Wind Turbine Collapse in New Brunswick will create “Green Jobs”

Just over a year ago our PM, Justin Trudeau was caught talking about a “reset” during a UN virtual conference stating: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,“ and went on to say; “ This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.” Trudeau was pilloried by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre for the remark as it seemingly connected with; “The Great Reset” propagated by the WEF (World Economic Forum) where the rich elites of the world gather annually to plot the global transition to a “great reset” with “climate change” as their main focus!

The calls from the WEF and others pushing the “net-zero” transition have overcome the Federal Liberal Party and they have proffered different titles such as “Building Back Better” the “Just Transition” etc. and in all those scenarios they claim; executing them will create a million jobs! 

Needless to say, those calls, now spanning six years, are failing to create those jobs but continued support of the concept by the MSM (main stream media) has convinced many citizens and corporations to jump on board. The latter have done this by doing what they believe they can to reduce their emissions (based on what they are told) by transitioning their business in different ways in order to, presumably, avoid the increasing “carbon taxes” they would face. 

One such company is Alberta based, TransAlta Corporation via their 60.09% ownership in TransAlta Renewables (as of December 31, 2020) and the Federal Regulations imposing “coal-to-gas” regulations sped up by Catherine McKenna, when Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  TransAlta, as of December 31, 2021 reported they had completed the latter task well ahead of the 2030 deadline.  TransAlta is pushing hard to achieve the “net zero” pinnacle and based on their annual 2020 ESG report their “greenhouse gas emissions are now down to just over 16 tonnes from 42 million tonnes in 2005.

Those green jobs are shrinking

The other thing that’s fallen as well as emissions, is the number of people TransAlta employ. The oldest annual report posted on their website is for 2017 and at that time they reported having 2,341 employees in 2016 but their 2020 annual report indicates employment fell to 1,476 at December 31, 2020, a drop of 865 jobs or almost 37%!  Gross revenues also fell from $2,397 million in 2016 to $2,101 million in 2020 for a drop of $296 million or 12.3%.

The foregoing push by TransAlta to reduce emissions appears to be having the opposite effect Trudeau promised us in his “build back better” speeches as both revenue and staff levels fell!   

TransAlta’s majority-controlled subsidiary; “TransAlta Renewables” near the end of 2021 got some bad news too, as an industrial wind turbine at their Kent Hills 167 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbines) complex in New Brunswick collapsed. An investigation determined all 50 of the 3 MW turbines bases would need to be replaced whereas the remaining five (5) were OK! The estimated cost to replace the bases could be as high as $100 million and take until the end of 2023.  They estimate their revenue base will decline $3.4 million per month until the turbines are back up and running.

Here come those “green jobs”

One assumes the $75 to $100 million estimate to replace the bases will require lots of cement (close to 2,000 tons per turbine) and rebar and a crew plus equipment to first disassemble the 50 turbines and later to reassemble them.  It’s unclear as to whether they will remove the cement from the flawed bases but if they do it will require a crew plus equipment and quite a bit of dynamite.

All of the foregoing activities will play a hand in creating jobs over the two years of the rebuild but will, no doubt, create emissions.

When the workers have completed the reassembly, it will be seen as a perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, to have a media appearance to tell us how the great “reset” is proceeding and the myriad of jobs* it created!

Any questions about the full carbon footprint of those rebuilt IWT and the jobs temporarily created at the media event will be tossed aside as will the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind generation which always requires dependable power (frequently fossil fueled) to back it up. Trudeau and his “climate change” Minister, Guilbeault, will insist the “transition to net-zero” and “building back better” is working to the benefit of all Canadians!

Canada’s taxpayers need to initiate a “political reset” and dump those Liberal politicians who seem intent on creating Venezuela north!  We voters in Ontario did it by recreating the Ontario Liberal Party as the “minivan party” so the time has come to do it again at the next election!

*Ontarians will remember the same promises from the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal years!

 

IWT for Three of 24 Hours didn’t cost Ontario’s Ratepayers

Alerted to a tweet of Scott Luft which stated (referencing January 11,2022); “noticed yesterday’s Ontario Demand high of 21,250MW. Checking I find that’s 2nd highest daily winter peak since 2015“ was intriguing.

