Lion Electric, King of the EV Jungle Grants?

A recent article in the Financial Post titled: “Lion Electric posts profit as sales and subsidies pick up speed” was eye-catching simply for it’s inference on how it was worded, and suggesting “subsidies” played a role in it posting a profit. The article went on to quote their chief executive as follows; “We delivered the highest quarterly number of vehicles ever with 105 deliveries in Q2,” said Marc Bédard, Lion’s chief executive. The article went on to state: “The good fortune is set to continue, at least for the next little while. As of Aug. 4, the Quebec company’s order book was flush, with 2,357 vehicles valued at $575 million and 226 charging stations representing $3 million.”

Curiosity piqued, a look at how Lion Electric’s stock has performed on the TSE was a must and as it turned out the price over the past year fell from $18.47 CAD a share on August 9, 2021 to a close of $6.95 CAD on August 5, 2022 for a drop of $11.52 (-62.4%) a share over the past year.  Hmm, wonder why, as one would assume a company roaring to a profit would attract investors but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Lion Electric?  Maybe it’s not the king of the school bus and truck EV jungle?

Taxpayer subsidies

An article two weeks before the above article appeared in the FP and headlined “Lion Electric CEO predicts Ottawa’s new EV-truck subsidy will boost demand”.  The following quotes from the article might explain (partially) why Lion suddenly achieved profitability!  The article stated:“Stacking the Quebec subsidy of $144,000 on top of the federal grant would result in a total rebate of nearly $250,000 on the Lion6 model, putting it on par, price-wise, with a comparable diesel-powered truck.” And a further sentence said: “Similarly, stacking the Quebec rebate of $200,000 on the federal grant for the Lion8T would result in a total rebate of $350,000, making it just slightly more expensive than its non-electric competitors.”

An article two weeks before the above article appeared in the FP and headlined “Lion Electric CEO predicts Ottawa’s new EV-truck subsidy will boost demand”.  The following quotes from the article might explain (partially) why Lion suddenly achieved profitability!  The article stated:“Stacking the Quebec subsidy of $144,000 on top of the federal grant would result in a total rebate of nearly $250,000 on the Lion6 model, putting it on par, price-wise, with a comparable diesel-powered truck.” And a further sentence said: “Similarly, stacking the Quebec rebate of $200,000 on the federal grant for the Lion8T would result in a total rebate of $350,000, making it just slightly more expensive than its non-electric competitors.” 

Yet another article appearing in e-magazine Sustainable Bus in March 2022 was about how the Quebec government was investing $18 million into 120 school buses and stated “The subsidy for each bus is worth $150,000. The government’s plan is to electrify 65 per cent of its school buses by 2030.”  It also noted: “Quebec announced last year that the government will fund the majority of the $5 billion purchase of electric buses with $3.65 billion of the contract supplemented by the federal government”! If one goes back to examine the 2nd Quarter results for Lion you note the 105 deliveries consisted of 90 school buses and 15 trucks generating revenue of US $29.5 million  and if we use the $150K per school bus grant and $300K per truck grant the government subsidies amount to approximately CAD $15 million representing approximately 40% of gross revenue in the quarter. Without those subsidies the “operating loss” would have amounted to CAD $43 million!  With those kinds of subsidies, we shouldn’t be surprised Lion is receiving more orders.

Source of Grant Money

As noted above the grants to Lion are sourced principally from the Federal taxpayers with additional funds provided by Quebec taxpayers but in the latter case we should probably surmise it also is funded in large part via those same Federal taxpayers via the “equalization” payments the Federal government pass out.  As noted in the undated letter from Finance Minister Freeland sent to the Quebec Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, Quebec will be handed $13.666 billion or 62.35% of the total equalization payments to the five provinces who receive them, for the 2022-23 year.  Surely that kind of a handout goes a long way to allowing the Province of Quebec to be able to provide grants without tapping into their own tax revenues!

School Bus Orders

One of the largest orders received by Lion for those electric school buses came from First Student a company whose head office is in Cincinnati, Ohio with operations in the US and seven of Canada’s provinces.  Back on May 17, 2021 a press release they issued announced the “largest zero-emission school bus order of 260 buses”.  Assuming the Quebec government handed out the $150K per bus would suggest $39 million will go or has gone to Lion Electric for those buses. 

Another order for Lion’s buses came from Transdev Canadaa public private transport company limited with a Board of Directors and jointly owned by the Caisse des Depots Group (66%) and the Rethmann Group (34%) a German family owned company.  It should be noted CDPQ is the Quebec version of the Canada Pension Plan so they invest the contributions of all Quebec taxpayers to the plan. The order from Transdev Canada was made in early July for another 30 Lion electric school buses in addition to the 27 previously ordered and reputedly already in service.  So, at the $150K per school bus handed out by the province another $8.6 million will find its way into the Lion Electric bank account and future recipients of CDPQ pension payments should cross their fingers those school buses will be as efficient as those fossil fueled ones or Transdev might turn out as a negative investment.

It seems obvious that Lion Electric has twigged the politicians into being convinced electrifying everything is the way to go and will create jobs and benefits to the Quebec economy (possibly via Quebec Hydro for charging those buses)?  As a result Quebec politicians have somehow decided they need to hand out taxpayer funded grants to save the world from “climate change” while picking what they consider new technology and the companies that will benefit!  As an observer over several decades, I am skeptical politicians have ever been able to pick winners but have often picked losers’!

My vote for “King of the EV Grants” goes to Lion Electric!

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

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.

