Industrial Wind Turbines Once Again Display Their Unreliable Nature

Yesterday, August 10, 2022 was a nice summer day in Southern Ontario and hopefully elsewhere with temperatures in the “comfortable” range so while peak demand for electricity was fairly high reaching 20,568 MW for a 5 minute interval at hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) it didn’t crack the top 10 peaks in the current year.

At that particular hour the 4,900 MW capacity of those grid connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) with their “first to the grid” rights generated 642 MWh or 3.1% of demand while representing 13% of grid connected Ontario capacity.  They operated at only 13.1% of their capacity meaning other generating capacity like those natural gas plants were needed to keep air conditioners, etc. operating and they did the job generating 4,862 MWh supplying 23.6% of demand at that hour.

At hour 9 when demand is climbing on a work day those IWT managed to generate only 120 MWh which was 2.4% of their rated capacity and 0.7% of the hours 5 minute peak demand of 16,677 MW.  Natural gas plants at hour 9 generated 2,100 MWh thankfully covering the shortfall of those IWT generators.

At hour 24, ending at midnight IWT were operating at 28.1% of their capacity generating 1,375 MWh however providing 9.3% of the peak demand of only 14,759 MW which nuclear and hydro could have easily provided.  

It’s good to have dependable power when needed and those IWT continue to demonstrate their intermittent and unreliable ability to do so!

Wind Once Again Absent When Needed

IWT (industrial wind turbines) once again on August 5th, 2022 acted like the petulant child who will not obey their parents. They did this as Ontario’s demand climbed during the day while they ignored the need to produce additional power. 

Peak Demand for Ontario reached 21,312 MW at hour 16 (hour ending at 4 PM) which made it one of the TOP 10 demand hours so far in 2022. No doubt most Class “A” customers (including public institutions such as universities and hospitals) had fired up their gas generators in anticipation of the peak; both to reduce the strain on the grid but, in particular, to benefit from lower rates in the future.

Those IWT at hour 16 were throwing a temper tantrum and even though they represent about 13% of Ontario’s generating capacity they produced a miserly 180 MWh or 0.8% of Ontario’s demand while operating at only 3.6% of their grid capacity. At that level the approximately 2,700 IWT present in the province may have been consuming more power than they were generating!

The Class A customers using their gas generators at that hour, to go off-grid, will reap the benefits of those IWT fails however as the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) peaked at $147.31/MWh.  The substantial cost transfer* to Class B ratepayers will be passed on to small and medium sized companies, residential ratepayers and to all taxpayers in the province.

It is also interesting to note that as demand was climbing in the morning for hours 9 and 10 those IWT generated only 179 MWh while Ontario’s gas plants delivered 8,008 MWh during those two hours. Without the gas generators Ontarians would have experienced blackouts so we should all try to imagine the costs to the economy without those natural gas generators!

Perhaps it’s time to tell the petulant child (IWT generators) their allowance is suspended if they don’t do what they are told to do!

*Class A ratepayers need to only pick 5 peak hours out of the 8,760 hours in a year to receive the cost reduction

Wind Missing When Needed

Following is a screen shot taken on the IESO website and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) shown on it is a reflection of what Ontarians would experience on a regular basis should our natural gas plants shut down as pushed by the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The combination of the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment) comes to $293.49/MWh or 29.3/cents per kWh and getting close to what many European countries pay due to their move to renewable energy.  It should be recognized the 29.3 cents doesn’t include distribution or other costs so my guess is the all-in cost would be up around what residential ratepayers in Germany are currently paying. Germany is now firing up their coal plants in order to survive the upcoming winter as their gas supplies have been severely impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war and Russia has reduced the transmission of natural gas via their pipelines.

Most European counties anticipate electricity shortages over the next two years so we should expect the same here in Ontario should we shut down our gas plants as desired by the OCAA and the 33 municipalities who have endorsed their closure.

Industrial wind generation’s peak on August 2, 2022 came at the hour ending at 1 AM when they produced 1,927 MWh (39.3% of their capacity) but at the hour ending at 6 PM when peak demand hit 20,561 MW they managed to only generate 258 MWh or 5.2% of their capacity. Hour 4 when peak demand was lowest for the day at 13,796 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro but, wind turbines ran at 26.2% of their capacity generating 1,283 MWh when it wasn’t needed.

The ups and downs of wind generation were particularly visible this day demonstrating their inability to deliver power when it was actually needed. 

