Brookfield Renewable Wants to Double Down on Ontario Ratepayers and Taxpayers

Evolugen is a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable, a part of the Brookfield empire with over $750 billion in assets who happen to own, amongst other assets, the Prince Wind Farm, a 189 MW industrial wind farm located in Sault St. Marie (Soo), Ontario.  The 126 turbines spread over 20,000 acres were commissioned in 2006 in two phases so the contracts will presumably end in 2026.

Prince Wind Farm

A recent announcement out of the Soo suggests Evolugen has intentions to either “repower” those turbines and/or perhaps be granted an extension of the contracts. The article carried in the SOOTODAY stated Evolugen have proposed a $300 million massive battery storage project on a 10 acre site alongside their existing Prince Wind Farm about 15 km outside the Soo. Principals of Evolugen had a video conference call with the Soo city council seeking their endorsement of their plan and it was granted.  The mayor and council were told the “Timberwolf Battery Energy Storage System” would have a capacity of 161 MW of installed capacity and would contain four hours (644 MWh) of energy.

It seems clear the intent of Evolugen via the Timberwolf project is to purchase cheap surplus power during low demand hours (throughout the night) and sell it back during high demand while those Prince wind turbines are paid $135/MWh and frequently generating power when unneeded.  That would allow Evolugen to double down by purchasing the storage power at the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) rate which is always low during the night while still reaping the “first-to-the-grid” rights of the wind turbines!  One should rightly assume those actions will further drive up the cost of electricity for Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers but it will be great for Brookfield!

One of the major issues one would hope is that Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, IESO and the OEB will consider is; how those IWT (industrial wind turbines) performed over the past several days. They failed miserably to deliver any reliable power that could be stored! As earlier articles about their performance on August 12th and August 13th noted they were not generating power when needed.

They did the same on August 14th making it three days in a row where they were almost absent when needed.  Thankfully, we had natural gas plants that ramped up or down when needed. On the 14th the IWT delivered a total of 3,950 MWh over the full day averaging only 164.5 MWh each hour which was 3.3% of their capacity. They peaked at Hour 24 (hour ending at midnight) generating 399 MWh but at the peak hour of the day (Hour 18) they produced a meager 114 MWh or 2.3% of capacity and 0.64% of demand. 

Ontario’s natural gas plants were there when needed producing 2,334 MWh at Hour 18 representing 13.1% of demand and at Hour 14 when those IWT managed to generate only 74 MWh (0.4% of demand), they produced 1,787 MWh (10.8% of demand).

If we look at the past three days it becomes obvious, we need responsive generation instead of unreliable and intermittent power delivered by those IWT!  Over the three days grid connected IWT delivered 17,279 MWh which was 4.9% of their capacity despite their “first-to-the-grid” contracted rights. 

If one looks at the foregoing and examines the HOEP on an hourly basis it is obvious why Evolugen are seeking that battery storage contract! They are aware the Prince Wind Farm gets paid $135/MWh no matter what time of the day they generate that MW so if they are able to load up with cheap power via the market price and resell it during peak hours they will double down on the money they extract from us lowly Ontario ratepayers that will benefit the Laurentian Elites.

Surely, Energy Minister Smith, IESO and the OEB will recognize they are trying to “take us to the cleaners” and not allow this to happen!

NB:  The State of New York has recently found out battery storage companies who recently won contract awards have a cost of US $567/kWh making the Canadian equivalent cost $730/kWh or $730,000/MWh a surefire sign we should reject battery storage and retain our natural gas plants.

Enbridge Inc Stymied by Ottawa Energy Evolution

As noted in the OEB’s (Ontario Energy Board) recent “Decision And Order” Enbridge Gas had applied to the OEB in March 2021 for approval to replace 19.8 kilometres of aging gas pipeline in Ottawa.  The pipeline is associated with the St. Laurent Pipeline which services approximately 165,000 Ottawa and Gatineau area customers. 

The OEB recently refused the replacement pipeline and basically told Enbridge to; “Plan for Lower Gas Demand” according to an article in The Energy Mix which noted: “The Ontario Energy Board sent minor shock waves through the province’s energy regulatory and municipal energy communities earlier this month with its refusal to approve the final phases of a $123.7-million pipeline replacement project in Ottawa proposed by Enbridge Gas.”  The article went on to note: “Several observers said this was the first time the OEB had refused a “leave to construct” application from a gas utility,”. 

The OEB, under Anthony Zlahtic,* the Presiding Commissioner, laid out the principal reasons for the decision and three of the five reasons were: City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Plan,”,Integrated Resource Planning Alternativesand “Downsizing the Pipeline due to Reduced Future Demand for Natural Gas.