Sure enough, when looking at Ontario Demand data at Hour 18, peak demand for the day, at interval 10 of that hour hit 21,522.9 MW (megawatts) and averaged 21,250MW for the full hour!

Looking further at IESO data one notes wind at that hour was operating at 84.6% of capacity and generated 4,024 MWh or 18.7% of that hour’s demand. We also exported 3,436 MWh to our neighbours during that hour!

With curiosity further piqued a look at the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) disclosed surplus generation traded at $44.58/MWh at Hour 18, so considerably less than what we were paying for wind power at $135/MWh guaranteed* whenever it’s generated.

While viewing the HOEP data however one notes prices at hours 9, 10 and 11 were respectively $151.60, $230.87 and $160.14 per MW or an average of $180.87/MW.  IWT generation over those three hours averaged only 891 MW (18.4% of capacity) so if one suggests they were all exported for those three hours we actually sold them for more than we paid! Hourly demand over those three hours was over 20,000 MW and thankfully Ontario’s gas plants were at the ready and generated an average of 5,718 MW providing the power needed to keep the lights on and avoid blackouts.

Yahoo, for three hours we ratepayers actually got back $22,700 more than we paid for IWT generation but too bad it wasn’t the full 24 hours as its much cheaper when the wind isn’t blowing!

*Guaranteed “first to the grid” rights.

Ontarians Paid Up Big for Wind Generation while Swedes Paid Up Big for Less Wind Generation

Transmission connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) were busy throughout the province on Sunday, January 9, 2022 and generated 83,086 MWh (megawatt hours) and also had another 9,000 MWh curtailed as there wasn’t enough demand.  What the foregoing means is IWT could have operated at a level of 80.2% of their capacity versus their average generation over a full year of about 30%.

Before completing the foregoing calculation, I had read a short article from December 20, 2021 about Sweden’s recent experience which claimed their electricity prices had soared to an all time high.  The article started with what was obviously the cause stating: “Less wind power than normal, as well as the cost of gas and electricity being on an upward curve in Europe this winter, has had a knock-on effect”.  The article went on; “On Tuesday, the average daily spot price of electricity south of Mälardalen (the region around Stockholm) is set to hit 4.25 kronor ($0.46) per kilowatt hour.” Doing the calculation in Canadian dollars brings the cost to almost $0.59 cents/kWh! That suggests without natural gas plants and the fuel itself available to back up IWT the price of electricity will soar above almost everyone’s ability to pay for it. This results in “energy poverty” increasing in most European countries.

We have seen the same outcome in Ontario although not to the same extent and we should be thankful for our relatively cheap electricity generated by our natural gas plants for the many times our IWT fail!

January 9, 2022 wasn’t one of the times IWT were absent in Ontario as noted in the opening paragraph.  The wind was blowing briskly throughout the province meaning we wound up having to export 61,089 MW to our Michigan, New York and Quebec neighbours.  Presumably they were happy to take it as the average sale price over those 24 hours was $8.82/MWh or less than one cent a kWh (kilowatt hour) meaning we were paid a grand total of $538,800 for those MWh.

To put the foregoing into context the 83,086 MWh were more than sufficient to have supplied the exported MWs and we Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers were forced to pay the contracted price of $135/MWh meaning the cost was $11,216,600.  Adding the approximate 9,000 MWh curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh ($1,080,000) brings the full cost of wind generation to about $12,296,600.  If we rightly assume all of the surplus generation exported at those cheap prices was IWT generation it means the net cost of wind generation was $11,757,800 ($12,296,600 minus $538,800 = $11,757,800).  If we logically deduct the MWh exported (61,089 MWh) from IWT full generation of 83,086 MWh the IWT generation utilized by Ontarians was only 21,997 MWh. 

At a total cost to Ontarians of $11,757,800 those 21,997 MWh providing power to Ontario’s businesses and households cost $534.51/MWh ($11.757,800/21,997MW = $534.51/MWh) or 53.4 cents/kWh. The 53.4 cents/kWh it cost Ontarians is very close to what many Swedish businesses and households are now paying for “Less wind power”. 

Conclusion                        

Industrial Wind Turbines cost the Swedes and many other Europeans a lot of money when they don’t produce power and cost Ontarians a lot of money when they produce too much power. In other words, IWT are detrimental to our economic well-being due to their intermittent and unreliable behaviour!  