The time has come for the politicians and the eco-warriors citing the purported benefits of those industrial wind turbines to acknowledge their uselessness and how they do nothing more than add costs to our electricity and tax bills and must be backed up with natural gas plants!

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 3

Part 1 of the EV transition highlighted some of the costs associated with it and Part 2 of this series outlined some of the negative issues of EV and their batteries. In an effort to keep it readable at less than 1,500 words it was stated a Part 3 would be a requirement so here it is!

EV Fires

Should one do a simple Google search using the words “tesla car fire” and then hit the video button you will get dozens of videos of intense fires (presumably caused by the batteries) including some simply parked in a garage or stopped at an intersection. Some news story with videos where deaths have occurred note Tesla is being sued.  It surely makes one hesitant to consider their next vehicle should be an EV as it’s not just Tesla EV catching fire as another Google search discloses. As these happenings gain more publicity the push-back on the government decrees in the developed world, including here in Canada where the decree is; “all vehicle sales (cars and trucks) by 2035 will be electric” will surely grow!

Battery Storage Fires

An article by S&P Global on May 31, 2022 titled; “Battery blazes, breakdowns underscore ‘growing pains’ for energy storage” highlights the problems associated with battery storage and the fire occurrence in Southern Australia back in 2021 when it was claimed to be the largest battery storage unit in the world.  The article also outlines the latest problem with the 400 MW unit in California (Moss Landing Energy Storage) and now the largest unit in the world which recently experienced their second incident.  The article notes: “The breakdowns are among more than 50 known failures at medium- to large-scale battery storage projects in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Daily outage reports from the California ISO, which has more battery storage on its network than any other grid operator, point to additional frequent “plant troubles” curtailing capacity that the state is counting on to keep the lights on during critical periods of peak demand.” The article goes on to state: “Ranging from limited operational hiccups to catastrophic explosions, such incidents are likely to continue to accompany the proliferation of battery peakers, technology and safety experts said.” This certainly suggests the continued use of natural gas plants to back up the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar generation will be with us for a few decades unless our politicians and the bureaucrats advising them are OK with frequent blackouts.

Transit EV Bus Fires

As the push to eliminate fossil fuel use for all the developed world continues the concept of electrifying all transit and transport vehicles gathers steam so, with lots of government support many transit authorities are working to convert their bus fleets.  As just one example the City of Ottawa under its $57.4 billion “Energy Evolution” transition plan, have a target aiming to have a zero-emission transit sector by 2030. One should presume the 944 transit buses currently in Ottawa will be converted to battery operated ones by that date. Ottawa isn’t the only city in Canada or around the world with these plans and many European cities are much farther ahead.  One example is Stuttgart (check out video) with two of EV transit buses and in the fall of 2021 one of them “is believed to have been the source of a massive fire that destroyed 25 buses in the city and also heavily damaged part of the depot they were parked in.” Once again there are dozens of videos and stories of EV bus fires from various locations around the world including one a few days ago in Connecticut which would make one somewhat reluctant to step on board for a trip or be content to allow your child to take an EV school bus.  Needless to say, investigations into these fires are going on wherever they occurred and many of the fleets have parked their EV buses until the investigations determine the cause of the fire(s) is complete and the cause known.

Child Labour mines for Cobalt in the Congo and Zambia

Cobalt is one of the principal ingredients in an EV lithium-ion battery and the Congo has the highest known cobalt reserves in the world representing close to 70% and another African country, Zambia has the 2nd highest known reserves.  Interestingly enough CNN back in May 2018 did some investigative work resulting in them posting a video titled “CNN FINDS CHILD LABOUR IN COBALT TRADE.” The video highlights the use of child labour to mine the cobalt and supply those EV battery manufacturers in China, the U.S.A, Europe and shortly, presumably Ontario. The latter have joined hands with PM Trudeau and the Province to provide grants for a new $1.5 billion plant to be built in Windsor with our tax dollars. Obviously, those tax dollars will be supporting the continued use of child labour in the Congo and in Zambia.