Anthony Zlahic’s Background

Curiosity about Zlahic’s background led to examining his “Linkedin” file which lists his former jobs and co-incidentally claims he spent over 11 years working for Enbridge after which he worked for a subsidiary of EPCOR an electricity generation and distribution company owned by the City of Edmonton. EPCOR has subsidiary operations with one of those being Capital Power Corp of Toronto where Zlahic was employed and actively and successfully pursued wind power projects under the Ontario GEA (Green Energy Act).  He notes working with companies such as Pattern Renewable Energy as well as Samsung on industrial wind turbine projects for Capital Power and suggests he increased their “influence among key government agencies and companies directly and through the Association of Power producers of Ontario (APPrO) and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)”. 

Based on Zlahic’s background and activities with both Enbridge Gas and his obvious belief in IWT (industrial wind turbines) as a reliable energy source one should wonder why the OEB appointed him and WHY he didn’t recuse himself (due to his background with Enbridge) from this hearing?

Also note, Zlahic ruled; Enbridge was responsible for all intervenor costs!

Ottawa’s Prejudicial Intervenor

One of the intervenor’s whom Enbridge is obliged to pay costs to is Pollution Probe** and they were represented by Michael Brophy both a director and team member of Pollution Probe.  Interestingly enough Brophy also was a former employee of Enbridge Gas.  One should wonder, did both Zlahic and Brophy part terms with Enbridge in a favourable way or do they hold some prejudices against them?

Another important fact associated with the ruling is in respect to the City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Plan which was actually written by Pollution Probe as an earlier article noted.  The foregoing was confirmed by another intervenor who advised that Michael Brophy told him he was a co-author of the 101 page “plan”. The “plan” suggests the costs to Ottawa for net-zero will be $57.4 billion and result in 3,218 MW of IWT capacity and 1,060 MW of solar capacity on rooftops by 2050!

Was the OEB outcome a result of self-flagellation by Enbridge?

It seems very ironic when examining the March 2021 annual statement of Pollution Probe and note their list of “Sponsors, Major Supporters and Partners” includes none other than Enbridge Inc.  

The Pollution Probe statement filed with the CRA indicates gross revenue of $1,839,737 for the year ended March 31, 2021 but only $113,516 or 6.1% was tax receipted by them so; is this an indication they are not much of a worthwhile “charity”?  

What is not surprising to see in their annual report are numerous government donors listed including: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (Province of Ontario) and TAF (Toronto Atmospheric Fund [Municipality of Metro Toronto]).

Interestingly enough Michael Brophy is also listed as a “Major Donor” meaning taxpayers are hit with a double whammy in that their taxes support the government grants which supply Brophy income from Pollution Probe and his donation(s) provides him with a personal tax receipt!

The tax dollars doled out to Pollution Probe according to a Federal Grant search is in the millions of dollars and is additional to the money handed out by them via Federal Contracts worth hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars!

More self-flagellation by Enbridge

Another exampleof Enbridge’s self-flagellation is related to the net-zero push and ESG (environment, social, governance) issues. A four-page letter sent to Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock back in March 2022 clearly demonstrates the foregoing.  The President and CEO of Enbridge, Al Monaco goes into detail on how the company is changing. In in Monaco tells Fink how they have invested in wind farms and solar facilities and enshrined ESG related initiatives, etc. into their business model. An example from the letter related to ESG states: “By 2025 we’re aiming for a workforce that will include 28% racial and ethnic group representation, 40% women, 6% persons with disabilities, and 3.5% Indigenous peoples.”

We should all find it dismaying that one of Canada’s most successful companies is basically kowtowing to BlackRock and in effect, the WEF (World Economic Forum) instead of fighting back knowing the world cannot survive with the wind and solar intermittent and unreliable energy pushed by the WEF and the numerous eco-warriors like Pollution Probe.

Appeal of the Masses

For the will of the people Mr. Monaco please stand up for the enormous benefits of fossil fuels and how they have lifted billions of people around the globe out of poverty and saved so many lives!

*The 2021 Ontario Sunshine list indicates Anthony Zlahtic’s annual salary was $169,349.82!

**One of the original founders of the Strathmere Group which this writer has written a series of articles about was Pollution Probe.

Throw out the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) Program with the Garbage

Universities and Hospitals and many other government operations are allowed to qualify as “Class A” institutions so take advantage of the ICI program by picking peak hours to go off-grid for their electricity needs.  The following “note” was found on page 7 in a study London Economics Institute did for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters dated October 22, 2019.

