Net-Zero Looking like a No-Go by 2050 PART 1

The past several days has made it look like there isn’t “a hope in heaven or hell” to meet the commitments to reach net-zero by 2050. The promises made at COP-26 will be not be met, unless mankind is back living in caves by that date!  The following highlights several happenings impacting the impossible dreams of our elected leaders. Here are a just few that will also make eco-warriors upset!

Creaky U.S. power grid threaten progress on renewables, EVs

The captioned was labelled as a Reuters Special Report posted several days ago suggesting grid failures are becoming a big problem in the U.S. and caused by “climate change” bringing nasty things like; wildfires in California, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, Midwest heat waves and a Texas deep freeze.  The author goes so far as to claim; “the seven regional gid operators in the United States are underestimating the growing threat of severe weather caused by climate change” claiming he checked data going back to the 1970s! Had he bothered to go back a little further he may have found heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires and deep freezes are not a new phenomenon that has only occurred during the past 50 years.  He did rightly note the “inherent unreliability” of wind and solar “exacerbates the network challenges” and requires grid expansion to get their generation to where they are needed!  The article goes on to cite the increasing demand for electricity that will be caused by all those EV (electric vehicles) charging their batteries but that means a huge increase in spending on the grid!  He cites John Kerry, U.S. Special Envoy who stated: “We can send a rover to Mars, but we can’t send an electron to California from New York.” My guess is if Kerry had investigated, he would find out New York has no spare electrons to send anywhere and moving that “electron” across the county would cost more than sending that rover to Mars!

A summer of Blackouts

Another recent article related to the U.S. in the City Journal (CJ) co-authored by the editor and a “Fellow” at the Manhattan Institute took a different tact. The article noted “rolling blackouts” will be caused by; “the closure of some coal and nuclear plants, and the unreliability of renewables like wind and solar”.  The article further states “the unreliability of renewables like wind and solar” reduced energy surpluses. The article goes on stating; “That’s left some places with little margin for error during peak usage times in mid-summer—potentially prompting the kind of blackouts California saw last year. The warnings have spurred calls to slow down climate-change-driven efforts to retire nuclear and fossil-fuel generating plants.“ The authors of this article make a more logical argument than the Reuters article as it cites immediate problems presumably inferring building transmission systems to carry an electron from NY to California is not the answer noting: “the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which coordinates and oversees the power grid for 15 midwestern and southern states serving more than 40 million people, has noted that the closing of plants representing significant sources of energy had accelerated a shortfall in power reserves, potentially with dire consequences.”  The article goes on to note upcoming problems in several of those midwestern states including Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, all of whom, forecast power shortfalls and corresponding blackouts during peak demand hours principally due to plant closures and intermittent unreliable wind and solar.  The article also mentions the drought in California which will reduce hydro generation and suggest that, in itself, may well cause blackouts similar to those experienced last year.

Bundesbank warns Russian gas embargo would cost Germany 5 per cent in lost output

The Russian Ukraine war has exacerbated the global efforts to meet those COP-26 targets as the European Union has moved to stop purchasing Russian oil, natural gas and coal. Germany could see one of the largest impacts as they had become overly dependent on the supply of those fuels from Russia. Recently Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) warned the embargo could knock 5% (US$195 billion) off of Germany’s GDP effectively creating a recession.  At the same time Germany has reactivated many of their old coal plants to ensure electricity supply certainty.  The latter will not ensure they avoid the falling GDP forecast from Bundesbank nor will it help Germany and the EU reach their “net-zero” emission targets as they will be replacing gas fired plants with coal which is much more emissions intensive. It should also be remembered by all, that Germany had not only closed their coal fired electricity plants but had also phased out their nuclear plants in favour of intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.

Kwarteng to classify natural gas as ‘green’ investment to support North Sea

Kwasi Kwarteng is the UK’s Business Secretary under Prime Minister Boris Johnson. One month ago he was quoted stating: “Net zero is the solution to the global gas crisis, not the cause. Expensive gas is the problem – cheap, clean, homegrown energy is the solution,”! The quote was from a speech he delivered at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Kwarteng is now planning on classifying “natural gas” as green and drilling for it in the North Sea as “environmentally sustainable”.  Pretty sure the “eco-warriors” around the world must be very upset about declaring “natural gas” as green and drilling for more is “environmentally sustainable”!

Not to worry about the above though, as right here in Ontario the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) got a much different message recently.  The OCAA paid close attention to a recent debate amongst the leaders of four (New Blue Ontario Party and the Ontario Party were excluded) of the Provincial Parties invited to debate and the OCAA were delighted when they heard Doug Ford declare he “will not be happy until Ontario achieves a 100%  zero-carbon electricity grid”!  We should be pretty sure the Liberals, NDP and Green Party Leaders are fully on-board with Ford’s “happy” target!

What the foregoing suggests is that it doesn’t matter which side of the ocean you live on; politicians haven’t got a clue as to what the truth is!  Their preferences are driven by what they perceive voters’ favour and apparently, they haven’t a clue if “climate change” aka “global warming” is fact or fiction or what mankind’s influence on the climate actually is.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series!

Ontario’s Industrial Wind Turbines Fall Flat When Actually Needed

According to IESO data, Hour 19 on May 14th was Ontario’s peak demand hour reaching a high of 17,758 MW and once again those IWT were missing.  At that hour they generated a miserly 335 MW or 1.8% of demand while representing almost 16% of total capacity.  It should be noted they also have “first-to-the-grid” rights meaning they rank ahead of all other generation due to their contracts with the province.  

At hour one (hour ending at 1 AM) when demand is amongst the lowest in any day and declining, those IWT were generating 1751 MW or almost 39% of their capacity with demand under 13,000 MW ie: less than the combined capacity (14,814 MW)  of nuclear (even without the 3,144 MW of Bruce shut for their planned Vacuum Building Outage) and hydro . 

Generating excess power when unneeded always reflects itself by causing the market price ie; the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) to be low when IESO sell it off to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec. At hour one the HOEP averaged $13.31/MWh (1.3 cents/kWh) whereas at hour 19 it averaged $78.66/MWh. The foregoing is a reflection of how IWT generation’s intermittent and unreliable nature has caused the price of electricity in Ontario and around the world to increase to unaffordable levels.

It is worth noting at Hour 1 Ontario’s natural gas plants were generating 127 MW and in Hour 19 generated 3,477 MW disclosing their reliability.

The facts emphasized above should be ones the OCAA should disclose to the 32 municipalities throughout the province who have told the Ontario Ministry of Energy to shut down all gas plants by 2030. The OCAA has also pushed for the closure of all our nuclear plants suggesting Quebec would supply us with cheap hydro. That claim is an illusion by the OCAA as Quebec doesn’t have the power, we would need to replace what nuclear and gas provide! 

We Ontarians and those inept municipal politicians should be thankful we have those natural gas and nuclear plants or we all would experience continuing backouts!

Pretty sure we all appreciate; lights on to lights off!

