Five ENGO Demand More Government Bureaucracies to Execute the Just Transition

Five ENGO* (BLUEGREEN, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Equiterre and IISD) recently issued a 28 page proclamation labelled: “Proposals for the Canadian Just Transition Act”.  Needless to say they push the Justin Trudeau led Federal Government and all the provincial governments to jump on board the “Just Transition”.  They want the Federal Government to establish a “Just Transition Ministry” and equip it with bureaucrats ensuring the utopia of a “carbon-free” Canada with lots of low carbon, sustainable “green jobs” as the outcome!

If one does a word search in the 28 pages using the symbol “$” or the word “dollars” you come up with a big “0” but if you plug in “Net-Zero” you get 3 hits and if you try “emissions” it will generate 28 hits.  As one would expect searching the words “transition” and “just transition” respectively generated 391 and  293 hits. The proclamation is sprinkled with examples the authors feel exemplify what should be done in Canada.  They cite Spain, Scotland, New Zealand and Germany as examples of countries moving in the “Just Transition” direction but don’t bother to mention those countries are all suffering from high energy prices coupled with climbing energy poverty. You certainly won’t find any concerns expressed about the costs of the Just Transition on families or households in the 28 pages. 

The word “objective(s)” can be found 32 times and aligns with the word “Tables” found 27 times as the proclamation insists the Federal and Provincial governments establish objectives via those tables that must be adhered to under legislation set by the federal and provincial governments.  Naturally these objectives  require “monitoring” by more bureaucrats.

We should all be troubled by the fact that four of the five ENGO (more on BLUEGREEN below) are registered charities and all of them seem somewhat dependent on handouts (grants) and contracts from all three levels of government.  A quick review of the four and their CRA charity filings indicates over the five years of CRA records they have reported receiving over $27 million tax dollars, mainly as grants. IISD is one example with grants committed of almost $40 million.  Equiterre is another example reporting having received almost $7.7 million in grants/donations in their CRA filings over the past five years from Federal and Provincial governments.  Equiterre was reputedly co-founded by Steven Guilbeault, current Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Additionally two of them (Environmental Defence, IISD) have been contracted by government Ministries or subsets. It is also worth noting IISD also gets millions of dollars from UN Agencies, International Governments and their agencies as well as Foundations as noted in their Consolidated Financial Statement of March 31, 2022.

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

BLUEGREEN

BLUEGREEN”s homepage states: “We can create good jobs across the country by making renewable energy, using energy more efficiently, decarbonizing manufacturing, and building more public transit.

The above statement seems incongruous with what most would imagine, the two biggest private sector unions in Canada, would buy into, should their leaders reflect on how accomplishing the foregoing would impact their members. Interestingly no one from either of the unions were cited as “Contributors” to the “proclamation” paper but two of them from Unifor were named as “reviewers”!

If one looks at their respective websites for their views on “climate change” they appear somewhat less committed, then the proclamation in the “Proposal”. One senior individual within the United Steelworkers Union (USU) at an event last year stated:  “In the past, we knew that investments in our plants would provide long-term benefits. Today, the same logic must apply to the environmental question.“ Identifying those investments is not an easy task as a major ingredient attracting investments is cheap energy but that is what the “Transition” will affect the most so, “long-term benefits” appear elusive.  That should send a not-so-subtle message to PM Trudeau and his Ministers! 

USU sent two observers to COP 27 in Egypt and one of the issues they noted was the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and their synopsis stated: “This measure involves the introduction of a price (tax) on high-carbon products entering Canada. Other countries are preparing for the implementation of such a measure.“ Obviously this has implications for Canada’s trade relationship with other countries, but it appears the USU recognizes the impact it may have on their members unless we implement it too!

In respect to Unifor an article on their website emphasized: “Revenue from carbon pricing be invested in ensuring that transitions for workers and communities are appropriately managed through training and matching displaced workers with new opportunities.“ That statement suggests the Federal Government abandon the current carbon tax rebate program and instead “invest” it to create those “transitions” the Proposal recommends.

The Broadbent Institute is of course named after Ed Broadbent the former leader of the Federal NDP and as one would expect they are gung ho on the Just Transition and push Canada to spend lots more!  Rick Smith who has become an icon of the “climate change” push wrote an article for the Broadbent Institute saying “we should be spending in the hundreds of billions, not just billions in the single digits.“ 

The four charities include Environmental Defence where Rick Smith was the head honcho for 9 years but now he is the President of CICC, a taxpayer funded ENGO pushing the “net-zero” initiative on behalf of the Trudeau government.  Needless to say ED has received grants and contracts over the years from us taxpayers.