Examples of larger load customers that are not industrial (i.e. not the focus of this paper) include hospitals, large office complexes, and university campuses. The boundary for a “large” customer is generally around the 5,000 kW mark.” 

In other words, if peak demand at a university or hospital reached 5 MW, they qualified to access the ICI program.  

Former Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, reduced the qualification to 3 MW in 2015 and then to 500 KW in 2017.  The reduction expanded the number of Class A customers and would obviously allow many other government institutions such as colleges and good-sized government buildings or departments to become ICI entities.  So, presumably for years, Class B ratepayers have been subsidizing numerous government institutions be they provincial or federal.  Unfortunately, IESO doesn’t publish a list of Class A ratepayers so it’s impossible to know how much additional taxes we Class B ratepayers are paying to support those government entities who are beneficiaries of cheap electricity prices.

As both a ratepayer and taxpayer it doesn’t seem right government institutions get preferred rates!  It allows them to suggest their budgets are lower so they can pay their professors, etc. more!  They basically access after-tax dollars from Class B ratepayers who have been forced to spend additional funds to obtain electricity for their small business or to heat their homes and cook their meals. 

Pretty sure York University where they crank out eco-warrior graduates via the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) are one of those taking advantage of the ICI as several years ago, they installed two gas generators which was covered in an article your truly penned back in 2020. The article from July 2020 provided details on how York University takes advantage of the ICI program in much more detail while outlining how their Professor Mark Winfield, an eco-warrior, claims it was “the leading edge of innovation in electricity systems around the world”.  

The time has come for Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith, to stop the double taxation allowed under the ICI program by simply cancelling the benefit for government related institutions.  An exchange with a contact brought me the following observation from someone I have much respect for as they know the system much better than yours truly. 

The ICI program has become a government welfare system for large industrials and it undermines the emission reduction efforts of others.  It should be redesigned to make sure everyone pays their appropriate share of the fixed costs of the electricity system that serves them.

PS:  Here is the link to article titled: Ontario is a Bottomless Pit for Class B Ratepayers as the ICI Demonstrates

Ford Energy Act Revolt (FEAR)

An earlier article reflected on how the Ford led government is kowtowing to the Trudeau led government and FEAR mongering in respect to the “climate change” crusade. It suggested the Minister of Energy, Todd Smith was pushing for more negative action in respect to Ontario’s energy sector via directives to both IESO and the OEB that would serve to punish ratepayers/taxpayers for fossil fuel consumption.

The alarming ones were referenced as Ministerial directives from Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, to IESO with the first related to “Clean Energy Credits” and the second to “Pathways to Decarbonization”.  He also has asked the OEB to investigate options for a “New Ultra-Low Overnight Electricity Rate”.

Let’s examine the directives to IESO!

Clean Energy Credit Directive to IESO

Energy Minister Smith’s letter of direction to IESO instructed them “to provide further value for ratepayers by supporting the creation of a voluntary clean energy credit market“. That suggests he is a believer in increasing costs to consumers to eliminate “emissions”!  Is he simply following orders from above?

Needless to say, IESO take instructions from the Ministry so they have commenced the process by issuing an “Engagement Plan” meant to respond to the Ministerial directive! The amusing thing about his directive is he says the objective is; “making life more affordable and I believe ratepayers can reap further value from the electricity system that they have built.“ Hard to believe requiring ratepayers to purchase Clean Energy Credits (CEC) will make “life more affordable”.  It is somewhat mindboggling to research CEC values as they are all over the map in respect to prices.  A somewhat dated article (January 22, 2021) about prices in the New England states show their costs as anywhere from $11.05/MWh to $233.75/MWh depending on the state involved.

Because Ontario’s electricity sector is one of the lowest emitters of CO 2 Minister Smith seems to believe we can, as an example, get an agreement to those using fossil fuels to heat our homes or running a business to purchase CEC!  The revenue will then be used to reduce our costs; making “life more affordable”.  It sounds too much like the Federally imposed “carbon tax” which does nothing more than increase the number of bureaucrats taxpayer’s support while increasing our cost of living! The “credit offerings” will include: “nuclear, waterpower, wind, solar and bioenergy.“ Smith’s letter doesn’t clarify; if you have solar panels on your roof will you be asked to hand out a CEC or whether you will be paid for doing so? One should suspect the various contracted parties under the FIT (feed in tariff) programs will not willingly pass those CEC’s on unless they are compensated.  The other issue is by requiring those who emit CO 2 to purchase CEC means any household using natural gas as a heating source may be required to purchase those CEC.  We should note those same households are already paying carbon taxes imposed by the Federal Government along with the Provincial Sales tax.  CEC simply look to be a further tax increase!  