Crazy stuff from Polls, Surveys and Politicians

Youthful “Climate Anxiety’

An article from April 26, 2022 on CTV news reported on a CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) survey on Ontario youth and labelled it “depressing”! The survey was about how the “Covid-19 pandemic” coupled with “eco-anxiety” had affected youth and the author of the article (Abby Neufeld) got the views expressed from a 17-year-old.  Leaving aside the section on the pandemic’s affect the shocking thing was how he responded to the question about climate-anxiety stating: “The first time it ever really hit home for me was in Grade 2 – we watched this informative video explaining the earth was sick,” he recalled, adding that he remembers feeling a sense of helplessness, unable to process what could be done.” One should assume when he was in grade two (2), he would have been seven (7) years old! As a parent one should ask why the local school board is allowing teachers to show videos that will obviously create anxieties in that age group? The CAMH survey indicated 24% of youth were “worried” about “climate change” and 50% were “depressed about the future”!

US Gallup Poll

As a counter to the CAMH survey a recent US Gallup Poll asked the question “What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?” and 35% picked “Economic Problems” as their top concern.  A miserly 2% picked “Environment/Pollution/Climate change” as the “most important problem” facing the country! Perhaps the US education system doesn’t allow the showing of those scary “climate change” videos to seven (7) year old’s in Grade two (2)?

Ontarians Rank “Tackling Climate Change” Seventh

Global News recently commissioned IPSOS to poll Ontarians to determine their top three priorities before the budget was to be presented in Parliament on April 28, 2022. Interestingly, “Tackling Climate Change” ranked seventh just ahead of “Lower Energy Costs” but behind four other economic issues including; “Lower Taxes”, “help with day-to-day needs (like groceries and gas)”, “help to make housing more affordable” and “Economy and Jobs”.   With all those economic issues front and center one should wonder; why are our politicians continually supporting the elimination of fossil fuels and targeting that COP-26 “net-zero” pie in the sky target? It now appears the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine have enlightened voters to real issues affecting their daily lives as they relegate the eco-warrior cries about “climate change” well down their list of concerns!

43% of Britons will struggle to pay their energy bills

An April 25, 2022, article in the Financial Post provided the results of an Opinions and Lifestyle Survey from the Office for National Statistics in the UK indicating energy poverty has affected many households.  The findings, collected from March 16th to March 22nd stated 43% of the UK’s household’s will struggle to pay their energy bills and 23% said it was difficult to pay their usual household bills.  The latter was up from 17% in November 2021. The increase obviously is in respect to the hit UK consumers have taken as electricity and natural gas prices have pushed up inflation to a 30 year high similar to what our inflation rates have climbed here in Canada.

An overwhelming majority of Quebecers, and all Canadians, want to supply Europe with energy

The media release of April 26, 2022 from the Montreal Economic Institute on April 26, 2022 noted they had engaged Ipsos to conduct a poll to determine how Canadians felt about exporting “our vast energy resources to European countries” to replace the Russian supply. Approximately 72% were in support and only 17% were opposed and that polling didn’t differentiate much with 65% of Quebecers also supportive. Another surprising result of the poll was the following from the media release: “While the provincial government has just adopted a bill aiming to put an end to all hydrocarbon development projects in Quebec, 59% of the population of the province is in favour of developing Quebec’s oil and gas potential in order to export the resources to Europe. Moreover, 53% of Quebecers want to revive the GNL Québec project in order to export liquefied natural gas to Europe, while only 29% are opposed.” 

The foregoing flies in the face of both the ruling Federal and Quebec politicians who continue to push for the complete elimination of fossil fuels. It appears however, the politicians plan to ignore what those who elected them, see as “sane policies” to actually protect the Canadian economy and our well-being!

New Federal Regulation makes new homes costlier

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s budget launched April 7, 2022 promised to spend billions of tax dollars (north of $70 billion) aimed at making new homes affordable. Considering the budgeted spending one wonders WHY the same government just five (5) days before the budget was presented would propose a regulation making new homes costlier?

The primary objective of the new regulation(s) is to; “Reduce energy consumption and resulting GHG emissions associated with products used in homes, contribute to Canada’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, reduce the load on the electricity system, and help Canadians save money on their energy bills.” The foregoing will reputedly reduce emissions by 1.2 megatons or 0.17% of Canada’s 2020 emissions and it applies to all appliances utilizing electricity in the house including; your furnace, air conditioner, etc. along with all other major appliances. We should be confident China or India will have no trouble increasing their emissions by that much in less than a week.

Shortly after the budget was presented the New York Post had an article that should prove shocking to all Canadians as it stated: “As of February, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the average price of a Canadian home stood at 816,720 Canadian dollars, or $646,809 — over nine times the average household income. In contrast, the US has seen slightly lower price increases, with home prices rising 27% over the same period, Fortune previously reported. In America, the median home price last month stood at $375,000, an all-time high and a 15% rise from a year prior.” That suggests the cost of the average home in Canada is almost double the cost in the US and is truly shocking.

One should wonder why the current government continues their agenda and appears intent on driving up our cost of living via inflationary regulations such as this?  Is it because the Trudeau led government is sold on the WEF’s (World Economic Forum) concept that we Canadians “will own nothing but be happy”?  We need to push back for the sake of all Canadians and our children.

Let’s have a Canada wide poll

Perhaps the time has come for a poll or survey that allows all Canadians to show our politicians what the U.S. Gallup Poll is telling the U.S. elected leaders! 

THE PROPOSED CLEAN ELECTRICITY STANDARD

Comments by the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada

April 15, 2022

by Robert Lyman and Parker Gallant

On March 8, 2022, the government of Canada published a document entitled, “A Clean Electricity Standard in Support of a net zero electricity sector”. The stated purpose of this document was “to send a clear signal that the Government of Canada intends to move forward with regulations to achieve a net-zero electricity system by 2035; to outline considerations related to this objective; and to solicit comments from Canadians regarding the scope and design of the CES”.

The Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada (hereafter referred to as “the Coalition”) is a not-for-profit association that represents small- and medium-sized manufacturers and other businesses in Canada.  The goal of the Coalition is to advance policies that promote economic growth and retain good jobs in Canada. 

General Comments

Much of the current public discussion concerning future energy transitions is based on speculation about the timing, cost, and pace of commercialisation of new technologies. It would seem more prudent to base one’s judgments on what has actually happened in past energy transitions rather than try and predict the future.

The period from scientific discovery to widespread commercialisation of technologies has been much longer than is currently estimated by advocates of rapid decarbonisation. None of the steps in the innovation pathway – research, discovery, testing, demonstration, initial market development or widespread commercialisation – operates according to a fixed or predictable schedule.

Professor Vaclav Smil of the University of Manitoba, perhaps the world’s foremost expert on energy transitions, has argued that past transitions have been slow, painstaking and hard to predict. Existing technologies, both for generation and consumption of electricity, have a lot of inertia. Smil observes that the changes in technology and infrastructure required to decarbonise the world in a few decades as a ‘grand delusion’.

The proposed CES seems premised on the view that, in the face of high market costs and barriers, governments can force the pace of change and retain the support of the electorate in doing so. Outside of the centrally planned economies, however, no government has attempted to prescribe the timelines for commercialisation of new technologies or the dates by which a large share of society’s needs must be met by a new technology. ‘Picking winners’ may be an increasingly popular aspect of national industrial policy (despite its history of failures), but a prudent government should be hesitant about committing billions of taxpayers’ dollars to technologies that are not ready and cannot compete without permanent subsidies.