The Columbia Institute in its CRA filings does not claim any contributions from any of the three levels of government seemingly obtaining most of its revenue from other “charities”. 

Clean Energy Canada is a “climate and clean energy program” within the confines of Simon Fraser University so doesn’t report on an individual basis to the CRA charities. As one would suspect SFU on the other hand in it’s March 31, 2022 filing with the CRA reportedly received over $358 million (38.3%) of its gross revenue from the three levels of government. A search of Federal contracts disclosed many to SFU from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change which we should assume went to Clean Energy Canada.

Now examining the Pembina Institute’s CRA filings one sees they claimed to have received $5,576K in grants from three levels of governments.  A search of the Federal Governments “Grants and Contribution” site however indicates they handed out $10,450K to Pembina! That is almost double the information filed with the CRA but with the CRA Union suggesting they will go on strike in early April they are unlikely to investigate.  The Pembina Institute also were handed $963K in contracts by the Federal Government over the same five years.

Conclusion 

The objective of ENGO employees, numbering in the tens of thousands, receiving huge support from taxpayers both via donations they receive (providing tax benefits to contributors) and via the various handouts from Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments is self evident!

Those ENGO employees are concerned events happening around the developed world countries with costs of energy rising to historical levels are creating pushbacks on their views the “net-zero” target may be abandoned. The result is their jobs are in jeopardy so for that reason they continue to push the narrative about climate change and the “Just Transition” objectives. The bulk of those employed by ENGO fail to do proper research but have been hugely successful at manipulating elected politicians in Canada and those appointed to organizations, such as the United Nations, convincing them mankind are in full control of the weather. 

We, here in Canada and elsewhere around the world need to continue the pushback or we and our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences!  Spending “the hundreds of billions“ proposed by Rick Smith in the Broadbent Institute article is beyond belief with energy poverty spiralling around the world.

The time has come to put an end to the Just Transition!

*ENGO are Environmental Non-Government Organizations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith should think seriously about December 20th and contemplate; if we were without natural gas generation, how would the province have avoided blackouts?  What would we need to have in place to provide the 124,792 MWh (what 4.1 million average Ontario households consume daily) our gas plants supplied on that December day?

More wind, more solar?  If he picked those two intermittent and unreliable sources, we would need a multiple of at least five times current capacity. Even then, if they only generated five times the 232 MWh, they did at Hour 3, we would have experienced a blackout in the middle of the night during a low demand hour. Natural gas generators at that hour produced 4,003 MWh (26.8% of demand).

Throughout the day grid connected wind generated about 21,000 MWh and solar 547 MWh. At peak demand, Hour 18 ending at 6 PM, wind generation neared its peak for the day generating 1,341 MWh (6.8% of demand) whereas our gas plants generated 6,033 MWh or 30.4% of peak demand. Because demand was relatively high and wind failed to generate less than an average of 900 MW per hour the market price (HOEP) averaged $82.88/MWh over the day so the 39,000 MW we sold to our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec generated a reasonable price compared to days when the wind is blowing hard and the sun is shining.

If Smith said hydro, it would be sensible, however Ontario has pretty well exhausted its hydro sources near population centers so that’s not an option. We would need to open up the northern reaches of the province and spend billions of tax dollars to build roads, transmission systems and the hydro plants themselves to get the power to where its needed. Not feasible for well over a decade!

Nuclear would be a good and logical source, however the only possible new nuclear we might get in the next 10 years is a 300 MW capacity SMR (small modular reactor) now in the planning stage by OPG.

What’s left then for him to contemplate is either hydrogen or storage. The former is still in early test stages and unlikely to be scaled up for a decade or more. Despite the foregoing the push for it by many European countries is on as they view it as the solution to achieving “net-zero”.  The big concern about hydrogen is associated with possible leaks as a recent article noted: “Scientists have warned that hydrogen could be a significant “indirect” contributor to the greenhouse effect when it leaks through infrastructure and interacts with methane in the atmosphere.

