  Funnily enough, despite those commendations about renewable electricity for Costa Rica their main import is “refined petroleum” which in 2019 was $1.52 billion.  An article in the Guardian from 2017 headlined: “All that glitters is not green: Costa Rica’s renewables conceal dependence on oil” went into considerable detail including the fact “renewables make up less than a quarter of the nation’s total energy use.”  The article went on to note an “explosive growth in private vehicles is causing more than just pollution. Traffic in the capital, San José, has become almost unmanageable, with the city earning the worst ranking for congestion in Latin America, according to a study by the navigation app Waze.”

The foregoing suggests things are not as they appear despite the “back slapping” at COP26 associated with powering the electricity sector with industrial wind turbines, solar or hydro. Those few locations around the world fortunate enough to have been graced with an abundance of hydro power by mother nature like Costa Rica and the province of Quebec should not be critics of those less fortunate.

Apparently, it is perfectly acceptable to claim you are going all out to push the “renewable energy” button while you import oil to refine it, as Quebec does, or import it in a refined state as Costa Rica does, or in the case of Denmark, extract it for sale to others.

The obvious hypocrisy of the whole UN COP 26 climate conference is easily exposed from just this small segment of what those 30,000 Glasgow attendees developed over the two-week event.

Dialing the temperature up or down is beyond the control of humankind except to a very small extent as many scientists (not invited to attend COP 26) have stressed in various peer reviewed studies over many years. 

We should all be afraid of the UNIPCC “BOGA man”!

Oops, They did it again and again—those Industrial Wind Turbines

Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) recently reminded me of the Britney Spears hit in the year 2000, “Opps…I Did It Again” and like she repeated in the song; Ontario’s IWT have, “done it again”!  How wind performed on November 9, 2021 is atypical! At the midnight hour those IWT generated quite a bit of unneeded power running at 37% of rated capacity (4,568MW) generating 1,693 MW but eleven hours later they were generating only 65 MW and running at 1.5% of rated capacity (4,307MW) when demand was considerably higher.

If we jump ahead to the following day November 10, 2021, at Hour 5 (5AM to 6AM) those IWT were running at 21.4% of their capacity generating 959 MW but by 11 AM their output had collapsed and they were running at only 1.7 % of capacity producing 72 MW despite the fact demand had increased quite a bit from 5 AM.

As one should surmise, unlike nuclear, hydro or gas generation; IWT (solar also) generation is dependent on the weather. As is obvious, from just the past two days, IWT are extremely intermittent and therefore should be considered unreliable. Thanks to the McGuinty/Wynne led Ontario Liberals IWT were granted special treatment commanding “first to the grid” advantageous rights.

Needless to say, Ontario’s grid operator, IESO, must deal with the vagaries of generation from IWT presumably causing much more intense scrutiny in situations where demand is increasing but variable generation from wind and solar is falling. The same situation applies when demand is falling but variable generation from IWT are quickly rising.  Their job would be much easier without variable generation and ratepayer bills would undoubtedly be quite a bit lower!

It would be a much better scenario without variable wind and solar instead of getting ready for the “Oops” when we in Ontario experience the problems they had to confront  in California, South Australia, the UK (in time for COP 26) and of course the Texas power crisis in February of this year that cost many lives.

Hey, Premier Ford, take away the special rights granted to those IWT and: “don’t, do it again”!

PS: A contact of mine sent me this graph that shows the ups and downs of industrial wind generation outlined above. A picture is worth a thousand words as the expression goes!

Sad News from Denmark about Industrial Wind Turbines

The “sad news” for the shareholders of two Danish companies will undoubtedly be “happy news” for those around the world who have experienced the nasty effects created by industrial wind turbines (IWT). Those nasty effects of IWT are significant and ignored by eco-warriors and politicians who are “climate change” advocates and believe IWT are one of the ways to achieve “net-zero” emissions.

Examples of those nasty effects are far and wide and include:

1.The health effects of the audible and inaudible noise of those swishing blades as well as shadow flicker have been noted in hundreds of studies which show conclusively a good percentage of the population are affected in a negative way.

2.The slaughter of birds and bats including the possible effect on some “at risk species” has been studied globally and IWT have been labelled as a major cause of those deaths and the resulting harm to nature.