Those who pursue the net zero goal will be confronted with the reality that hydrocarbons are nature’s most efficient embodiment of primary energy. The combination of high energy density, abundance, stability, safety, portability, safe storage and affordability is unmatched by any other source of energy. Governments cannot wish those advantages away.

The electricity sector offers good examples of the immense barriers to net zero. Just meeting the additional generation requirements needed to power proposed conversion to electric vehicles would require a major expansion in the electricity generation capacity across Canada, sometimes estimated as the addition of 10,000 megawatts of capacity from today’s levels. The provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Alberta still have coal fired capacity collectively totalling over 9,000 MW which will also require replacement, adding considerable additional costs.

The two largest power projects being built in Canada today, Site C in British Columbia and Muskrat Falls in Labrador, have a combined design capacity of 1,944 megawatts. To meet just the additional EV-related  power demand, at least eight more projects of the same size would have to be built. It generally takes at least 15 to 20 years to bring such a project to production in Canada. There are none even being contemplated at this time.

Central to the vision on which the proposed CEP is based is the thesis that in future Canada must rely primarily on wind and solar power generation for incremental supply, notwithstanding that these sources are intermittent and frequently unreliable.

The Issue of Costs

The discussion paper presents the transformation of Canada’s electrical energy system from one which is predominately reliant on low- or zero-carbon dioxide emissions to one that has virtually no carbon dioxide emissions as though it can be accomplished at low cost. Indeed, considerations of cost seem barely to enter into the presentation of facts, which is a highly unrealistic approach.

Canadians’ experience with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity systems in Ontario and Alberta have already revealed the significant economy-damaging costs of seeking to increase reliance on wind, solar and biomass energy. In Ontario, electricity rates for consumers doubled over the past decade and, according to the Ontario Auditor General, the cost of the move to increased wind and solar energy will be $90 billion over the life of the existing contracts.

Those who have studied the experience of other countries that have sought to increase reliance on renewable energy sources for electricity generation have found consistent patterns. These efforts bring about large increases in the actual prices that must be paid for electricity by consumers and businesses. Further, the price increases grow and accelerate as the percentage of electricity generated from intermittent renewables increases. This is due to the need for large and increasing amounts of costly backup and storage – things that are not needed at all in conventional hydrocarbons-based systems. Jurisdictions that increased generation from renewables up to as high as 30 per cent to total electricity supply have seen an approximate tripling in the price of electricity to ratepayers, except where a large portion of the increased costs is off-loaded to taxpayers.

In the remainder of these comments, the Coalition will address four specific aspects of the proposed CES:

  • The paper’s treatment of energy technology pathways
  • The paper’s proposal to minimize use of natural gas-fired generation
  • The cost of bulk electricity storage
  • Issues related to transmission

Technology Generation Pathways

The concept of technology is touted in the discussion paper as a way to achieve “net-zero” electricity for which wind turbines (onshore and offshore), solar (photovoltaic and concentrated), hydro and nuclear are considered to be zero emissions! It goes on to claim: “low and non-emitting generation technologies are becoming more cost-competitive, the pace of low-carbon electricity deployment must accelerate for Canada to reach NZ2035”.

The paper also opines favourably on possible energy sources under development such as SMR (small modular reactors), hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture as zero emission. It also favours biomass (cogeneration and simple cycle) ahead of any form of natural gas generation. 

Biomass:  The treatment of biomass as low emissions flies in the face of reports from the UK where one of the world’s largest biomass power plants (DRAX)1. ranks third in the EU for emissions (if they were counted) and also received more than £800m in subsidies.

Solar photovoltaic is also a questionable source of energy in Canada (weak winter solar) and where it has been developed has cost more than estimated and produced considerably less power than forecast.  The larger projects started on the Nevada deserts have had many problems and the State 2. is dependent for over 60% of its electricity needs on natural gas plants. It would also need storage which would add considerably to its costs.

SMR technology is in process in many locations around the world but to date only a small number are operating, with Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov,3. the world’s first floating nuclear power plant which began operation in May 2020 producing energy from two 35 MW SMRs. China’s Huaneng Group Co.’s 200-megawatt unit 1 reactor at Shidao Bay is now feeding power to the grid in Shandong province, the China Nuclear Energy Association 4. said in a December 2021 article. Other SMRs are under construction or in the licensing stage in Argentina, Canada, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States of America.  SMR, dependent on costs, appears to be a possible “net-zero” energy source before several others but is unlikely to meet the targets committed to by the Canadian Federal Government at COP26.

Wind and solar are touted as playing a “key role”in reducing the electricity sector’s emissions but it will be very costly as demonstrated in Ontario5. where prices more than doubled in less than 10 years as they rose to represent over 15 per cent of capacity but generated only 9 per cent of demand, often when not needed. It must be recognized they receive “first-to-the-grid” rights meaning clean hydro is spilled and clean nuclear is steamed off to maintain grid stability and ratepayers are saddled with those costs in addition to what is paid to wind and solar developers. Due to their unreliable and intermittent nature they require backup from natural gas generation and ratepayers are saddled with that cost too.

Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) is a major part of the discussion paper.  Based on the following excerpt however it seems to be viewed as temporary: “Over time, however, natural gas coupled with CCUS will increasingly be in competition with other emerging options that are both non-emitting and flexible in the roles they can play in electricity systems.” The issue of CCUS has gained interest from the Government of Alberta 6. and six major oil patch participants who are seeking “carbon capture credits” to assist in recovering some of the costs. While Canada is a leader in the development of CCUS the costs involved will be billions of dollars. Those costs will add considerably to electricity generation costs from flexible fossil fuels required to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.  A report from June 2020 from Rutgers University 7. stated: “The analysis suggests coal-sourced CO2 emissions can be stored in this region at a cost of $52–$60 ton−1 , whereas the cost to store emissions from natural-gas-fired plants ranges from approximately $80 to $90.”  Note the foregoing are US dollars and those costs will be added to each kWh delivered. Transferring part of these costs from emitters to taxpayers through the use of investment tax credits for CCUS will not reduce the cost to society.

Hydrogen blending with natural gas will raise consumer costs and risk public health while barely reducing emissions, a US think-tank 9. reported in a March 30, 2022 article. It goes on to state “A blend of 20% green hydrogen in natural gas would raise fuel costs for heating and cooking by a factor of two to four, as renewable H2 is currently six to 14 times more expensive than fossil gas, the study explains. Green hydrogen prices would have to fall by roughly an order of magnitude to achieve parity with the price of natural gas for use in buildings.”  The “Discussion Paper” suggests “releasing the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada to position Canada as a world-leading producer, user and exporter of clean hydrogen, and associated technologies”.  It appears once again the blending of hydrogen and natural gas would further drive up the cost of electricity should this be cast as another regulation.

Natural Gas

Natural gas has long been favoured as a clean, efficient, plentiful and affordable source of energy supply for multiple uses. In absolute terms, natural gas is the fastest growing source of supply for energy consumers, and through the use of liquification one of the fastest growing sources of international energy trade. In the United States, the increasing domestic supply of natural gas and its affordability have allowed the US to convert a large amount of previously coal-fired electricity generation to the lower cost and cleaner fuel.