One would hope the IESO point out the fallacies with the Ministerial directive and stand up for us ratepayer/taxpayers!

Pathways to Decarbonization

On October 7, 2021 IESO released a report titled “Decarbonization And Ontario’s Electricity System” which was a response to thirty (30) municipalities who had pressured the Ministry of Energy to phase out natural gas plants.  IESO’s report of 27 pages outlined the cost to do that would hit ratepayers with $27 billion and raise the price of household electricity bills by $1,200 annually; an increase of 60%. Not quite what the McGuinty/Wynne led government put us through but still very significant during this high inflation period.

Despite that rather shocking news Minister Smith on the same date (October 7, 2021) as IESO’s report, issued a directive to them and it stated “I would ask that IESO evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas generating stations and develop an achievable pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector.”  One should wonder, did he read the 27 pages of the IESO report or not equate what he was suggesting we do in Ontario with what was happening in Europe?  An article just nine days before he issued the directive noted electricity prices climbing to record highs in the UK and EU countries. Renewable energy’s failure in the form of wind and solar’s absence coupled with low water levels were causing electricity prices to climb to record highs at the same time as a price spike in natural gas arrived.  Anyone even casually, following the news at that time out of the UK and most other European countries would have discovered how the efforts to reach net-zero were causing both economic pain and energy poverty. Needless to say, things are much worse now and all of North America has been affected by the increase in the market prices of oil, gas and coal.

Despite the foregoing, IESO will follow Minister Smith’s directive and have commenced the “engagement process” to develop their response.  One would assume the evaluation will mirror that of their earlier report and likely suggest costs will be even higher.

As the heading on this article implies, we should all be “fearful” of what the Ford government is doing as it seems set to create another sharp rise in the cost of electricity despite the fact Ontario has one of the cleanest non-emitting grids in the world. 

Virtue signaling is costly so perhaps the time has come to repulse the “FEAR” and revolt!

PS:  More to come.

The Ford led Government Wants the Cost of Living to Climb More

Premier Ford and his minions have ramped up the diatribe as we approach election day.  Back in the McGuinty/Wynne days I signed up to receive press releases from the Ontario Provincial Government and they have arrived in my in-box since then. This February I received 82 press releases.  A few of them were associated with Covid-19 but the bulk were aligned with bragging about handouts of money.  As I commenced writing this article on March 4, 2022 by 3 PM I had received 9 (nine) press releases from the Ford led Government. A few of those in the February group were associated with the energy sector and the obtuse plans emanating from other ministries in addition to the Ministry of Energy.  Here is a look at a couple of them:

Clean steel gets $900 million from taxpayers:

The headline was; “Province Invests in Clean Steelmaking Technology in Hamilton to Support Future of Ontario’s Auto Sector” and profligates the reputed ability of politicians to pick winners in the “climate change” battle. “The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $500 million in loan and grant support to the project, which will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about three million tonnes annually.”  Todd Smith, Minister of Energy said: “As companies like ArcelorMittal Dofasco make significant investments to electrify and reduce emissions, they do so knowing they can rely on Ontario’s clean and affordable electricity system giving them a competitive advantage,”  One of the “facts” in the press release also stated:  “The Government of Canada announced a federal investment of $400 million to support ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s adoption of innovative low-carbon technology.”  Wow, $900 million of tax dollars dedicated to reducing our emissions using our “clean and affordable electricity system” sounds fantastic, or does it?  The conversion of the steelmaking from using coal to hydrogen will apparently reduce our emissions but no mention is made how it affects our electricity system and if we will have sufficient “clean” generation when the Pickering Nuclear plants have been shut down.  Also, no mention of whether the hydrogen energy will be “carbon-footprint” free!  An article from Forbes suggests hydrogen may not be as clean as our politicians believe: “On an apples-to-apples basis, it depends on several factors but it is likely that the conversion of hydrogen into power will have a carbon footprint greater than that of natural gas-fired power, but less than that of coal-fired power.”

Electric Vehicle Battery Innovation Lab

Another news release was headed up: “Province Invests in Windsor Electric Vehicle Battery Innovation Lab to Boost Regional Economy”.  It stated; “Investments like this one ($1.5 million) will help further develop Ontario’s EV battery supply chain and play a pivotal role in Phase 2 of our Driving Prosperity auto plan.”  While the amount of the recent investment is not overly large if one harkens back to October 2020, one will recall the province committed $295 million to match the Feds commitment to convert the Ford Oakville plant to manufacture EV (electric Vehicles). It should send a signal to all taxpayers the Doug Ford led government seems fully committed to the concept EV are the future of our automotive sector and is fully prepared to use our tax dollars to push the initiative.