3.Offshore wind farms have been found in various studies to have a damaging effect on commercial fishing and certain species as well as disorienting whales due to infrasound noises.

4.The detrimental effect on property values where IWT are located within sight of residential homes which leads to reduced “taxable” values in the municipalities where they are located.

5.The added cost to ensure power availability to back-up IWT due to their intermittent and unreliable nature requiring 90% support from coal or natural gas generation to prevent grid blackouts.

6.The added cost per number “5” above drove up the cost of electricity in Ontario to the degree that electricity rates more than doubled and many households were driven into “energy poverty” requiring huge support from taxpayers as well as ratepayers.

The Danish companies highlighted in the recent Financial Times article were: “Vestas and Orsted” and they were warning about, tough times for renewable energy”.  The basic message was, revenues and profits were failing to meet forecasts.  The result was share values dropped.  So sad!

Orsted, “the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, said it had taken a DKr2.5bn ($389m) hit from lower wind speeds in the first nine months of this year compared with 2020”. Vestas “cut its full-year profit margin guidance before special items to 4 per cent, having trimmed it to 5-7 per cent in August from an initial 6-8 per cent. The turbine maker blamed a range of factors including global supply chain blockages and shortages of components, along with higher raw material and transport costs.”

The article goes on to highlight the “intermittency” of wind generation and laid the blame on; “the slowest wind speeds in decades have exacerbated a reliance on gas and coal for electricity—including in the UK, the world’s biggest offshore wind market.” The foregoing remark should remind one that E.ON, one of the UK’s energy providers back in 2008 stated the 15% UK target for renewable energy by 2020 “would require up to 90% of this amount as backup from coal and gas plants to ensure supply when intermittent renewable supplies were not available.”

It seems ludicrous politicians, spurred on by eco-warriors, have bought into the dubious claim, mankind is fully responsible for “climate change”. They ignore what many scientists state is principally caused by solar activity as it has in the past.  Mankind’s contribution to emissions is not the control knob they so firmly believe may be causing global warming in their efforts to reach “net-zero”!

Quebec, Trudeau’s poster child, trying to reach net-zero by going full blast on EV

The province of Quebec is blessed with natural resources in the form of rivers and lakes that Hydro Quebec has damned to generate what is labelled as clean electricity.  As a result of their resource benefits, their 2020 annual report notes their residential rate of 7.3 cents/kWh (kilowatt hour) are the “lowest in North America”!  The report also states $3.6 billion was a “Contribution to the Quebec government’s revenue in 2020”.

Attempting to find the average rates for Ontario is almost impossible and depends on your LDC (local distribution company) and their charges for distribution, regulation etc. on top of the cost of generation.  As one example Hydro One have several residential rate categories combined with TOU (time of use) metrics varying from a low of 13 cents/kWh to over 20 cents/kWh with the average in the range of 17 cents/kWh.  Those costs naturally have an effect on per capita usage so for the 2020-year Ontarians consumed 139.5 terawatts (TW)* whereas Quebecers consumed 171.4 TW*.  On a per capita basis Quebecers consumed just over 20 MW annually whereas it was less than half that in Ontario at about 9.5 MW. 

Back in November 2020 Premier Legault announced a $6.7 billion five year plan to cut emissions. The main focus seemed to be aimed at banning all gas car sales in 2035 and electrification of 1.5 million vehicles, by 2030, including city buses (55%), taxis (40%) and school buses (65%)!

Those various EV will need those large batteries to power them and that means they will weigh more. As expected, the Ford Lightning weights 1,600 pounds more than an ICE powered Ford 150.  That will presumably have more of an impact on the deterioration of asphalt meaning more frequent road repairs but where is that money going to come from?  A large part of our gas taxes currently are slated for keeping our road and highways in reasonable shape but (to the best of my knowledge) those road repair taxes don’t apply to EV! The other issue is recycling those batteries as they “contain hazardous materials, and have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly” and “Currently, globally, it’s very hard to get detailed figures for what percentage of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, but the value everyone quotes is about 5%,” says Dr Anderson. “In some parts of the world it’s considerably less.”