In Canada, natural gas is used both for reliable base-load power generation and a back-up source to help cope with the serious problems of intermittency that plague wind and solar generation sources that have been used for political reasons. According to Canada’s Emissions Inventory, published by Environment and Climate Change Canada, in 2019 natural gas fired generating plants produced 46,100 GWh of electricity, 8 per cent of Canada’s total, and emitted 22 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, 32 per cent of the emissions from power generation. This, however, is only illustrative of how extremely low greenhouse gas emissions already are from electricity generation in Canada. Emissions from natural-gas generated power are only 3 per cent of Canada’s total emissions.

Increasingly, natural gas electricity generation in most provinces will come to represent a backup source produced from plants constructed a decade or more ago. The Independent Electricity Systems Operator of Ontario (IESO) recently completed a study to determine the feasibility and cost of phasing out natural gas generation by 2030. The findings of that study are very relevant to the federal government’s consideration of the Proposed Clean Electricity Standard. These included the following:

  • Gas generation offers a set of services, including quick response time and assured availability, that keep the grid reliable and help balance the variability of wind and solar.
  • Completely phasing out gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts.
  • Replacing gas generation in Ontario by 2030 would require more than $27 billion to install new sources of supply and upgrade transmission infrastructure. This translates into a 60 per cent, or $100 per month, increase in the average monthly residential bill.
  • There are many other practical considerations that make a 2030 phase-out impossible, including the time that it takes to plan, get regulatory approvals for, and build new infrastructure and non-availability of storage as an alternative. Those impediments are likely to last well beyond 2030.

The IESO report did not address the fact that many natural gas generation facilities, including those operated by private firms (i.e. the so-called non-utility generators, or NUGs), while often signed to 20-year contracts, generally operate for much longer than that. In fact, it is not surprising to see them operating under 40-year contracts. The premature cancellation of these contracts could cost well over $600 million, which would also be added to consumers’ bills.

Anyone considering the termination of existing contracts across Canada and the construction of new generation, transmission and storage facilities to replace the services now provided by natural gas-fired generators would have to take these factors into account.

Storage

Battery Storage is only cited once in the Discussion Paper in the following context: “leveraging Canada’s competitive advantage in mining to build the Canadian battery and critical mineral supply chains”.  The foregoing suggests the author(s) do not regard it as a means to significantly support the electricity sector, perhaps due to its high costs.  A report from June 2021 by the US NREL 8. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) estimated the cost as; “(e.g., a $300/kWh, 4-hour battery would have a power capacity cost of $1200/kW).” That translates to a cost of U.S.$1.2 million for just 1 MW (megawatt) of storage for 4 hours and if done to any scale would drive up electricity prices.

No jurisdiction has yet succeeded in getting the percentage of its electricity generated from intermittent renewables past 50 per cent on an annualized basis. As the reliance on renewables increases, the grid operator must rely more on coal or natural gas-fueled backup power, and where these are prohibited, on some form of storage, most likely from large batteries. The cost of batteries is high and increases with the period of time for which storage is required, and whether the storage is needed only to balance daily or seasonal variations in demand

The cost of batteries sufficient to power a jurisdiction of millions of people would be enormous. In jurisdictions where a calculation has been made, the costs of the batteries exceeds the full annual GDP of the jurisdiction, and implies an increase in the price of electricity by a factor of 15 or more. For example, according to a study by Roger Andrews[1], the total amount of storage needed to provide secure supply in California amounts to about 25,000 GWh per year, more than a full month’s current rate of usage. Even assuming a substantial reduction in current battery prices, the cost of that would be in the range of US $5 trillion. And these batteries would need to be replaced regularly. Ken Gregory[2], a Canadian engineer, has assessed the cost of electrifying the United States economy without hydrocarbon-based generation, including the cost of battery backup. Simply to meet 2020 demand for 31 days would require storage that would cost $77.4 trillion, almost four times current US annual GDP.

Bulk electricity battery storage is hopelessly insufficient, no matter the cost. David Wojick, a Virginia-based Ph.D. in the logic and philosophy of science, explains this well in his article “California secretly struggles with renewables” (January 19, 2021).

Here is an excerpt:

California has hooked up a grid battery system that is almost ten times bigger than the previous world record holder, but when it comes to making renewables reliable it is so small it might as well not exist. The new battery array is rated at a storage capacity of 1,200 megawatt hours (MWh); easily eclipsing the record holding 129 MWh Australian system built by Tesla a few years ago. However, California peaks at a whopping 42,000 MW. If that happened on a hot, low wind night this supposedly big battery would keep the lights on for just 1.7 minutes (that’s 103 seconds). This is truly a trivial amount of storage…Barely time to find the flashlight, right? “This one reportedly utilizes more than 4,500 stacked battery racks, each of which contains 22 individual battery modules. That is 99,000 separate modules that have to be made to work well together. Imagine hooking up 99,000 electric cars and you begin to get the picture.”

Large-scale battery storage of electricity is still an infant industry, with enormous costs and technological risks, It is foolish in the extreme for Canada to commit to a pattern of electricity generation dependent on large-scale batteries for security of supply.

[1] Roger Andrews, The cost of wind and solar power: batteries included. Energy Matters, November 22, 2018

[2] Ken Gregory. The Cost of Net-Zero-Electrification of the USA. Friends of Science. December 20, 2021

Transmission Costs

The Discussion Paper notes; “Achieving net-zero electricity will require coordinated efforts. Provinces and territories hold jurisdiction over electricity planning and operation, while the federal government holds jurisdiction over emissions reduction regulations, interprovincial transmission projects, and international commitments, among others.” 

What the foregoing infers is either conflict or agreement will occur between the two parties as to how to achieve “net-zero electricity” which will obviously depend on projected outcomes and the current generation sources in each province/territory. 

One example is referenced as the “Atlantic Loop” project which aims to transmit hydro power from Muskrat and Churchill Falls (both located in Labrador) to other Atlantic regions, principally Nova Scotia which has 8 coal fired plants that federal regulations says they must close by 2030.  No doubt Nova Scotia would be happy to replace those coal plants with hydro power but what cost would Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador charge for that power? The other consideration is that Quebec is a winter peaking province so has little surplus energy available during that period meaning little or no generation from Churchill Falls. 

To top things off, Muskrat Falls is way over budget, having ballooned from an estimated $7.2 billion to $13.1 billion. The Federal 10. government stepped in to provide up to $5.2 billion with $1 billion of that as a loan guarantee and another $1 billion for transmission costs.  The latter $1 billion is 20 per cent of the estimated cost of the Atlantic Loop which in late January 2022 Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said his Ministry required more information before they could “justify a federal investment”. 

Based on the comments in the Discussion Paper it appears the government is prepared now to “justify” that investment as it states: “The ‘Atlantic Loop’ project is an example of collaboration to bring clean power to where it’s needed in Eastern Canada. The Government of Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank are currently collaborating with provinces and regional partners to advance this intertie project, which could greatly reduce emissions and maintain electricity affordability in the Atlantic region.” So, Nova Scotians should now wonder what will the cost be for the power combined with the costs of the transmission.  Will the cost of electricity be truly affordable? To top things off, GE 11. (who supplied the turbines) has been having problems with the software for the LIL (Labrador Island-link) slated to bring power to the Northeast Avalon.   