One should wonder does Minister Smith have a belief “storage” is the option and if so, how much will be needed?  In the near term he seems to have somewhat recognized the fallibility of our electricity system as his Ministerial Directive of October 6, 2022 directs IESO to secure a minimum of 1,500 MW of storage generation and a maximum of 1,500 MW of natural gas generation.  On the former he had already directed IESO to negotiate a 250 MW battery storage contract with Oneida on August 27, 2022 despite the need for a cost/benefit study as noted in a earlier article.

Minister Smith had also asked IESO to prepare a plan to allow Ontario’s electricity system to be fully “decarbonized” by 2050 and in their response titled: “The Pathways to Decarbonization” they included 2,507 MW of storage capacity in 2035.

The full costs of that capacity will be in excess of $2.4 billion based on a recent well researched article suggesting battery costs are a minimum of US$700K (CA$950K) per MW of capacity. Battery storage capacity results in about only 80% of it as being available when it’s needed on the grid, but, it can deliver the rated capacity for three hours.  That means 2,507 MW of battery storage at a capital cost of $2.4 billion could deliver approximately 6,000 MWh before having to reload.

Now, if we consider the generation provided by Ontario’s natural gas plants on December 20, 2022, one notes we would need twenty-one times more battery storage to generate the almost 125,000 MWh they delivered. The capital cost would be astronomical and amount to about $50 billion. Repaid over the 10-year lifespan of the batteries (including a profit margin of 10%), it would result in adding $5.5 billion of annual costs to ratepayer bills. 

What the IESO chart suggests is natural gas capacity coupled with; “New Capacity Online by 2035” in the form of; Demand Response, Solar, Wind and new Nuclear, we will not need additional storage.  Let’s hope their forecast is accurate despite the “Disclosure” on Page 2 stating:

The information, statements and conclusions in this report are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or circumstances to differ materially from the report’s findings. The IESO provides no guarantee, representation, or warranty, express or implied, with respect to any statement or information in this report and disclaims any liability in connection with it.”

The 2035 scenario depicted by IESO also contained the following suggesting they had some faith in part of their report: “New large hydroelectric and nuclear facilities were not selected due to lead times that extended beyond the horizon of this scenario. As firm imports from Québec would require resource development in that province, they proved to be costly and were also not selected. Finally, with 2,500 MW of battery energy-storage systems included in the base supply mix, the value of additional storage diminished, hindering its selection.

Hmm, kind of makes one wonder if the “Pathways” report is delivering what Minister Smith has in mind?

An article written by Allison Jones of the Canadian Press and dated December 26, 2022 reputedly confirmed Minister Smith’s directive to IESO to obtain the additional 1,500 MW of natural gas generation along with the “2,500 megawatts of clean technology such as energy storage”. The article went on to claim, “Smith said in an interview that it’s the largest active procurement for energy storage in North America.“ Another quote in the article came from Katherine Sparkes, IESO’s director of innovation who apparently said: 

As we look to the future and think about gas phase-out and electrification, one of the great challenges facing all energy systems in North America and around the world is: How do you address the increasing amounts of variable, renewable energy? resources and just make better use of your grid resources,” she said.

“Hybrids, storage-generator pairings, give you the ability to deal with the variability of renewable energy, meaning storing electricity when the sun isn’t shining or the wind not blowing, and then using it when you need it.” 

We ratepayers should all be troubled if the foregoing is a quote from IESO’s director of innovation! In that position she should know if the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing there is no energy that can be stored! 

On the other hand, if it’s a misquote by the author of the article, its what we have come to expect from the MSM reporters who seem to frequently fail to do any fact checking. The latter is evident in other parts of the article where obtuse comments are made and accepted with one of them suggesting their company will “make power plants obsolete” using EV and another suggesting “the provincial and federal governments need to fund and install bidirectional chargers in order to fully take advantage of electric vehicles.” No indication was in the article as to what sources of energy would be used to power up those EV batteries nor does the author question those making the statements.

It is readily apparent the author of the article failed to either question those interviewed or to seek other views that might challenge their claims.  Unfortunately, investigative journalism is no longer within the purview of those associated with the mainstream media.

Conclusion

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that benefits mankind in many ways and the cold December day we Ontario residents recently experienced clearly demonstrated how it is needed until something better comes along. It is self-evident the “something better” is clearly not battery storage.

Let’s turn up the heat on our Ministry of Energy and the many reporters in the media who message us with the propaganda perpetrated by those who want us to freeze in the dark!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Hydrogen the Answer to Reaching Net-zero—Apparently, it’s not!