It Appears Future Press Releases will cause more inflation  

As noted above I subscribe to the province’s press releases and additionally also do so for weekly bulletins from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) and the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator). A couple of IESO bulletins recently caught my eye as they referenced Ministerial directives from Minister of Energy, Todd Smith to IESO. One was related to “Clean Energy Credits” and the other to “Pathways to Decarbonization”.  He also has told the OEB to investigate options for a “New Ultra-Low Overnight Electricity Rate”.

All three of the foregoing directives/instructions are reflective of actions under the McGuinty/Wynne days when their Energy Ministers were busy instructing the OEB and IESO how to reorganize the generation of electricity in order to get the blessings of people like Al Gore, David Suzuki, Jack Gibbons as well as Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith!  It’s looking like a repeat of the days when the Green Energy and Green Economy Act drove up our electricity rates to the point where Ontario’s taxpayers are now picking up almost $7 billion in costs related to the disastrous effects the GEA created.   We will deal with those above directives in a future article.

It appears the Ford government wants the blessing of PM Trudeau and his henchman Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change! For that reason, we should be confident the “cost benefit analysis” associated with the projects receiving taxpayer grants and/or cheap financing simply comes down to Premier Ford doing whatever PM Trudeau and Minister Guilbeault want him to do.

Based on what we are seeing we should expect electricity rates to climb or the $7 billion taxpayers are now absorbing grow larger. 

It will probably be both so stayed tuned!

More Carbon Taxes in the New Year Brought to us by the Justinflation Government

The monthly natural gas bill arrived and intrigued by the upcoming (April 1, 2022) increase in the carbon tax jumping to $50/tonne I thought it would be interesting to compare the taxes levied to the cost of the gas supply.  A quick evaluation indicated that the “Federal Carbon Charge” coupled with the “HST” was 80.3% of the “Gas Supply Charge”. The increase arriving April 1, 2022 will increase that tax from 7.83 cents per cubic meter (m3) to 9.79 cents/m3 (+1.96 cents or 25%).  Assuming the price of natural gas is the same; as of that date it would mean taxes (note that the HST is charged on it also) will then represent 93.2% of fuel costs.

As if to keep that “Justinflation” target moving the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) just announced natural gas rates would increase effective January 1, 2022.  The OEB doesn’t bother to tell us the percentage increase and instead only tell us the price will increase by 1.2333 cents/m3.  A “penny and a bit” doesn’t sound like much but it amounts to a 9.3% increase in the fuel price meaning your monthly gas bill will be about $5.00 higher. If one couples that $5.00 with the upcoming increase in the “Federal Carbon Charge” ($6/7.00 per month) the combined monthly additional cost will be $11/12.00. That increased cost will suck another $130/$140,00 annually from your after-tax income should you wish to stay warm, cook your meals and have a shower. The percentage of households using natural gas for heating purposes is just over 67% in Ontario so those increased taxes and gas costs will affect most families.

If you are a household dependent on natural gas and one of the 53% of Canadian households just $200 away from being able to pay your bills and debt payments the monthly increase could be the breaking point!  It may come down to the decision to; “heat or eat” for many.

It doesn’t seem right, during this period of high inflation, our Federal Government should be imposing tax increases having already impacted the price of natural gas by both blocking pipelines and scaring away capital that would have invested in finding and delivering increased supplies!

If this is the concept described by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Finance Freeland in their “Building Back Better Plan” as “inclusive, sustainable and creates good jobs”, I and most of my fellow Canadians don’t believe it will produce those results!  

We are quickly seeing the foregoing plan, preceded by The Great Reset, coming out of the WEF (World Economic Forum) where Canada’s Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland sits as a trustee can be seen as nothing more than a socialist agenda.  The resulting activities displayed by her as Finance Minister with PM Justin Trudeau’s support have gone a long way in creating “Justinflation” as Pierre Poilievre was able to get him to admit in parliament!

At a time when Canadian households are suffering from increased prices on everything is not the time to increase taxes to bring us even more of that “Justinflation”!

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”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I got back in response was:

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

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

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

Jack

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

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

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

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

We need the bureaucrats to do their job!

Who gets the carbon credits for recycling wind turbine blades and other burning questions?