Supply Shortages Loom

Another major problem with the whole “energy transition” push is the probable upcoming shortages of key components required for the electrification of everything and one of those is copper.  As noted in an article in the Financial Post a couple of weeks ago, “Numerous metals and minerals have been hawked as “the next oil,” but according to veteran energy historian Daniel Yergin, only one metal represents the linchpin of the energy transition away from fossil fuels — copper.“ Yergin “sees a looming supply-demand gap in copper that risks “short-circuiting” the energy transition and stalling global ambitions to slash greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050.” The article cites a report estimating copper supply would need to double from current production of 25 million metric tons to 50 million metric tons by 2035. The report concludes: “copper shortages could delay how long it takes to reach net-zero emissions; Yergin also acknowledged that various other critical minerals — lithium and cobalt, for example — could well have an impact on climate goals too.”

It sure looks as if the electrification of everything is a pipe dream that will continue to exhibit dire consequences on mankind except perhaps for the small but very rich segment of the population. The time has come to kill the wishes of the eco-warriors and those politicians who have consumed their Kool-Aid.

How many wind turbines needed to replace Ontario’s gas plants?

Yesterday out our way, July 26, 2022 was like a late spring day with mild temperatures in the mid-twenties, sunshine for most of the day and a light breeze. 

No signals of “climate change” were evident!

Peak Ontario demand for electricity occurred at a 5-minute interval during hour 19 at 19,457 MW. During that hour IWT (industrial wind turbines) produced 278 MW while Ontario’s gas plants during the same hour generated 3,766 MW. 

Over the entire 24 hours of the day IWT generated 7,150 MWh while gas plant generation was 49,375 MWh.

The foregoing should make one wonder how much IWT capacity would have been needed to replace the natural gas generation on this particular day?  The 4,900 MW of those IWT operated at a daily average of 6.08% of their capacity and produced those 7,150 MWh so how much more IWT capacity would be needed to replace the output of the gas generation was the question that came to mind?

After a few mathematic equations the conclusion was; this particular day, Ontario would have needed additional IWT capacity of 81,208 MW bringing total capacity of those IWT to 86,108 MW or 2.26 times the total Ontario current grid connected capacity of 38,079 MW of all generation types in the Province.

What the above suggests, should  eco-warriors like the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) and others like the City of Ottawa get their way, it means Ontario’s landscape would have over 34,000 IWT (an average of 2.5 MW capacity per turbine) scattered throughout the province.

Those 34,000 IWT are approximately 12 times the current 2,700 IWT or so, we have. Those existing IWT already affect the health of those living near them, harmed aquifers as well as decimating birds and bats, (many on the endangered list) so try to imagine the effect 34,000 of them would have!

Time to stop the stupidity driving the politicians catering to the eco-warriors out to decimate the province and country in their false belief mankind is the control knob of the climate.

Did Anyone Notice Wind Wimped Out Again

Yesterday, July 13, 2022, was one of those; not so hot summer days in most of Ontario so according to IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) peak demand at hour 16 only reached 18,135 MW during a five (5) minute interval.  At that hour those IWT (industrial wind turbines) with a capacity of 4,900 MW were contributing 108 MW or 2.2% of their capacity and 0.6% of demand. Had they been absent they wouldn’t have been missed!

The two generation sources the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) insist the government shut down, ie:  Nuclear, generated 9,430 MW and Natural Gas plants generated 4,093 MW at that hour.  Had the latter two generation sources not been operating at that or any other hour Ontario would have experienced wide-spread BLACKOUTS with a negative effect on businesses and our daily activities.

Once again at hour nine (9) as daily demand was increasing on a regular work day, those IWT were generating 36 MW which was probably less than they were using just to keep their lights blinking! 

The foregoing unreliability and intermittency of IWT is not an occurrence for Ontario only as it has been demonstrated around the world where they have been endorsed and promoted by politicians.  On their own, without other generation sources, such as natural gas or coal fired generation backing them up, most of the developed world would find ourselves back in the dark ages.

It seems truly unbelievable the push to go fully “fossil fuel free” has gained so much momentum around the world collectively as one example: the push for EV (electric vehicles) to replace ICE (internal combustion engines) is occurring. 

Plugging those EV in to recharge them without fossil fuels generating electricity is nothing more than a pipedream by the eco-warriors and their obedient and obtuse politicians as recently noted.     

Opinion: The summer wind is Ontario’s fickle energy friend

My latest in the Financial Post is a slightly different version of a recent post which I think you will appreciate.

Find it here:

https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-the-summer-wind-is-ontarios-fickle-energy-friend

The Summer Doldrums arrived and wind falls flat

Well, summer has finally arrived and as happens annually, wind falls off with the possible exception of the occasional hurricane’s arrival! 