As if to amplify the issues with those batteries they are much less effective in cold weather so will require more frequent charging during Quebec’s cold winters which is when their “peak demand” occurs so will Hydro Quebec need to restrict electricity use further?  They already offer customers a “dynamic pricing” break for lowering consumption during 7 hours on a winter day.  The number of EV registered in Quebec as of March 31, 2021 were 85,486 or 1.5% of over 5.8 million road vehicles (2019 stats) so if that increases to Premier Legault’s target of 1.5 million on the road by 2030 we should suspect Quebec will be severely restricting consumption and by then trying to figure out how to recycle the batteries.

It turns out some of those batteries will be manufactured in Quebec as PM Trudeau and Premier Legault in March 2021 got together and announced they would lend Lion Electric Co., a Montreal based manufacturer of electric trucks and buses $50 million each to establish a $185 million lithium-ion battery assembly plant in Quebec. Certain conditions would allow $30 million of that $100 million to be forgivable. Quebec’s Economy Minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon, stated “If we play our cards right, we could become world leaders in this market of the future,”

A Financial Post article about Lion Electric said; “The company went public this past May and has Power Corp as a major investor owning 36 per cent of Lion.” Just another epitome of the “Laurentian Elite”.

If one moves along to a week ago the news broke further about Lion Electric and how they received an order (conditional) for 1,000 electric school buses.  Needless to say, that was big news and was carried extensively in various big and small media outlets. Reviewing several of them you find Lion is expanding south as an article in the Cantech site said; “Lion said the construction of a shell building at its Joliet, Illinois, manufacturing facility was 80 per cent complete and was expected to begin production during the second half of 2022.”  One wonders will that site be supplying those “school buses”?

An article in Global News starts off with: “The Lion Electric Co. says it has received a conditional order for 1,000 electric school buses from Student Transportation of Canada, whose parent company is controlled by Quebec’s pension fund manager.” Hmm, all in the family!

So, it appears the “sainthood” sought by Legault and Trudeau by their attendance at COP 26 is being financed by the taxpayers of not only Quebec and the Federal Liberal government but also by the Alberta taxpayers. The latter provided the bulk of the equalization payments resulting in Quebec receiving $13.2 billion of the $22 billion Alberta coughed up in 2019 alone.

The Laurentian Elites love it but we should guess Albertans will hope all those 1.5 million EV charging their “made in Quebec” batteries will cause blackouts!

*Net of imports and exports.

Jack Gibbons, Chair & CEO of OCAARI, a Registered Charity, Advocates to Create More Energy Poverty

United Way on December 16, 2020, posted an article about energy poverty and what causes it.  The article stated: “Canada’s most populace province, Ontario, has the highest numbers of households struggling with energy poverty (1.1 M households).”

To put some context on the foregoing; those 1.1 million households would represent 22.9% of all residential electricity customers and 29.4% of all natural gas residential customers according to the OEB’s (Ontario Energy Board) 2020 yearbook of each customer group.

For some unknown reason the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) who have three (3) employees, and five (5) directors one of whom is Jack Gibbons in each category, have been making presentations to numerous and gullible municipal politicians across the province. Those presentations were meant to convince the municipalities they should push the Provincial Government to close all of Ontario’s gas plants. At last count 32 municipalities have bought into the OCAA’s diatribe. The IESO reported closing those gas plants would drive up average residential electricity bills by $1,200 per annum and also cause blackouts.

It is interesting to note; Gibbons, back in May 2006, was a big fan of gas plants speaking out in support of the Portlands Energy Centre (PEC) a proposed 550 MW gas plant and was quoted as follows:  “Some people are opposed to a power plant (of any kind) in Toronto — period,” said Jack Gibbons, chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. However, “some people are not fully aware how clean the Portlands Energy Centre will be.”

Should one go seeking for Gibbons biography you find little about him but what yours truly found was a list of speaker biographies in a website called “cleanairhamilton.ca” and what it stated was: “The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is a coalition of 80 organizations including the City of Hamilton, the Regions of Peel and Waterloo and the City of Toronto. Our member organizations represent over 6 million Ontarians.” These days the OCAA don’t make the foregoing claim but that doesn’t seem to have diminished Gibbon’s ability to dazzle the elected politicians in those municipalities.