As a climate change “realist” this past week has been what I would term, over the top. It seemed there is total confusion about what we should do and what we should avoid to push for net-zero emissions and move to the “circular economy”.  Some examples:

Industrial Wind Turbines are not yet part of the Circular Economy          

Cement giant LafargeHolcim and GE’s renewables wind turbine unit are teaming up and the purpose is “to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.” The main objective of the partnership is to focus on “circular economy solutions”.  The same article notes one of the largest companies producing IWTs, Vestas, in early 2020 said it was aiming to produce a “zero-waste turbine” by 2040.  If one gives some thought to the Lafarge/GE team you conclude recycling fiberglass, etc. blades should result in the handing out of “carbon credits”! Both of those team members would presumably want them as they both are facing rising costs associated with “democratic” governments punishing them with a carbon-tax due to their emissions. The proponents of renewable energy from wind turbines must now be wringing their hands in confusion as they had pushed the concept that energy produced from them was emissions free but refused to admit their manufacturing generated emissions and that the blades were not recyclable.  It should also be noted that cement if it was a country would reputedly “rank fourth in the world as a climate polluter.”  IWT, based on many research papers could, “warm the surface temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius, with the largest changes occurring at night when surface temperatures increased by up to 1.5 degrees.”  So, will those carbon credits be shared or will they both be rewarded with the carbon tax we consumers are paying now and in the future?

Swiss CO2 law defeated at the ballot box means no carbon tax for the Swiss  

The Swiss held a vote on a CO2 law, based on the “polluter pays” principle,”. It targeted “road vehicles, air traffic, industrial emissions, and the renovation of buildings. Those who cut their CO2 emissions would have benefited from exemptions.” Presumably those who didn’t “cut emissions” would pay an emission tax. Switzerland’s government now has a problem as they have committed to the EU they would cut their emissions. 

It was interesting to note “Urban cantons including Basel, Zurich and Geneva voted in favour of the bill.  But 21 of the 26 Swiss cantons struck it down.”  One should suspect had Canadians voted on the recent move by the Trudeau led government to impose the increase to $170/tonne on emissions the outcome may well have turned out similar. Most large urban community voters seem to fail to realize the outcome will drive the cost of living up as the “carbon tax” climbs whereas the rural communities have a much better understanding of basic economics!

Interestingly the nay side “argued that Switzerland will not make a critical difference to global climate efforts since the real game-changers are China and the United States when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions” which many sane Canadian voters also understand.

So, the question is; when will Canadian voters be given the opportunity to vote yay or nay to the carbon tax?

Meteorologist Says Snow in June In Line With Historical Snowfall on Avalon                                          

The forgoing story about snow in Avalon, Newfoundland June 10, 2021 caught my eye due to having recently watched a video with Natural Resources Minister, Seamus O’Regan doing the introductory speech in a video at the launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  As an aside, OCAF is proposing to spend $57.4 billion tax dollars to make the City of Ottawa achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050. In the opening welcome from O’Regan he opined about last winter stating, “average temperatures of 10 degrees higher than normal in the height of winter” in parts of Labrador suggesting it was caused by climate change. What he failed to say was average winter temperatures in Newfoundland and Labrador can swing widely by as much as 30 degrees so 10 degrees hardly seems unusual. Nevertheless If you’re pushing the “net-zero” theory to justify handing out tax dollars to groups like OCAF you may only want to present information that is one-sided.

The question someone in the media should ask O’Regan is; do you think snow in June is caused by “climate change”?

Centre Block renovation to take until at least 2030 to complete, cost up to $5Billion                     

Another article that caught my eye was once again all about Ottawa and referenced how the renovation associated with the Peace Tower and Centre Block was not only going to cost taxpayers $5 billion but would also not be completed until 2030 or 2031.  One of the strange issues arising out of the renovation had nothing to do with the $57.4 billion the City of Ottawa wants to spend to make the city reach “net-zero” as the Peace Tower and Centre Block are owned by the Government of Canada. The article noted:

It’s being promised by PSPC (Public Services and Procurement Canada) that the renovation will result in transforming the “largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter” within PSPC’s portfolio of federal buildings into a carbon-neutral facility with significant reductions to energy and water consumption.”

I’m sure PSPC has numerous properties emitting “greenhouse gas” but probably none of them are places where so many politicians are present so perhaps, as taxpayers, we were aware of where the largest “carbon emissions” emanate from; when parliament actually sits. 