The following was sent to me by a contact with the “knowledge, skills sets and experience to highlight the fallacies of pushing the green hydrogen agenda” and it’s related to the concepts of my prior articles about “energy storage”. NB: the knowledge he displays in the following are beyond the scope of yours truly!

Text from the contact!

“Hi Parker

Converting “excess” electrical generation by electrolysers (e.g. as built by Hydrogen Optimized in Owen Sound), will permit wind generators (like Enbridge, K2 Wind, etc.) to operate at maximum possible output even when the electrical demand is low (like at night), so that the proponents (like Enbridge at their “Power to Gas” pilot plant in Markham, or Calsun at their proposed plant at the former Bluewater Youth Detention Centre) can make BIG money producing “green” hydrogen, thereby ensuring lots of Government (i.e taxpayer) support.  

The wind generators (like Enbridge) will be able to be paid full price for their power, approximately $135 a MWh or so, instead of the somewhat reduced rate paid for curtailed power. However, they will be able to buy the surplus at about $0 to $10 a MWh, to produce hydrogen, to add to their distribution system, so when electrical demand is high, they can sell it to natural gas generators to produce power to sell at maybe $200 a MWh.  Yes, they certainly win.  

The consumer, well, let’s see. We’ll pay $135 for the bought wind power, sell it for $10, and then buy it again at $200, so the consumer cost is maybe $125 + $ 200 = $325 a MWh.  (About 4 x the price paid for nuclear generated power in Ontario).  The more surplus we create, the more we’ll be able to sell at low price, and buy back at high price, so the cost for us will go up even more.

Winners = Enbridge, Hydrogen Optimized, Carlsun, and the Government policy hacks who want a hydrogen economy.  

Losers = those who live near wind farms (present and future, as there will be more justified), the electrical consumers, and taxpayers.

You can do a google search for Forbes March, 29, 2022 for their article, “Gas Utilities are Promoting Hydrogen, but it could be a dead end for consumers and the climate.”  Admittedly it is a biased article (every writer has their agenda) and in this case the writer’s agenda is that full electrification of the economy is better for the environment than burning natural gas.

Some highlights from the article, and the logical extension from them:

  • 26 projects to add hydrogen to natural gas lines have been proposed across 12 states since 2020  (so, nearly everybody is doing it!).
  • BUT, the blend can only be from 5% to 20% hydrogen in the natural gas lines  (elsewhere I read 7% max) as consumer appliances can only safely burn a blend up to that concentration.
  • It’s not clear what adding hydrogen to the natural gas lines at the Bluewater Detention Centre will mean to % hydrogen in the lines locally, but the amount added will probably not be huge.
  • Burning hydrogen (H2) produces less energy than natural gas (methane, or CH4) so a 20% blend would reduce greenhouse gas emissions only 6% to 7% as you lose energy in electrolysis.
  • price of green hydrogen will raise price of the blended fuel 2 to 4X above standard natural gas (good for Enbridge, bad for the consumer).
  • burning hydrogen produces water vapour (H2O), a more potent green house gas than CO2, but its residency in the atmosphere is less than CO2, so it is considered to have less impact.  Burning methane (CH4) produces CO2, H2O, and nitrous oxide NOX.  The results are complicated by the fact that methane (natural gas) leaks have an effect some 80X higher than CO2, but it has a less residency time in the atmosphere, so the overall result is considered to be only 25X as much.  NOX has a higher impact yet.  Let’s just say the overall impact of burning H2 is not zero, but it’s probably slightly better than burning CH4.

So is it realistic to consider we’ll have much impact on the environment by producing “green hydrogen”?

in 2020 Ontario’s energy usage was: (figures from Canada Energy Regulator – Provincial Energy Profile), converting all data to Peta Joules for equivalency comparison).

  • 1435 Peta Joules from refined petroleum (gasoline and diesel mostly)
  • 935 Peta Joules from natural gas
  • 514 Peta Joules from electricity (58% nuclear, 24% hydro, 9% gas, 8% wind, <1% solar, < 1% biofuel)
  • 37 Peta Joules from biofuels (wood mostly)
  • 127 Peta Joules from other fuels (like coal & coke)

From the above, we see that in 2020, less than 1.5% of Ontario’s total energy consumption came from wind and solar.  It gives a rough idea of the feasibility of moving all of Ontario “off oil and gas” to all “renewable sourced electricity” by 2050.