The OCAA and the registered charity OCAA Research Institute (OCAARI) report they generated gross revenue (combined) of only $92,133.89 for the year ended September 30, 2020.  The OCAARI filing with the CRA indicates, for 2020, their gross revenue was $92,136.00.  Not sure where the difference of $2.11 went but perhaps Gibbons purchased a coffee! Curiosity piqued, a look back at the oldest (posted) CRA results for the year ended September 30, 2016 indicates total revenue of $63,042.00. That year the OCAARI reported charitable expenditures of $107,245 whereas in the 2020 report to the CRA those charitable expenditures were shown as $79,690.

 Recognizing the limited revenue being generated by this seemingly powerful organization, I reached out to Gibbons with the following question related to their 2020 CRA filing which indicated $6,645 as the amount spent on “management and administration”: 

I was looking at the OCAA’s September 30, 2020 filing with the CRA and found the following info kind of shocking so was wondering how you and Angela manage to survive on so little compensation?

 Can you explain please as you can’t possibly survive on so little, particularly all three of you listed on your website? Curious if you are being paid by others like Hydro Quebec or TAF or perhaps the IVEY Foundation?  Wondering and would sure appreciate an explanation.” 

What I got back in response was:

Hi Parker, We have two organizations: a) Ontario Clean Air Alliance Research Inc (OCAARI) which is a registered charity; and b) Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) which is a non-profit.

As of September 30, 2021, OCAARI has never had any employees.  But on October 1, 2021 Angela became an employee of OCAARI.

OCAA has had employees in the past. I have been a volunteer for many years. We have not received funding from TAF or Ivey for many years. We have never received funding from Hydro Quebec.

Jack

As noted above the posting on their website indicates “combined revenue” for both organizations for their 2020 yearend, was $92,133.89 and charitable donations were $79,690 which doesn’t leave much available to pay his two staff members particularly if they continue to spend money on “political activities”.  

For the 2020 year they reported expenses of $43,698 on political activities meaning they blew past their gross revenues for the year.

From all appearances the CRA with in excess of 45,000 employees as of March 30, 2020 has no problems with the OCAARI operating as a charity and can presumably find nothing wrong with their activities or filings with them.

The above demonstrates a sad state of affairs for those of us who pay taxes to supplement the activities of this particular organization (and presumably many others) whose aim under their CEO and Chair, Jack Gibbons, seems dedicated to driving more households in Ontario into energy poverty.

We need the bureaucrats to do their job!

Canada Missed the Boat Thanks to Our Prime Minister and “The Sky is Falling” Environmentalists

Someone needs to tell Canadian taxpayers:

 1.Why we taxpayers paid for over 300 politicians and bureaucrats to attend the Paris COP21 Conference

 and

2.Why we committed at that time to reduce our GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 below 2005 levels (since revised to 40/45% by 2030) without a cost/benefit analysis or a little foresight?

Had the politicians and bureaucrats done either (without just listening to the “climate change” eco-warriors) they may have possibly seen future events we are now experiencing around the world! 

To wit:

European Energy Prices are Breaking Records

A colder and longer winter depleted gas supplies which have not recovered so prices have climbed as availability from Europe’s gas fields have fallen and Russia’s Gazprom is focused on restoring their own gas storage as winter approaches.  Other events such as much less generation from industrial wind turbines have affected demand to the point that even coal plants had to be fired up.  Both of those commodities are either at record highs or closing in on them.  As a recent article in Aljazeera noted; “Europe has the world’s most ambitious climate plan, but political will is being tested by soaring energy costs. As countries take steps to ease the blow on consumers, Spain warned the European Union that measures to reduce emissions “may not stand a sustained period of abusive electricity prices,”. To make matters worse, Norway, famous for its hydro power said they are “pressed” due to low water inflows so interconnections with the UK, Germany and Denmark means those countries cannot count on any supply from them during the high demand winter.

India sees Petrol, Diesel and Coal Prices at Record Highs

A article on October 2, 2021 stated both diesel and petrol prices in India reached record levels.  It should be noted India is dependent on imports to meet 85% of its oil needs so the effects on the economy will be significant. India is also dependent on coal for electricity generation with about 70% of it’s generation provided from that source and a Reuters article from October 1, 2021 noted “Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, government data shows, far short of federal guidelines recommending supplies of at least two weeks.“ Interestingly enough India competes with China for coal imports and they are the world’s largest coal consumer. The Reuters article goes on to note: “Coal prices from major exporters have scaled all-time highs recently, with Australia’s Newcastle prices rising roughly 50% and Indonesian export prices up 30% in the last three months.