High voltage transmission projects vary in terms of costs per kilometer. As one example the 301-kilometer Eastern Alberta Transmission Line 12. completed several years ago cost $1.8 billion or about $6 million per kilometer.  Two major power lines under construction in northwestern Ontario are estimated to cost much less!  Those are the East-West Tie Line, 13. a 450-kilometre line stretching from Wawa to Thunder Bay, at a cost of $777 million makes its projected cost per kilometer $1.7 million. The other project is the 1,800 kilometer Wataynikaneyap Power 14. line serving many small indigenous communities on its route.  In total it will serve 15,000 people for a total cost of $1.9 billion or just over $1 million per kilometer and $126.6K per person and over $500K for a family of four.   

An article in the Financial Post on March 31, 2022 penned by Francis Bradley, CEO of Electricity Canada titled “The clock is ticking on Canada’s electricity grid15. stated “Under net-zero, Canada will stop its reliance on fossil fuels by mid-century. However, by the government’s own estimation, to do so Canada will need two to three times the amount of electricity it produces now in order to decarbonize other sectors of the economy.”  The article went on to note: “Transmission lines — the big power lines that move electricity long distances — are hugely complicated to survey and then build. Even making sure the electricity infrastructure on your street is ready for the increased load will take years of investment.”  Mr. Bradley went on to say; “Decarbonizing Canada’s economy by 2050 will be a herculean task. Decarbonizing the electricity system in less than half that time will be doubly so. If either is to have any chance of succeeding, the electricity industry will need to do more, faster, as Prime Minister Trudeau has said. But that also works the other way. The countdown clock is ticking. And we’re still waiting for vital leadership.”

What the above illustrates is that just the costs associated with ensuring the transmission lines delivering the “clean green” renewable energy will require significant upgrades costing billions of dollars.  Those costs coupled with those associated with the desire to eliminate fossil fuel generation will drive up power costs for families and businesses. It will affect the provinces of Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to a much greater degree due to their current use of fossil fuels in the generation of their electricity needs.

The foregoing suggests costs in the tens of billions of dollars which in turn will damage Canada’s ability to attract new business, it’s related capital and will decimate the economy and drive-up unemployment levels. 

Conclusion

This analysis outlines the impossibilities of achieving the goals set by the Government of Canada within the proposed time frame.  Any push towards the unrealistic outcomes included in the planned government policies will badly damage the Canadian economy.  As well, they will lead to millions of Canadian households living in energy poverty, spending well over 10 per cent of disposable income on trying to stay warm in winter and cool in summer. It is no accident that Canadian government climate plans never include reputable, independent cost/benefit analyses, as to do so would reveal to Canadians just how unachievable and punitively costly the stated goals are. 

It is important to recognize Canada’s total emissions in 2019 (last reported year) were 20 Mt lower than China’s emissions increased in the two years between 2019 and 2021 during the pandemic. China’s emissions reported by the IEA (International Energy Agency) rose to over 11.9 billion tonnes which represents 33 per cent of total global emissions. China was also the only major economy to experience economic growth in both 2020 and 2021, questioning the often-cited claim that “the environment and the economy go hand in hand”.

Sensible, measurable policies to achieve tangible benefits to the environment are welcomed by the Coalition.  Unfortunately, the approach in the Clean Electricity Standard document does not qualify as either measurable or achievable.

  1. https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-hands-n-l-5-2-billion-for-troubled-muskrat-falls-hydro-project-1.5526011
  2. https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/business/muskrat-falls-power-in-march-2022-could-be-too-optimistic-according-to-pub-consultant-100661743/
  3. https://www.transmissionhub.com/articles/transprojects/eastern-alberta-transmission-line
  4. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-power-contracts-valard-1.5726667
  5. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/wataynikaneyap-power-proceeding-1.5340793
  6. https://financialpost.com/opinion/francis-bradley-the-clock-is-ticking-on-canadas-electricity-grid https://news.sky.com/story/climate-change-draxs-renewable-energy-plant-is-uks-biggest-co2-emitter-analysis-claims-12428130
  7. https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=NV
  8. https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Russia-connects-floating-plant-to-grid
  9. https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/china-is-home-to-world-s-first-small-modular-nuclear-reactor-1.1698791
  10. https://www.ieso.ca/en/Corporate-IESO/Media/Year-End-Data
  11. https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/oil-gas/oilpatch-looks-to-ottawa-for-carbon-capture-tax-credit-as-alberta-pushes-six-projects-forward
  12. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rsfs.2019.0065
  13. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/79236.pdf
  14. https://www.rechargenews.com/energy-transition/hydrogen-blending-will-raise-consumer-costs-and-risk-public-health-while-barely-reducing-emissions-us-think-tank/2-1-1193416

Other related observations

Peak emissions occurred in 2007 at 752 megatons and our population was 32.89 million so per capita emissions were 22.86 tons per person.

Emissions in 2019 (latest from Government of Canada) were 730 megatonnes and our population was 38.19 million so our per capita emissions were 19.11 tons per person a drop of 16.4%.

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-indicators/greenhouse-gas-emissions.html

Canada had wind capacity at the end of 2021 of 14,304 MW and 2,399 MW of solar which reputedly generated slightly less than 6% of total electricity of 647.7 TWh!  https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/canada-energy-future/2020/results/index.html  From this “variable renewable energy (VRE) sources such as wind and solar. Figure R.21 shows that by 2050, total non-hydro renewable capacity in the Evolving Scenario is over triple 2018 levels. Total wind capacity rises to 40 GW and total solar capacity rises to 20 GW.” It also has a key uncertainty “Export market developments: Climate policies, fuel prices, electrification and power sector decarbonization in export markets could impact future projects and transmission intertie developments.”


Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM Radio April 14, 2022

First my apology for forgetting to let you all know Marc invited me on his show today so you could tune in and listen live!  Nevertheless, that forgetfulness was of benefit to me and the following suggests why.

As a result of my forgetfulness, I decided to listen to the full podcast and discovered he had Dan McTeague, the Gas Price Wizard on, starting at 34:00 right through to 1:05:30. As Dan is a former Liberal Member of Parliament, he had much to say about the current party led by Trudeau as well as chatting about EV (electric vehicles) and the fact they are not environmentally friendly no matter what we are told.  They also got into discussions about the current leadership race in the Conservative Party.  So glad I tuned it!

Right after Marc said goodbye to Dan none other than Jocelyn Bamford, who founded the CCMBC (Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers & Businesses of Canada) was his guest and they covered issues such as the possible Liberal adjudication of a “truck tax” and its potential harm to the Canadian economy.  They also talked about the “censorship bill” currently under discussion and other issues. All good stuff!

The Jocelyn/Marc chat finished at 1:23.20 and mine followed right after.  Marc and I talked about the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s plan to instigate another time-of-use rate to help out all the EV owners in the province, the buildout of charging stations by us taxpayers as well as closing down Canada’s remaining coal generation electricity plants and the potential cost. We hit a few funny spots along the way.

Listen to the podcast here:

IWT Negatively Affect People, Birds, Bats, Ground Water and Perhaps Even Fish?