Once again, wind generations summer fail was evident as on July 7th, 2022 Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) with a capacity of about 15.6% of total capacity in Ontario was at the bottom of the heap in respect to generation!

As one example Ontario’s peak demand occurred during a five-minute interval at Hour 17 reaching 19,638 MW and the 4,900 MW* capacity of wind generated only 332 MW at that hour representing 6.7% of it’s capacity and 1.7% of demand. To wit:

At peak, generation sources were producing the following:

Nuclear                9,529 MW

Hydro                    5,222 MW

Natural Gas        4,336 MW

IWT                           332 MW

Solar                         207 MW

Biofuel                     115 MW

Total                  19,741 MW

As is obvious from the above the three sources of what are referred to as “new” and renewable (IWT, Solar, Biofuel) energy collectively delivered 654 MW or 3.3% of Ontario demand which clearly suggests without nuclear, hydro or natural gas generation Ontario’s households and businesses would have been living with rolling blackouts at the very least throughout the day.

IESO reported wind’s peak generation occurred at Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) when it produced 462 MW of its capacity (9.4%) and it wasn’t needed as demand at that hour was falling below 13,000 MW. When morning arrived however and demand was increasing at 9 AM those IWT (industrial wind turbines) produced a miserly 57 MW (1.2% of their capacity).

As many Ontarians know IWT under the terms of their contracts have “first-to-the-grid” rights ranking ahead of all other generation sources and if their generation isn’t needed, they are still paid if IESO curtail them. It is worth noting the latter regularly occurs during the Spring and Fall seasons when peak demand is much lower but those Spring and Fall breezes are a part of our normal weather pattern.

 As the Premier Ford led Ontario Government ruling party embark on their second majority governing term we should hope (and pray) he and his minions will actually do something to alleviate the mess in the energy sector created by the Ontario Liberal Party when they ruled the province! 

 Hopefully that is not too much to ask of Premier Ford or to expect during these times of rising inflation caused principally by rising energy costs!

*For some reason five (two are related) of Ontario’s IWT farms are still not yet commissioned even though they have been operating for a few years under contracts signed during the McGuinty/Wynne years. They are: Amherst Island (83 MW capacity), Bow Lake (two with a 58 MW capacity and Henvey Inlet (North & South with a 300 MW capacity).

Europe’s Strange Conflicting Observations

Following the news over the past week or two one would have observed some very strange happenings particularly as it relates to Europe. 

Most Canadians may be aware our PM Trudeau, flew off to Europe to attend the NATO Summit, the G7 Summit and the Canada-European Summit where the politicians joined together to make joint commitments on a variety of issues. Naturally there were castigations of the continuing Russian/Ukraine conflict and lots of the promises made were what many would consider conflicting.  

One of the weirdest was how NATO pledged to revamp its energy-guzzling equipment as “NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the 30-member alliance would reduce emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”  The article went on with Stoltenberg stating: “If we fail to preserve peace, we also fail to fight climate change” which appears to be a double entendre but what we should expect from our bureaucrats and politicians during these times.  This seems weird as Germany; the UK and several other European NATO members are firing up their mothballed coal plants to provide reliable power for their electricity grids due to attempts to curtail Russian natural gas and oil purchases.  

Shortly after the Summit, Trudeau reporteda new NATO centre of excellence for climate change and security will be located in Montreal, and that Canada plans to host the North American office for a network of NATO innovation hubs called the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).”  That suggests the ever-expanding Canadian bureaucracy will grow further at the expense of Canadian taxpayers! The same article also said Canada is on track to spend the $500 million set aside in the 2022 budget to support the Ukraine.

Additionally coming out of the NATO Summit was an accession protocol for Sweden and Finland to join the current 30 member NATO group which would reputedly further isolate Russia.  Interestingly Turkey, a NATO member, could block their admission should either of them refuse to extradite certain terror suspects (named by Turkey), who sought and obtained refuge in those two countries. Each and every member of NATO must unanimously approve a new country’s admittance so at this point Turkey holds the key, unless Sweden and Finland agree to extradite those terror suspects.