China Experiences a Myriad of Blackouts

Recently a very observant contact sent me a seventeen-minute video dated September 30, 2021 and it was fascinating to watch as it contained numerous blackout scenes from Chinese homes and businesses mainly in North-East China where many of the larger manufacturers are located. Those companies have been told to either reduce energy usage during peak demand periods or cut the number of days they operate. One of the reasons for the blackouts is that approximately 57% of electricity in China is generated from coal which has increased in price. Those coal-fired plants are unable to increase prices due to government price controls of electricity so they have reduced their output in an effort to reduce losses. The shutdown of factories will affect the global supply chain and as one example, that has been noted in the press as both Apple and TESLA have been affected.  The latter is interesting as the push is on in Canada and around the world to limit sales of ICE vehicles and eventually banish them in order to reduce emissions. China has been a major supplier of batteries and other materials for EV manufacturers and additionally about 50% (4.7 million) of all EV in the world are owned by Chinese citizens.  Needless to say EV charging stations have been shut down by the blackouts so the enthusiasm to purchase EV by China’s citizens will surely diminish as they will in other parts of the world!

Energy Lawsuits may make COP 26 to be a Breakup of the Paris Accord

What looms ahead for Boris Johnson, the UK’s Prime Minister as host of COP 26 in Glasgow later this month is unknown but he should be concerned.  Beyond the recent events affecting so many countries around the world including the UK, in respect to fuel shortages and their negative effects on inflation and the global supply chain there is yet another one looming! A Reuters article published just a couple of days ago may cause the Paris agreement on climate change to be (appropriately) tossed in the garbage.  Specifically, what the article references is: “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was originally drawn up to protect energy firms as the Soviet Union crumbled, but new analysis suggests it could allow coal plants in 54 signatory states to keep belching carbon dioxide for more than a decade.“ The article went on to say: “What they never thought about is that the treaty could be used against the EU countries themselves,” added Saheb who is now working as the lead author of a U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on climate mitigation.“  Saheb went on to suggest the suits could reach 1.3 trillion euros.  There are apparently a number of lawsuits that have already started totaling $18 billion with the largest being TC Energy’s $15 billion suit against the US under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline. Canada is also being sued under NAFTA by oil and gas company Lone Pine over a fracking moratorium by Quebec.

We are Not Back

Terry Glavin in an article in the National Post on March 15, 2017 noted PM Justin Trudeau went to the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 weeks after winning a majority and said: “Canada is back, my friends”. Trudeau and the other 299 plus politicians and bureaucrats he took with him simply gave away Canada’s prosperity which the Liberal Party inherited. He committed to reduce emissions and to basically shut down the fossil fuel sector.  His commitments are now biting us negatively.  If he had not been totally swayed by his buddy and puppet master, Gerald Butts, Canada might now be the best performing developed county in the world but instead we are scraping the bottom of the G7 and G20 barrels in terms of our GDP and our employment and inflation rates.

Had he reduced regulations, allowed pipelines to be built, mines (coal and others) to expand, etc. Canada would be prospering instead of contracting.  Our natural resources would be in demand around the world and Canadians would be reaping the financial benefits of foresight but alas the unelected eco-warriors won and now we are paying for the consequences! Should Trudeau decide to attend COP 26 let’s suggest he travel alone and when speaking in public he declares: 

Canada is at the back of the pack!

Climate Change Armageddon Has Arrived or so it Seems

Quite the week with some interesting things going on globally related to the electricity sector and how havoc has struck in some parts of the world! The following are just a few that caught my eye!

South Australia big Tesla battery sued for not helping during Queensland coal power station failure

South Australia has gone bigtime into renewable energy and back in 2016 they experienced a major blackout and in March 2017 the blame was squarely laid on renewable energy (wind and solar) by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator).  The blackout had triggered Elon Musk to step into the fray via a winning bid to build a battery storage unit which they did successfully in the 100 days promised. Since then other (TESLA) battery storage units have been added and one of them failed to deliver the power stored when called on back in 2019 and now are being sued by the AER (Australian Energy Regulator).  As it to top things off in Australia; a fire broke out at another big TESLA battery storage unit (300/450MW) under construction.  One article about the fire stated; “More than 150 people from Fire Rescue Victoria and the Country Fire Authority responded to the blaze, and it is expected to burn throughout the night for 8 to up to 24 hours.”  The foregoing lawsuit and the recent fire suggests battery storage may not be what will supply us with reliable power to back up intermittent wind and solar.