Putting aside the fact that our parliamentarians spew “greenhouse gas” one wonders why PSPC didn’t look for alternatives to spending all those tax dollars?  Was the only choice to spend $5 billion to make it “carbon-neutral” or perhaps they should have considered buying some of those California “Global Emission Offset Credit’s” priced at US $20.32/tonne for June 2021? $5 billion would buy a lot of those “offset credits”!

PwC to add 100,000 jobs in US$12 billion strategic revamp

An article in the Financial Post last week stated “PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing US$12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.” The article went on to note: “The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment” and went on to state; “The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends across its operations.” ESG was a creation of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was founded by the German economist Charles Schwab.  ESG is fully supported by the big four audit firms as it will allow them to increase their audit bills and some of those funds will presumably result in hiring more staff with those (whatever they are) ESG audit skills. It will also allow the big investment firms like Bloombergs, Brookfield, etc. to make lots of money trading those carbon credits that many firms will be required to purchase due to regulations and “Acts” imposed by government bodies at all levels.

My question is related to the foregoing imposition of ESG!  ESG imposition seems destined to make the very rich even richer and those in the middle and poorer classes poorer and is that it’s objective?

A bird stands in the way of India’s green goals  

India has so far escaped the need to impose carbon taxes but they do seem concerned about “climate change” so have been handing out contracts for more coal generation as well as wind and solar generation. This article indicates they have received push-back from the Wildlife Institute of India on the latter contracts and they were successful pushing for buried transmission lines in order to save an endangered bird known as the “great Indian bustard”.  The Supreme Court ruling supported the Institute but now the developers are crying because burying the transmission lines will reputedly increase costs to them by $4 billion.

The question I would have for the Canadian judicial system is why in most cases when similar objections were raised by opponents of wind and solar generation in Ontario and elsewhere did the rulings handed out favour the developers and ignore wildlife proponents?

IESO and OEB join forces to support innovative projects to help meet province’s growing energy needs

The IESO (independent Electric System Operator) and the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) recently issued a Press Release announcing they have formed a new partnership. The partnership “would test the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in providing services at both the local and provincial levels.” The DER resources they want to test are identified as: Some examples include rooftop solar panels, battery storage units and demand response devices, such as smart thermostats, that help reduce or shift consumers’ electricity usage.”  While industrial wind turbines are missing from the examples one should assume they are part of the mix as approximately 600 MW (megawatts) of their capacity are already part of the DER!  Ontario’s ratepayers have already experienced those “innovative projects” (sarcasm intended) which caused electricity rates to jump over 100% creating energy poverty while driving energy dependent businesses out of the province. IESO will also subsidize those “innovative projects” via their Grid Innovation Fund (GIF) while the OEB will provide “temporary relief” from regulatory guidelines.

My question is; why is the Minister of Energy allowing this to happen when the outcome has already been clearly demonstrated?

Conclusion  

From all appearances it appears confusion reigns supreme throughout the world when itcomes to the question of “climate change”, and the myriad ways governments and their regulators are dealing with it.  It is time realism is deemed important in respect to the global movement to effectively increase energy poverty and for governments to respect scientific opinion that has been tossed aside by the super-rich out to increase their wealth while harming the rest of mankind!

The time has arrived for governments to answer our “climate realism” questions!

ENERGY EVOLUTION: OTTAWA’S COMMUNITY ENERGY TRANSITION STRATEGY

City of Ottawa plans to spend $57.4 Billion to get to net-zero by 2050 and Carney is helping them

On April 24, 2019 the City of Ottawa passed a motion declaring a “climate emergency” and only two councilors voted against it.  Interestingly one of the “No” votes came from Rick Chiarelli, 2nd cousin of Bob Chiarelli, former Ontario Minister of Energy who during his term of service was a big fan of renewable energy which caused electricity prices to rise over 100% in the province.

Passage of the motion led to the appointment of councilor Scott Moffat as Chair of the City’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management. Moffat presumably accepted the position with his belief in the reputed and upcoming “climate emergency” motion he supported.

As an outgrowth of the “climate emergency” declaration, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), a registered charity with assets of $178 million (CRA 2019 filing) launched the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  The official launch occurred May 14, 2021 and was moderated by Diana Fox Carney, who happens to be Mark Carney’s wife. 

As yet another coincidence, it was earlier announced on May 3, 2021, by Eurasia Group, “the world’s leading political risk research and consulting firm” (their claim), that “Diana Fox Carney, a widely respected expert on global climate and energy policy, will be joining as a senior advisor. At Eurasia Group, Fox Carney will work closely with Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, who helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, to bolster the firm’s growing climate and energy practice. Most Canadians and particularly Ontarians will recognize the “Butts” name as it was he who; “behind the scenes”, influenced former Ontario Premier, McGuinty in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) driving up electricity prices in the push for wind and solar generation.