The past few days have demonstrated how IWT (industrial wind turbines) are not only an intermittent and unreliable source of electricity generation but, also have negative effects on many other aspects of our life on the planet.

But, but, but, didn’t our Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault say, “climate change is killing Canadians” by blaming what was an unusual “weather event”?  He went on to blast premiers for lowering gasoline prices; ie; reducing taxes, with inflation running at a 30 year high of 5.7%  ignoring the harm it causes Canadian households.  As a long-time, advocate for wind and solar to replace fossil fuels though, he didn’t say a word about recent negative news about IWT!

One of those was about a NextEra subsidiary in the U.S. that “pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles” and ordered to pay a fine of US $8 million.  That same company several years ago via their Canadian subsidiary issued a lawsuit against a mother of two for “defaming the company name in a video and blog she posted earlier in 2013”.  She had posted a video “to YouTube that shows NextEra workers chopping down a tree with an active eagle nest in the Haldimand, Ontario area, north of Lake Erie in January 2013”.  She changed the company’s logo to read “NextError” and “Next Terror”.  Now, isn’t it ironic that the same company has pleaded guilty to killing “at least 150 eagles”!  In 2018 NextEra sold offs its “portfolio of wind and solar generation assets located in Ontario, Canada, for a total consideration of approximately $582.3 million USD,”. The portfolio was sold off to none other than the CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board)!  The lesson one should take from this is: how to screw the ratepayers of Ontario and all of Canada’s taxpayers thanks to the Ontario Liberal Party and the Canadian Liberal Party while killing Ontario’s birds and bats and harming the lives of people in rural communities where those IWT are located. It’s not just infrasound, shadow flicker and audible noise those IWT generate that affect their livelihoods as it turns out!

A prime example of the additional harm is; what those IWT caused to well water quality in the Chatham/Kent area as noted in a recent article in the Chatham Daily News.  Well water quality was tested and the findings were; “rather poor as indicated by numerous exceedances for multiple aesthetic parameters including turbidity, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids and iron.” The report called for a further study and more sampling due to initial low participation rates.  Conclusion: add another bad effect of IWT to the list!

Yet another short Bloomberg article posted in the FP a few days ago was about turbine parts falling into the sea offshore in Denmark. It noted the rotor and three blades fell into the sea from an offshore wind farm owned by Orstead A/S and the manufacturer of the turbine was identified as Siemens Gamesa. As a result, Orstead, the world’s largest developer of offshore wind asked the authorities to stop all marine traffic near all of its sites that use those machines. One should expect this will harm marine life now and in the future!  The article noted shares in both Orstead and Siemens Gamesa dropped.  In briefly reviewing share prices it is interesting to note that in the past year Orstead’s share price has dropped by over 18% and Siemens Gamesa by 48%. Perhaps this is recognition that IWT, onshore or offshore, are finally being recognized for their true values rather then what the political and environmental zealots tell us!

As if the happenings described in the preceding paragraph will become the norm, a recent article in RECHARGE; a self-described website as; “Global news and intelligence for the Energy Transition“ posted an article suggesting IWT makers are “all in trouble”!  The article noted: “The European Commission’s recent REPowerEU plan, formulated in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, wants wind power capacity to soar from 190GW today to 480GW by 2030.“ To put some context on the plan, Canada’s total electricity capacity presently is about 150GW and only 14.3GW were IWT as of December 31, 2021 and US IWT capacity as of the end of 2020 was 118GW!  The climb to the target of 480 GW in Europe is looking very precarious at this point based, not only on the foregoing, but also because of other issues outlined in the article.

WindEurope is an annual event and the 2022 one was just held on April 5th to the 7th in Bilboa, Spain.  The RECHARGE article noted above clearly suggests it was not a fun event as manufacturers such as GE Renewable Energy chief executive, Sheri Hickok told a panel: “The state of the supply chain is ultimately unhealthy right now” and also said “Steel for offshore wind towers is currently being purchased at over $2,000 per tonne.”  The chief executive of Nordex, José Luis Blanco, said; “Currently, some 85% of the industry’s components are, however, coming from China” and the article further stated, “Blanco was not only referring to rare earths, but said “normal things, such as metallic shafts in turbines, 95% of which are sourced in China.” The message was “we need more money”!

Could this be the “wakeup” call for elected politicians in the developed world who have opted to believe they must achieve “net-zero” because they stupidly agreed to do so at COP26? The Chinese Communist Party must love it however, as it has basically granted them monopolistic powers in certain economic activities.

The Future?

Hope springs eternal for those of us who believe wind and solar generation are both intermittent and unreliable.  One prays our elected politicians take notice and wake up to both the physical and economic damage IWT cause, serving only to create more energy poverty in their push to achieve “net-zero” emissions which appear to be only of benefit to China.

Expensive Renewables get Priority over Cheap Renewables-Why?

March 31, 2022 demonstrates how Ontario’s Spring weather frequently treats us ratepayers badly, irrespective of “climate change” or that net-zero 2050 target!

As it turns out the wind was blowing as it frequently does when Spring arrives in Ontario and it proved hurtful due to the favoured treatment granted to IWT (industrial wind turbines) for their generation.  For ten (10) hours IWT delivered more generation to Ontario’s electricity grid than our hydro capacity did. That seems odd as during the Spring the water is flowing as the snow melts and supplies our creeks, rivers and lakes with lots of water to run the many hydro dams evident throughout the province.  

On examination of the daily IESO generation output one notes for 5 of the 10 hours wind out-generated hydro in the middle of the night. During the same hours it appears that wind’s generation was also being curtailed (about 3,100 MWh) and it sure appears hydro was being spilled.  During those 5 hours the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) averaged $4.80* a MWh or 0.48 cents/kWh and our neighours in Michigan were scooping it up.

Collectively we sold Michigan net exports (exports minus imports) of 35,524 MW over the full 24 hours for the bargain basement price of $16.46/MWh or 1.65cents/kWh so we earned $584,725 which sure didn’t come close to its cost.  If what was sold was all generated by those IWT it would have cost ratepayers $4,796,000 and if one included curtailed wind the total cost would have been almost $5,168,000 or $145.48/MWh without including any costs for spilled hydro*. So, the net result of March 31st generation was an additional cost of $4,583,000 for those exports without including associated costs of the spilled hydro.  

So, during Spring while those IWT are chopping up migrating birds and bats, creating noises harming people and animals living close to them they are also adding costs to our daily living! 

We are doing the harm with technology eco-warriors tell us is cheap, abundant and beneficial but what we experienced in Ontario yesterday is atypical of our Spring and Fall seasons and is anything but cheap or beneficial and most often abundant when unneeded.

Unfortunately, the eco-warriors have convinced our Federal and Provincial politicians doing this will save the world from climate change! 

How dumb do they think we are and why are the politicians allowing IWT generation to take precedence over low-cost hydro?

*IESO fails to tell us when hydro is spilled or it’s associated cost nor do they disclose how much wind generation is curtailed and paid for. It’s time for full disclosure by IESO!