Another event that caught my eye was a WEF short video expressively excited about how Finland was the first country in the World to pass into law a “Negative Emissions Pledge” suggesting by 2040 they will be absorbing more CO2 than they emit. Finland is without fossil fuels so it imports crude principally from their immediate neighbour, Russia.  They managed to reduce their Russian purchase of crude oil from 502 thousand tons in January to 501 thousand in February so they will have to do a lot better in the future.  That “sweet” Russian crude is refined by Neste Porvoo Refinery which is partially owned (35.9%) by the Finnish government.  Finland is counting on its forests, which cover three-quarters of its land, to achieve its emissions target but Statistics Finland’s recent report indicate their forests released more greenhouse gases than they absorbed!

It sure looks like “double jeopardy” for Finland; having asked to join NATO (impacting Russian oil imports) while passing a law committing to be carbon negative by 2040.  They better get their neighbour Sweden, to send Greta over to plant lots of trees! At the same time, they should get used to living without many of the amenities that the “sweet” Russian crude oil brings them.

A long standing member of NATO and the EU; Norway, was also recently called out by the European Commission to explore and produce more “offshore oil and gas”.  It seems obvious this reflected a rapid change in the EU energy policy due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the failure of all those industrial wind turbines and solar panels. This sudden change of heart has come about as Russia’s Gasprom has partially or fully cut supplies of natural gas to 12 European countries including Germany and has resulted in an energy scarcity and increasing costs of electricity along with the lack of fossil fuels used in many industries.

Conclusion

From just the few issues highlighted above it seems obvious the numerous eco-warriors active in the EU successfully convinced the majority of the politicians in most countries “global warming” was imminent and caused by mankind.  Some of those EU politicians now seem to be sobering up from drinking the “net-zero” kool-aid and have started to appreciate the damage they have inflicted on so many of their people.  Nevertheless, many others are still in the WEF’s “Building Back Better” camp and are convinced it’s all the fault of Russia’s war with the Ukraine. Those latter politicians seem unable to recognize their conflicted mind-set but one should hope the continuing events occurring; such as the current Netherlands “farmers protest” will enlighten them.  

Should the upcoming winter be a cold one, those in the WEF’s camp may finally see the light as “energy poverty” will strike many more households and cause more harm than a 1.5 degree increase in global temperatures by the year 2100 ever would. 

Conflicted political opinions on unsettled science causing harm will undoubtedly cause conflicts!    

NB: As this article was about to be posted the UK’s PM, Boris Johnson announced he is stepping down as his Minister’s pushed him to resign. 

Industrial Wind Generation Demonstrates It’s True Colours

If one follows or occasionally looks at Ontario’s hourly generation and took a peek at IESO’s Generators Output and Capability Output for Sunday July 3, 2022 their immediate reaction (should they regard wind as intermittent and unreliable) might have been; “aha, as I suspected, wind is a very fickle generation source”! 

That view would have been particularly obvious if they noted; as demand increased over the opening hours of the day wind fell flat and hour 10 highlighted that failure. At that hour they couldn’t even come close to generating IESO’s forecast of 101 MW producing only 17.8% (18 MW) of the forecast.  IESO’s forecast at that hour was only 2.3% of Winds Total Available Capacity (4,485 MW) shown on the report.

The hourly Ontario peak demand at Hour 10 was 14,070 MW so wind supplied 0.13% despite its total capacity representing 13% of all of our grid capacity as reported by IESO. Those Industrial Wind Turbines did that in spite of their favourable position under the contracts giving them “first-to-the-grid” rights!  

The IESO Crysler forecast and output for this 100 MW IWT project was respectively 18 MW but only 2 MW (11% of the forecast) were actually generated. The Crysler contract (for some unknown reason) was one of the few allowed to maintain its contract status under the first Ford government’s tenure as the ruling party in Ontario despite having had considerable pushback from the county prior to and after the election.  It recently gained “commissioned” status (awarded by IESO) but as one can see it joins the ranks of the others and fails to produce power when needed or forecast.

Hour 10 clearly demonstrates one of the many failures of IWT generation proving they are both intermittent and unreliable and absolutely need to be backed up by reliable fossil fuels in the form of natural gas generation which at hour 10 was generating 1192 MW! 

All those IWT (industrial wind turbines) ultimately do is increase the price of every kilowatt hour we consume.

Hopefully the second tenure voters have granted the Ford led government in Ontario will actually result in actions by them to eliminate the privileges granted to all companies owning those IWT! That would help reduce costs to ratepayers and taxpayers and reduce the harm they cause humans living in households near them along with their devastating effect on birds, bats and other nature related effects.