So, if we could convert 5% of the natural gas in the distribution system to hydrogen, that would be about 47 Peta Joules, or if we assume 15% loss in the conversion, needing 54 Peta Joules of electricity (more than 1/3 of the total electricity produced).  Let’s just say that’s unlikely.

In passing, let’s just say the probability of converting all new vehicles bought in Canada by 2035 to electrical vehicles, or vehicles powered by hydrogen, to convert that 1435 Peta Joules that come from petrochemicals of gas and oil as called for by federal law is … well remote.  Does anyone ever consider these things before passing laws?  Does not appear so!

The Globe and Mail published an interesting article (attached below) Nov. 25, 2022, noting,that while 72% of all new cars in Norway are electric vehicles, oil consumption in the country hasn’t changed.”

That should be enough numbers to set your heads spinning.  Apologies, but every now and then a dose of reality is needed.

Let’s conclude that the governments are all “hell bent” on producing hydrogen and keep telling us it will make a BIG difference in climate change.  Unh- unh,  T’ain’t; gonna happen, but what WILL happen is that costs for consumers will go up drastically, the results will be minimal, and certain investors will become VERY rich.”

Industrial Wind Turbines, Solar Combined with Battery Storage is the Path to Energy Poverty

Upcoming in our locale is a push by a renewable energy company (Capstone Infrastructure) to obtain the blessing of the municipality and its residents to accept a plan to erect a 300 MW battery storage facility.  We residents and municipal politicians will reputedly be told how a lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will benefit the local community at an upcoming presentation.

Driving this push in Ontario is the Ministry of Energy who has recently directed IESO (independent electricity system operator) to secure 1,500 MW of “stand alone” energy storage! The foregoing is presumably related to the push for more renewable energy (wind, solar and biofuels) as the province falls in line with the full electrification mandates being imposed by the Trudeau led Federal Government and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Canada, Steven Guilbeault.

If Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith had wanted, he could have easily pushed back as based on IESO’s 2021 Year in Review it shows Ontario’s generation from the electricity system was 92.5% emissions free and included exports of 17.2 TWh exceeding our gas and biofuels generation by 7.1 TWh. In other words, Ontario ratepayers’ total consumption could be considered fossil free had those exports included all of the natural gas and biofuels generated in 2021.

As if to point out the obvious, one should simply look at IESO data for November 21st, as an example and note grid connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) delivered 70,100 MW with another 7,900 MW curtailed meaning they could have averaged about 66% of their capacity throughout the day. Those grid accepted and curtailed MW cost us Ontario ratepayers $10.4 million or around $149/MWh (14.9cents/kWh) and we exported almost 40,000 MW to our neighbours.  Exports in the first 20 hours of the day were at the price of $6.91/MWh as the market price or HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) was as low as 0.00/MWh and peaked at hour 22 at $59.92/MWh.  What this demonstrates is we basically are giving away our surplus (emission free) generation for mere pennies of what we pay for it.

The question minister Smith should ponder is will battery storage reduce our generation costs or simply create wealth for the BESS owners?

BESS can allow IWT owners to double up on revenue

Anyone who occasionally looks at IESO data will quickly ascertain renewable energy such as the intermittent and unreliable IWT generation is, more often than naught, the reason why HOEP prices are as flat as 0.00/MWh during low demand hours. If those BESS can scoop up enough of that cheap power to charge their batteries, they are sitting on a gold mine.  When the HOEP goes up they can sell power acquired at higher prices such as the $59.92/MWh noted above or sometimes much higher.  If those BESS are owned by the same people who own the IWT generating that excess power, they can make even more money due to the “first-to-the-grid” rights they have embedded in their contracts! 

Should BESS contracts be awarded they will be doing what is commonly referred to as “energy arbitrage”.  In other words, they simply buy and store energy when its cheap (frequently at night) and sell/discharge it during the day when it is much more valuable!

A prior article of an existing IWT company in Ontario, coupled with their plea to add “battery storage” went into more detail pointing out the specifics of how it would generate increased revenue without benefiting ratepayers. This project is similar as while the proposed owner is not planning on locating the BESS project next to the several; IWT developments they own in Ontario; they will still be able to purchase the low-priced power via the IESO controlled grid and resell it for higher prices during high demand hours when the prices spike.