Scrap them all!

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

Energy Poverty the One Economic Activity Growing in Developed Countries

Four years ago, I penned an article about how the GEA (Green Energy Act) had driven up “energy poverty” in Ontario.  The article was supported by data from various sources with the principal one being an OEB (Ontario Energy Board) report from late 2014. The OEB report determined Ontario households experiencing energy poverty numbered either 606,000 or 713.000 based on the two data sets used and represented either 13.5% or 15.8% of all households! The report was initiated by the then Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, who was looking to launch a new support program as electricity prices had jumped and many households were seeing their electric power cut-off by their local distribution companies.

Now, fast forward to a report by CUSP (Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners) in October 2019 titled “Energy Poverty in Canada” who used 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada and noted households experiencing energy poverty in Ontario had increased to 1,138.065 or just over 22%.  The chart from CUSP’s report below highlights PEI as the province with the highest percentage of households experiencing energy poverty at over 41%.  PEI gets “roughly 98% of power generation from wind farms” with the balance from New Brunswick.  

It is worth noting Canada is not the only country experiencing an increase in energy poverty as reports out of the UK and the EU also highlight how the push to de-fossilize the electricity sector is doing the same thing to households in many other “developed” countries. 

One article dated November 29, 2021 was about Scotland, where the recent UNCOP26 “climate change conference” was held. The article noted there was “a 139 per cent increase in people seeking debt relief support,“ but only a “41 per cent increase in debt relief given out by energy firms, which has resulted in more people disconnecting from the grid year-round.“ The article went on to quote the chief executive of the Wise Group who prepared the report and quoted him stating: “Almost a quarter of Scots live in fuel poverty.”                                     

An article appearing in the magazine “Energy Industry Review” and their website from August 10, 2021 was headlined: “Energy Poverty: A Time Bomb Waiting to Be Defused“ suggests the UK and many EU members are already in dire straits in respect to energy poverty but it varies widely from country to country. The below chart notes some countries have less than 10% of their population experiencing “energy poverty” whereas other countries like Greece and Bulgaria experience over 40%.  The article stresses the geographical differences in EU member countries and how both heat and cold play a hand in causing energy poverty.  The article appears intent on ensuring the EU stick to its goals of reducing fossil fuel consumption and emphasizes money allocated (EUR 312.5 billion of the Next Generation EU [NGEU]) by the EU for improving buildings and homes to make them more fuel efficient is needed.

Yet another article, mere days before COP26 kicked off reported “4.5 million Britons are desperate, facing cuts to welfare, rising energy prices and a long, cold winter.“  It provided a few specific examples noting how energy costs had doubled.  The article also said; while the UK Energy Regulator, Ofgem, caps energy price increases the caps “only apply to households on a standard variable tariff. The rest have little protection. And those reliant on prepayment meters are particularly vulnerable“.  It appears the UK’s PM Boris Johnson’s push for net-zero emissions and renewable generation as the means to achieve his goal is failing miserably. The foregoing was clearly demonstrated by those off-shore industrial wind turbines failing to deliver power requiring coal plants to come back on line to avoid blackouts. It appears those coal plants will be needed for the future too!  The shortage of natural gas, evident in the fall, is not expected to improve until the new Nord Stream 2 Gazprom pipeline receives the blessing of Germany’s regulator followed by approval of the European Commission. Both approvals will take time.

It now appears obvious the push by most developed countries to achieve the “net-zero” emission target by 2050 is futile unless the reputed WEF (World Economic Forum) forecast “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and be happy ” has changed to “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and live-in energy poverty”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sad News from Denmark about Industrial Wind Turbines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coal’s comeback as gas prices surge, and COP 26 climate gabfest in Glasgow, Scotland

I was on the radio station NEWSTALK SAUGO 960 AM with Marc Patrone once again and we covered some interesting local and global issues including coal’s comeback and some of the events that will plague the COP 26 upcoming gabfest in Glasgow.

You can tune in here to the Marc Patrone radio podcast for October 13th starting at 1:07:50 for our chat.

or you can WATCH and listen to our conversation on NEWSTALK CANADA here:

https://www.newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=22

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

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

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

Podcasts