As one would expect California has also gone full bore into battery storage and they too recently experienced an event which forced the shutdown of Moss Landing reputed to be “the largest battery storage facility in the world“. The owners, Vistra Corp. claimed; “a limited number of battery modules” at the storage facility overheated on Saturday night, resulting in the facility going offline.“ Another more current article on September 16, 2021 had the following: “Now, only nine months into operation and less than three weeks after Vistra cut the ribbon on an expansion, most of the largest battery storage facility in the world has gone dormant with no timeline for a return.“  It certainly appears, based on these recent events that unreliable power generation storage should not be the back-up for unreliable and intermittent power generation.

Close to home and a recent Hydro One Bill

Receipt of a recent Hydro One bill and the information contained in it led the writer to do a quick calculation to determine the “total cost” per kWh (kilowatt hour) on what I was required to pay. Simply dividing my total bill by kWh consumed showed the all-in cost was 14.3 cents/kWh. Flipping the bill over however one notes, a little box titled “What do I need to know?”  That box had a fairly large amount listed as “Total Ontario support:” followed by a dollar amount. When the latter amount is added to what I have to pay and divided by our consumption the cost per kWh comes to 23 cents/kWh.  The difference of 8.7 cents/kWh multiplied by the kWh delivered to “residential customers” (13.448 billion kWh) by Hydro One (according to the 2020 Yearbook of Distributors recently released by the OEB (Ontario Energy Board), indicates tax dollars paid to them to keep residential rates at 14.3 cents/kWh amounts to $1.170 billion but their pretax net income was only $414 million.  Now they are applying to the OEB for approval to spend $13.5 billion over the next five years which will undoubtedly further increase rates and tax subsidies. 

China’s sudden hate for cryptocurrency mines

An article in the Financial Post about theft of electricity to create a bitcoin mining operation by a public employee of a NY State County suggested he will face a myriad of criminal charges.  The FP article referenced a NY Times estimate that bitcoin mining uses 91 TWh globally which is about what 8 million average Canadian households consume annually. Another article noted a Cambridge University study suggests; “Globally, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121 TWh a year

The bulk of bitcoin mining has been in China which was once said to contain about 75% of all cryptocurrency mines but China has been forcing out the miners who were using their low-priced electricity meaning many of them have either moved or are looking elsewhere. We should suspect China’s move is associated with the upcoming COP 26 Conference in Glasgow.  China will not be stepping up to agree to reduce their emissions at COP 26 but by booting out the bitcoin miners (63% reputedly used coal generated electricity) they will reduce the need to add more coal fired electricity.  One should also understand that the current price for coal per ton has soared over the past 12 months which presumably is driving up energy costs in China. Where those cryptocurrency miners relocate to however, will directly impact emissions from the countries they move to.

The Circular Economy

The WEF (World Economic Forum) in one of their posts stated: “The circular economy, which promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.“ Is the following picture (sent to me by a contact who asked me to spot the bulldozer) what the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schaub and one of his advisors; Mark Carney, had in mind?

Unrecyclable wind turbine blades being buried in a landfill seem to form part of the “Circular Economy”!

One should wonder why the WEF and others push renewable energy from wind and solar and believe the world’s population will not recognize the lies they are advancing to simply increase their wealth?

If the UK’s PM Boris Johnson was smart, he would cancel COP 26 as the world struggles to cope with the faulty unreliability of the “green energy” adopted by so many politicians and caused a cessation in investment for reliable fossil fuels and a significant spike in their costs due to green energy’s failures.

The results around the world of the “green” push continue to illustrate the fallacy of exiting fossil fuels without having anything resembling reasonably priced reliable power at the ready!  

Minnesota Court Case, Electric Vehicles in the UK, China’s Emissions and COP-26 etc.

Marc Patrone, host of his show each weekday morning on NEWSTALK SAUGA 960 AM had me on as a guest this morning (September 15, 2021) and the captioned covers only a few of the subject we discussed.

You can listen to our 15 minute chat on the podcast for September 15, 2021 starting at 1:21:50 here:

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