At the very least selling it to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec is a small revenue source but does help somewhat; in reducing costs to Ontario ratepayers. Who knows, perhaps, in the future, we will negotiate with those neighbours to receive “carbon credits” that can be allocated collectively to Ontario ratepayers and then sold, with the revenue generated from their sale simply applied to reduce our electricity costs! 

The foregoing sure beats having a BESS in our neighbourhood and having the possible concerns of a major high intensity fire as some BESS in other countries have experienced.

Ontario’s Perfect Demonstration of Wind’s Intermittent and Unreliable Nature

A Short History about wind’s electricity generation arrival

“Scottish engineer and physicist James Blyth (1839-1906) was credited as the first to generate electricity by constructing a windmill attached to a dynamo to light his cottage in his home village of Marykirk, Scotland in 1887.  He offered to allow his current to be used to light the main street of the village, but superstitious residents reportedly considered the mysterious electric light to be “the work of the devil“!

The Ups and Downs of Industrial Wind Generation

 A day in the life of industrial wind turbines in Ontario

On November 11th Ontarians were treated to the up and down vagaries of IWT (industrial wind turbines) spread throughout the province. They did a great job exhibiting their spasms and inability to generate power when needed but cranked it out when unneeded. A few examples over the day follow!

Hour 1

At Hour 1, IESO forecast IWT would generate 3,936 MW but only accepted 3,253 MWh on the grid so we should assume the difference (683 MW) was curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh allocated to ratepayers.  The market price (HOEP) was 0.00/MWh over the hour as we supplied Michigan, New York, and Quebec with 2,428 MWh. The 2,428 MWh represented 74.6% of the above noted grid accepted IWT generation so clearly wasn’t needed but, we ratepayers picked up their costs of over $327,000.  To drive the point home IWT frequently generate power when its unneeded! Ontario’s peak demand in Hour 1 was only 12,591 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro alone but the “first-to -the-grid rights allotted to IWT companies usurps our other generation sources! Hydro at that hour generated only 3,307 MWh, their lowest hourly generation for the day!

Hour 4

Moving on to Hour 4 (hour ending at 4 AM) IESO reported it as the lowest Ontario peak demand hour (12,095 MW) for the day and those IWT were still humming and forecast to generate 2,938 MW. IESO accepted 2,718 MW (22.5% of demand) and sold off 2,497 MW (91.9% of accepted IWT generation) to the same Hour 1 buyers for the princely sum of $3.49/MWh generating $8,714.53 of revenue but it cost (assuming it was all IWT generation) us Ontarians $337,095.00 without including curtailed costs.

Hours 1 to 7

Hours 1 to 7 saw IESO forecast IWT generation of 19,866 MW (58% of their capacity) and 17,884 MW was accepted while exporting 16,422 MW (91.8% of IWT grid accepted generation). The HOEP average was $8.90/MWh for those 7 hours meaning if those exports were either all IWT generated power (very likely) or caused by them the net cost to Ontario ratepayers was: $1,963,000 (16,422 MW X $135 plus 1,982 MW [curtailed] X $120 minus 16,422 MW X $8.90) for those 7 hours!

Hours 8 to 19

As the day progressed Ontario peak hourly demand increased while generation from IWT fell and at Hour 18 they only supplied 267 MW or 1.5% of Ontario’s daily peak demand of 17,237 MW! IWT failure at that hour to provide generation meant “net imports” were 1,004 MW as we purchased power from Quebec and even some from Michigan.  We paid an average of $46.93/MWh for that imported power greatly exceeding the cost of our sales to them in the middle of the night when those IWT were generating power we didn’t need.  As IWT generation fell the HOEP market price climbed and from hours 8 to 19 averaged $50.12/MWh a vast improvement from the early morning prices.

Hour 17 and hours 20 to 24

IWT generation at Hour 17 was at its lowest for the day generating only 240 MW but it started to ramp up slowly and by hour 20 was generating five times what it generated at hour 17.  For hours 20 to 24 IESO accepted 10,357 MW as peak demand fell and exports climbed.  Needless to say, as demand fell over the final five hours IWT generation increased while the HOEP fell from $34.40/MWh during Hour 20 to $2.11/MWh in Hour 24 as our unneeded generation from those IWT climbed!

The “first-to-the-grid” rights granted to the IWT owners by the Ontario McGuinty/Wynne led government(s) continue to burden us ratepayers with costs as the foregoing clearly demonstrates! As it turned out November 11th, 2022, captured the intermittency and unreliable nature of IWT over a 24 hour period clearly demonstrating how they operate not just daily but, weekly, monthly and annually! 