CanREA’s Magic and PM Trudeau’s Net-Zero Target by 2050

As we have all seen and heard over the past several days our Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, has launched his plan to eliminate our emissions and reach the “net-zero” target by 2050.  Minister Guilbeault put out a “discussion paper” titled: “A clean electricity standard in support of a net-zero electricity sector”. The paper seeks input from the general population which, rest assured, will be ignored!  The paper notes the “electricity sector” is the “4th largest source of emissions accounting for 8.4% of Canada’s total GHG emissions in 2019”.  Based on the emissions reported for 2019 of 730 megatons that would equate to 61 MT but if one looks at another release by Guilbeault’s ministry analyzing the 2019 emissions it shows emissions of 69 MT.  That other report also states when comparing emissions with 2005, “a 42-Mt increase in combustion emissions from Oil and Gas Extraction and a 24-Mt growth in Road Transportation emissions were largely offset by a 56-Mt decrease in emissions from Public Electricity and Heat Production”. 

So, one should wonder why is he attacking the electricity sector when their emissions declined by almost 45%?

Collusion or Cooperation

Perhaps Guilbeault and his family’s investments are in companies involved in wind, solar generation and battery storage and perhaps their investments are in companies who have those lucrative contracts signed by the McGuinty/Wynne government? Perhaps some are also being supported by other ministries via the CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank) which as one example, has supplied lots of traction and our tax dollars to battery storage?

Why is Guilbeault’s Ministry attacking the sector that has reduced emissions by 45% since 2005 and is delivering energy to households and businesses that depend on cheap and reliable power to keep the heat and lights on and their small businesses functioning? Is his objective to drive households and small businesses into energy poverty?

Birds of a Feather?

The other occurring thought is perhaps Guilbeault and Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association), know each other from Guilbeault’s time at Equitere. A letter they jointly signed (with others) dated November 23, 2016 was addressed to the then newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his ministers.  The letter applauds Trudeau’s initiative in establishing the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change and recommends “a price on carbon, to reflect the real environmental costs”.  Those eco-warriors who signed that letter must be rubbing their hands with glee at this point and now with the further attack on the electricity sector, Hornung and the members of CanREA are presumably looking forward to the wealth to be created from this latest move by Minister Guilbeault.

In addition, Hornung and others from CanWEA appear to have been active lobbyists with numerous Ministers and Ministries under Tudeau’s leadership before CanWEA became CanREA in 2020.

CanWEA’s 2050 Vision

The reason for the foregoing speculation and concern is related to a 60 page report from CanREA titled: “CanREA’s 2050 Vision Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero” with a smiley picture of Hornung providing the introduction. 

One is struck immediately by his claim that: “We will need an almost ten-fold expansion of Canada’s wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage capacity, in addition to significant investments in other forms of electricity generation and electricity infrastructure”. Later in the report, they note Bloomberg suggests the “global” investment required to achieve the proposed “need” would be $12 trillion dollars (7.2 times Canada’s 2021’s GDP)

A chart on Page 23 indicates wind capacity in 2050 should be 109 GW (gigawatts) and solar 47 GW and  Page 21 suggests we would also need 3,000 GW of storage. On page 47 the diatribe notes: “The numbers are significant: building out 3,800 MW of new wind energy capacity and 1,600 MW of new solar energy capacity annually for the next 29 years, as our illustrative scenario suggests is needed to support our nation’s legislated net-zero objectives, would represent $8 billion dollars of annual investment.”

The forgoing suggests spending of $232 billion without the 3,000 GW of storage.  The estimates for 4 hours of battery storage varies widely but a report by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) of the US suggests an average of about $200/kWh (kilowatt) for storage.  The 3,000 GW of storage would therefore cost upwards of $3 trillion or almost double Canada’s current annual GDP and drive up the cost of electricity consumption to incredible levels. Reducing Canada’s emissions by just 8.4% could potentially represent 25% of Bloomberg’s forecasted global costs.

Based on the above linkages between the various parties, the pie in the sky net-zero push and the costs associated, all Canadian citizens should be very concerned this government (married to the NDP) will embrace the CanREA recommendations and Canada will turn into CANEZUELA. Those who can afford the expense associated with the conversion of the electricity sector coupled with expensive storage will be a minority.  The rest of us lowly Canadians will experience frequent blackouts due to the unreliable and intermittent nature of wind and solar. That intermittency coupled with the huge costs of the conversion will drive the majority of Canada’s households into “energy poverty”!

Ah, the magic of it all!

Eco-Warriors + Dumb Politicians + Climate Change + Net-Zero– Fossil Fuels = Energy Poverty

The foregoing is emerging as an equation gathering speed as we start to recognize the results falling out from its implementation in most democratic countries. The evidence was available for all to see from Ontario as an outcome of the McGuinty/Wynne led governing party and their implementation of the GEA (Green Energy Act) and its push for renewable energy in the form of wind and solar. It’s unfortunate the rest of the democratic world didn’t seek the data that was out there and are now experiencing what Ontario’s ratepayers did many years ago. Energy poverty is popping up everywhere!

Energy Poverty in New York

Next door in the state of New York a recent headline noted “Utility Debt Mounting for New Yorkers Looking for Current Help”!  One of the sentences in the article noted: “Across the state, almost 1.3 million residential gas and electric customers are 60 or more days behind on their bills to the tune of over $1.7 billion, according to an analysis by THE CITY of data provided to the state by 10 utility companies.” To put the foregoing in perspectives the U.S. 2021 census stated there were 7.417 million households in the state so 1.3 million customers experiencing energy poverty would represent 17.5% of all households.

Energy Poverty in California

It one looks at California an article back in July 2020 noted “18.1% of the state’s residents are living in poverty” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The article went on to state: “A growing element of this problem is the cost of electricity; rising electricity prices disproportionately impact lower- and middle-income families who lack the disposable income to absorb the extra costs.” The article said the “average” home in California uses about half as much energy as an average American household. There is little doubt the number of households living in “energy poverty” will grow further as California is pushing to restrict the use of natural gas and 31 local governments have enacted regulations to do that. They are certainly one of the “greenest” states pushing to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.

 Energy Poverty in the UK

 An article in The Telegraph on March 18, 2022 titled “While Boris bans fracking, one in four British households will fail to pay energy bills” and went on to say “One in four adults will be unable to afford their bills if prices rise by £145 a month in October as expected, according to charity Citizens Advice.” It is obvious to anyone following the news that the events happening in the UK and Europe are much worse than we are experiencing in North America as the above headline notes. The article went on to say “The Government has previously said it will offer a £200 energy rebate, to be deducted from customers’ bills in October and paid back over the next five years.” AND, “However, experts said this would no longer be enough to help struggling households after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused wholesale energy prices to spike further.”

Energy Poverty in Germany

Science Direct completed a study for the period prior to the recent events (data ending in 2019) driving up energy costs in Germany titled “Determinants, persistence, and dynamics of energy poverty: An empirical assessment using German household survey data”!  A couple of the highlights from the study clearly indicate things were bad before the current events as the following clearly articulates: “In 2019. 17% of household spent more than 10% of their income on domestic energy” and “Between 4.5% and 14% of households permanently experience energy poverty.” We should assume things are much worse now since the price of natural gas has shot up due to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and Germany has been forced to fire up its coal plants.