On the launch day of May 14, 2021 the OCAF issued a press release announcing a: “$21.7M investment from the Government of Canada to bring Carbon Down and Community Up“.  As one would expect the press release carried words of wonder from Ministers Seamus O’Regan and Catherine McKenna on how those tax dollars would help save the world from the climate emergency while creating jobs and making life better for our kids and grandkids.

The City of Ottawa’s plan to get to net-zero by 2050 consists of 101 pages and starts with a “Thank You to Our Partners”. The report states; “The city extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to almost 200 public and private stakeholders representing more than 90 organizations” in discussions and technical workshops! One of those listed is Pollution Probe (a charity) who have been pushing environmental issues for several decades.  The interesting issue in respect to the City of Ottawa’s plan is it appears to have been created by Pollution Probe. When you link to the plan in PDF format it suggests it was PP’s creation not the City!  Also interesting is in the list of OCAF’s appointed advisors one finds an individual by the name of Chris Henderson.  If one looks at Pollution Probe 2020 GALA webpage the moderator for one of the sessions was Chris Henderson.  Coincidental, or is Ottawa’s “net-zero” plan a creation of PP rather than City officials?

The official OCAF online launch with Diana Carney as moderator took place on the same day (May 14, 2021) as the $21.7 million in tax dollars were announced.  The video recording of the launch is just over one hour and included presenters; Seamus O’Regan, Catherine McKenna and a few others including Councilor Moffat!  O’Regan waxed on about temperatures last winter being 10 degrees higher than normal in Labrador as a sign of the climate emergency but if he bothered to investigate history, he would have noted average winter temperatures in Goose Bay, where he grew up, vary by as much as 30 degrees from a low of -30 C to 0 C in January. Ottawa MP McKenna screeched she want’s Ottawa to be the greenest capital ever!

Reverting to the PP plan it is interesting to see the following:  “Financial analysis indicates that cumulative community-wide investments from 2020 to 2050 total $57.4 billion with a present value of $31.8 billion.” To put that in perspective the $21.7 million taxpayer dollars just awarded to the City is 0.4% of the investments reputedly needed and those investments are 14.5 times the City’s current annual budget of $3.94 billion. As one should suspect the plan recommends complete electrification of everything and utilizing renewable energy in the form of solar and wind (lowest power density of energy sources).  From the plan: 

The model indicates that the minimum results required to meet the 100% scenario under the electricity sector are:

• Solar photovoltaic (PV) reaches 1,060 MW by 2050 (approximately 36 km2 of solar PV47 mostly on rooftops)

• Wind generation reaches 3,218 MW by 2050 (approximately 710 large scale turbines)”

The proposal to have 1060 MW of solar panels (40% of what Ontario currently has) and 3,218 MW of wind turbines (60% of what Ontario has currently) to supply Ottawa with the power needed to achieve net-zero by 2050 is a dream Ontarians have already suffered though. Residents in Ottawa should get ready for electricity prices to more than double every 10 years.

The 101-page plan says absolutely nothing about the toxic elements in those 1060 MW of solar panels that will require disposal in 15/20 years when they reach their end of life and need to be removed from the 36 square kilometers of rooftops they will cover.  Interestingly enough, many will have to be removed and replaced before we even reach 2050.

The same concern should be considered in respect to those “710 large scale turbines” whose life cycle is about the same as solar panels and will be 160 metres in height as compared to the 98 metre height of the Peace Tower. I presume Catherine McKenna would welcome solar panels on her roof and one of those industrial wind turbines near or at her residence if she really wants Ottawa to be “the greenest capital ever”.

The OEB yearbook of Distributors for 2019 indicates the hourly peak demand for Hydro Ottawa in the summer was 1,348 MW and winter peak was 1,257 MW, By 2050 or sooner those peaks will double or triple. What that could mean is residents and businesses will be faced with rolling blackouts similar to those experienced by California, Southern Australia and were partially to blame for the Texas blackout. Those three regions have opted for unreliable and intermittent wind and solar generation although Texas hasn’t gone quite as far as California and SA have.

Those of us in the rest of Ontario should insist Hydro Ottawa be disconnected from the grid to ensure only the City of Ottawa is affected by blackouts or brownouts in the future.  Let them spend the $57.4 billion but only use the tax dollars generated by those living in Ottawa and the rest of us can sit back and watch what happens when politicians are eventually accused of harming those who voted for them.