Based on what Ontarians and many others around the world are currently experiencing, due to the unreliable and intermittent nature of those “windmills”, we should, perhaps reconsider the events from 135 years ago! Eco-warriors around the world have pushed to have IWT replace reliable electricity generation from fossil fuels in their push for “net-zero” so perhaps the label by the residents of Marykirk, Scotland in 1887 should be resurrected and applied to IWT but not the electric light.

Perhaps it really is the “work of the devil” posing as an eco-warrior out to save the world from “climate change” that brought on the push for those intermittent and unreliable IWT! 

The Federal and Provincial Governments Hit Us with Luxury Taxes to Heat Our Homes  

As winter approaches one can’t help but notice the increasing number of articles pointing out how energy required to heat our homes has become a significant and concerning news issue. The articles point out the cost of natural gas, furnace oil and propane have increased along with the numerous taxes levied on them by the Federal and provincial governments and is driving up fuel poverty.

Here in North America, we have been observing the panic ensuing the UK, Germany, and other European countries as their move to green their energy supply to meet the elusive “net-zero” target has darkened the future for households and businesses.  They have discovered without fossil fuels to back up intermittent wind and solar many countries will see from 40 to 60% of households experience “energy poverty” and many businesses face closure through bankruptcy or via movement to countries with lower energy prices. Employment will no doubt rise, and inflation will continue it’s upward move!

Fortunately, North America hasn’t been as badly affected as Europe, however, it will not be an easy winter for many Canadian households and particularly those depending on fossil fuels to keep their house warm in our cold winters. While Canada has not experienced the incredible increases Europe has, in the price of those fuels, we nevertheless have been affected negatively by much higher market prices of natural gas, furnace oil and propane despite our abundant supply of those fuels in the form of oil and natural gas. We have also been negatively affected by increasing taxes levied by the Federal government and sales taxes increasing as they are applied to the increased costs of those fuels.

In Canada approximately 50% of all households (6 million) heat with natural gas, 7% with furnace oil (850,000 households) and just over 1% (150,000) with propane. As all of those are fossil fuels or derivatives; the Federal “carbon taxes” apply, as well as provincial and federal sales taxes. We should note the latter (sales taxes) are also applied on the Federal carbon tax, so they become “a tax on a tax”! The carbon tax is currently set at $50/tonne and is scheduled to rise to $65/tonne on April 1, 2023 and will continue to rise annually reaching $170/tonne in 2030.

Having read several articles, the decision was made to determine how households will be affected in the upcoming winter months; by reviewing both the cost of the fuels (natural gas, propane, and furnace oil) and the taxes applied on them at their increased market price.  According to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) “Historical natural gas rates“ have increased 115% from late October 2021 to late October 2022 whereas NRCAN (Natural Resources Canada), suggests furnace oil has increased by 57.5% and propane by 20% over the same timeframe.

Because our household uses natural gas it is relatively easy to review a monthly bill from the past 2021/2022 winter to determine how much it will increase should we consume the same amount for a 2022/2023 winter bill.  I will leave it to other households heating with furnace oil or propane to review the potential upcoming costs to heat their home this coming winter!

It is worth pointing out; in Ontario* the OEB set price adjustments (natural gas only) on a quarterly basis, so the year-over-year comparison may be modestly affected!  If our household consumes the same amount of natural gas the fuel costs and the associated taxes levied will result in our monthly bill increasing by approximately 74.5%.  Fuel costs will represent 29.6% of the upcoming bill and taxes 30.7% versus 33.2% and 26.7% in the prior year should all the other related costs remain static. 

Please note the foregoing discloses despite those fuel costs climbing considerably; Federal and Provincial taxes will climb faster!

One should take note when Ontario published their March 31, 2022 financial results, sales tax revenue had increased $3.8 billion from 2021 and were $2.8 billion over their forecast and surely played a role in allowing them to claim a budgetary surplus of $2.1 billion. Obviously, a lot of that revenue came from taxes on our energy bills and one should assume the Federal government also benefited greatly via their various tax levies on those fossil fuels we consumed to heat our homes.

It is apparent our two levels of governments seem to believe it is a luxury to heat our homes using fossil fuels based on their continuing levels of increasing taxation.  Time for them to recognize heating our homes during our cold winters in Canada is not a luxury!

*67.2% of Ontario households heat with natural gas.