Energy Poverty in Ontario

Back in 2013/14/15 I endeavored to try as best I could to determine how many households in Ontario suffered from “energy poverty” as a follow up to the GEA. I discovered it was nearly impossible and the findings I kicked out were significant but meaningless as they were focused only on certain municipalities.  My findings can be found on Energy Probe

Energy Poverty in Canada

The only viable information related to “energy poverty” in Canada appears to come from CUSP (Canadian Urban Sustainable Practitioners) with members from cities across Canada reputedly representing about half of Canada’s population. CUSP released a 2019 report dealing with “energy poverty”.  The report is based on: “Percentage and number of households in each province experiencing high home energy cost burdens (greater than 6% of after-tax income spent on home energy bills).” One chart in the report suggests just over 20% (2,810,905) of Canadian households were experiencing “energy poverty”!   One should be aware the latter number would be considerably higher should the data be refreshed as CUSP used 2016 census data.

The foregoing only touches on a few developed democratic regions around the world but many more could have been included having all experienced a huge climb in the creation of “energy poverty” within the confines of their land over the past decade or two.  As one should recognize, the reason for the climb can be attributed to the eco-warrior’s push to eliminate fossil fuels as the prime energy source that brought us prosperity, longer and better lives and all the attributes we have enjoyed. The eco-warriors have substantially infiltrated the political realm convincing politicians we citizens elected! Most of those now in power in democratic countries have drunk the “cool-aid” and seem determined to push more of us into “energy poverty”!

Its time to turn the equation around and push the notion; CO 2 is not the control knob of “global warming” nor does wind, solar and battery storage represent a sound replacement for fossil fuels which still represent 80% of mankind’s energy needs. 

The new equation needs to be:

 Voters + Smart Politicians – Eco-Warriors + Sustainable Fuels (Fossil Fuels Included) = Prosperity!

Over the Top: The WEF and Canadian Banks, Hydro-Quebec and Canada’s Minister of the Environment

Digital identity is all the rage amongst banks around the world and the WEF (World Economic Forum) is pushing for its adoption having recently released a 46 page report with the concept covering not just financial services but pretty well every interface mankind has. It is alarming to watch Neil Parmenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association in a short YouTube video, he appears to have done on behalf of the WEF! In the video he pushes the concept: we should trust our banks to maintain the security of our “digital ID”!  

Canada’s banks recently displayed their position by doing absolutely nothing to push-back when the Trudeau led government enacted the Emergencies Act and instructed the banks to freeze any account that had contributed funds to the Truckers Convoy! They did what they were told to the detriment of thousands of Canadians who had simply stood up to protect their basic rights by donating a small portion of their earnings.  Now, try to imagine what might happen if we are all impregnated with a “digital ID”?

Shopify, Royal Bank pledge to be some of the first buyers of energy from Warren Buffett’s Alberta wind project

The captioned article appeared in the Financial Post a few days ago and should strike all who read it as a wimpy pledge! The article stated: “Shopify Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest technology company and lender, respectively, said this week they had signed a “purchase power agreement,” or PPA, that commits them to buying 90,000 KWh of electricity annually from the Rattlesnake Ridge Wind Power Project, which is located southwest of Medicine Hat.” To put the foregoing in perspective the current average price per kilowatt hour (kWh) in Alberta is about 11.3 cents/kWh so this commitment represents a cost of around $10,170 dollars or just over $5K each.  Pretty sure multi-billionaire, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy Inc., who are constructing the 130 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbine) farm are not as excited about this as the RBC or Shopify. As it turns out the 90,000 should have referenced MWh (megawatt hours) rather than kWh. The 90,000 MWh would represent about 26% of the probable full annual output of the IWT generation from it meaning the three companies (Bullfrog Power was also a signatory to the agreement) would be paying somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3.4 million each.

One should assume when the wind isn’t blowing those three companies will happily accept gas or coal generation to ensure they can keep the lights on.  The hypocrisy is mind blowing and presumably is a result of the continued push by the Trudeau government and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault who is determined to eliminate the use of fossil fuels completely!

For industrial Promotors, no more all-you-can-eat buffet at Hydro-Quebec

An article published in Le Journal de Montreal in mid-January carried the following (translated): “In a letter obtained by Le Journal , the state company warns one of them that although it still has a “significant volume of electricity”, the reception of an “exceptional quantity of projects” forces her to review her ways of doing things, even to choose the projects she can supply in the future.’’  The article went on to note: “The energy transition, the sudden interest of companies in green energy has caused demand to explode, justifies Maxence Huard-Lefebvre, director of communications for the state-owned company. And today’s projects have nothing to do with those we received before. Their energy needs are quite different. Result: in its “pipeline” for the next few years, Hydro-Quebec would have projects totaling “more than 10,000 MW of power”. However, such power represents neither more nor less than 25% of Hydro-Québec’s total capacity (40,000 MW) in the province. “It’s too much, slice (said?) the spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec. Even if we wanted to, it would be impossible to support all these projects

What the foregoing suggests is Hydro-Quebec has reached the end of the line for being able to supply “green” emissions free hydro as they have long-term commitments to supply several New England states as well as their own population.  To add fuel to the proverbial fire one should note Statistics Canada reported in 2020 Quebec accounted for almost 50% of all EV registrations in Canada, no doubt due to the $8,000 grant they offer coupled with the Feds $5,000 grant.  Those EV will require charging particularly during the cold winters (Quebec’s peak demand season) when Ontario is frequently called on to supply power to Quebec.

Ontario’s approach to tackling climate change ‘disappointing’: environment minister

The captioned was the headline in the National Observer’s article on March 16, 2022 and carried the following quote from Minister Guilbeault: “I believe that every level of government in Canada needs to do their fair share when it comes to climate change and the climate crisis, and frankly, when you look at what Ontario’s been doing, it’s been disappointing, and I’m not the only one who’s said that,”.  The National Observer is a left-wing anti-fossil fuel periodical that regularly receives government handouts which from what I was able to find has amounted to at least $368,000 according to the Government Grant website.  

The remark from Guilbeault is humorous should one first read Lorrie Goldstein’s article in the Toronto Sun on March 16, 2022.  It outlines how Ford is sucking up to the Trudeau Liberals by kowtowing to their whims including their reaction to the Trucker’s Convoy and the “Emergencies Act”; mirrored by the Ford government.  Ford also praised the Liberals for how they dealt with the pandemic and are jointly aligned on the fight against Michigan’s Governor Witmer in her efforts to shut down Line 5.  All those kudos from Ford heaped on the Trudeau minority Liberal Government apparently are not enough based on Guilbeault’s disappointment.  Is Guilbeault unaware, Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world and how their taxpayers and ratepayers are paying dearly for wind and solar generation?  Is he not aware Ontario’s Minister of Energy seems to be pushing for closure of our gas plants, giving EV owners cheap charging rates, etc. etc.?  Perhaps he is ticked that over 60% of Ontario households use natural gas as their heating source but that is not something most households can afford to change.

Summary

Hopefully the foregoing demonstrates the mess created by eco-warriors and their infiltration of Federal and Provincial governments to the detriment of Canadian households who must bear the brunt of their push to eliminate fossil fuel use in the crazed objective to reach “net-zero” where we will all be “digitally identified”! 

Time to reclaim our independence and reject the WEF’s Great Reset!