Finally, Common Sense Prevails, But Not from Past and Present Politicians

Back on April 14, 2021 shortly after the Federal CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank) issued a press release titled: “The CIB And Private Sector Partners To Invest $1.7 Billion in Lake Erie Connector” it inspired an article titled: The Canadian Version of “Dumb & Dumber”. At that time the CIB was under the control of Catherine McKenna, then Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and they committed to provide “$655 million of our tax dollars to build a 117 kilometre underwater transmission line connecting Ontario with the PJM Interconnection under Lake Erie. 

The April 14, 2021 article went on to explain why the concept was a waste of tax dollars and the reasons why the politicians were labelled with those “dumb and dumber” descriptives!

Well, it now appears the bureaucrats responsible for reviewing the concept within the Ontario electricity sector have pointed out the fallacies of the plan which has resulted in ITC, a Michigan based company (subsidiary of Fortis Inc.) who were partnering with CIB to abandon the $1.7 billion Lake Erie connector project.

Fortis Inc. recently released* their second quarter 2022 results and buried in the results was the following statement:

In late July 2022, ITC suspended development activities and commercial negotiations relating to the $1.7 billion Lake Erie Connector project. ITC has determined that there is no viable path to conclude certain key commercial negotiations and other requirements within the required timelines, in part due to recent macroeconomic conditions, including rising inflation, interest rates, and fluctuations in the U.S.-to-Canadian foreign exchange rate. This project has never been included in the Corporation’s five-year Capital Plan.”

The suspension of the Lake Erie Connector project should be seen as a positive for Ontario and Canadian taxpayers as well as Ontario’s ratepayers as it was an implausible concept from the start.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of a more prevalent occurrence by our bureaucrats to stop the bleeding of Ontario’s clean electricity system in the push to achieve “net-zero” denying inane politicians their pandering of the eco-warriors!     

Let “common sense” prevail!

*Thanks to Scott Luft of Cold Air for his tweet of the Fortis statement from their 2nd Quarter report.

Wow, a Municipal Mayor has Determined Natural Gas is a Necessity

Back on November 23, 2020 the City of Windsor at their video Council Meeting passed: “Motion 7.1.6 Request that Council pass a resolution calling for the Province of Ontario to move toward phasing out gas-fired power plants”.  The motion came about as the result of a plea by Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The motion called to “phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation by 2030 to help Ontario and the City of Windsor meet their climate targets.” As a result, they became one of the 33 municipalities the OCAA had conned into their way of thinking and endorsed the“gas power phaseout”!

Now fast forward to March 23, 2022 and a gathering of municipal, provincial and federal politicians was held but it was not to discuss the gas power phaseout!

The politicians along with representation from LG Electronics North America and Stellantis were at an event to announce a CAD$5 billion joint venture (NextStar) EV battery manufacturing plant.  The Windsor Star on June 2, 2022 posted an article describing the joint venture and also stated: “The federal and provincial governments have also committed to investing hundreds of millions in the project while the City of Windsor will assemble the approximately 220 acres of land necessary for the plant and some additional servicing of the site.”*  The article went on to note: “The plant will be capable of producing 45 gigawatt hours of electricity and will employ 2,500 people” but doesn’t elaborate how it will produce those 45-gigawatt hours.

As a follow up to the announcement a contact informed me that Enbridge Gas had made a submission to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) requesting approval to construct two pipelines to supply natural gas and on page 49 of the 604 page submission is a letter dated March 31, 2022 from the Mayor of the City of Windsor, Drew Dilkens, endorsing the $200 million cost of the pipelines to supply NextStar which presumably will allow the new battery plant to “produce those 45 gigawatt hours”.

Now, as Alanis Morissette might say; “Isn’t it Ironic”! 

Looking further at the submissions to the OEB one notes a submission by Elson Advocacy on behalf of ED (Environmental Defence) requesting they be allowed as an intervenor in respect to the Enbridge Gas application.  While ED are an eco-warrior group who frequently act as intervenors in respect to applications before the OEB involving fossil fuel applications this one has a twist!  The letter asks that the OEB also deliver electronic copies of “the pre-filed materials and all other documents in the proceeding be delivered to the following consultant” who is none other than Jack Gibbons of the OCAA!

No doubt Gibbons will shed a tear or two over the turnabout of the City of Windsor who may have suddenly realized without natural gas the city would lose jobs and the benefits of the tax dollars they will receive from NextStar and their employees as well the hundreds of millions from federal and provincial taxpayers helping to create those jobs.

Perhaps the other 32 municipalities who have endorsed the “gas power phaseout” will also come to their senses and the OCAA and Gibbons can rest in peace knowing they haven’t destroyed the livelihood of millions of Canadian workers as they have been trying to do as a (prepare to laugh) charity!

*The amounts committed by the Federal and Provincial governments have not been released.

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 2

Part 1 of this series outlined some of the costs related to the push by the Trudeau/Singh led government to eliminate the sale of ICE powered light-duty vehicles and replace them with electric vehicles (EV). Their plan aims to have EV represent 100% of new light -duty sales (2 million annually) by 2035.  The goal appears to have been concocted without a cost/benefit analysis or consider other aspects that will have dire consequences.  Let’s explore the latter!

Car Battery Replacement

We start with a short story out of St. Pete’s Florida where a father bought his daughter a used EV with only 60,000 miles on it for $11K for her to use to drive to school and back. After only six months the battery died on the Ford Focus and they were informed by the local dealership a new battery would cost $14K or $3K more than they paid for the car and the cost estimate didn’t include labour or installation costs. They were also told the batteries weren’t even available. Another story making the rounds was how a Tesla owner out of Norway found out it would cost him $22K for a replacement battery and repairs so he blew up his car rather than pay the price to repair it.  Stories like these will certainly make people question the EV transition and cause them to simply keep and maintain their ICE vehicles as long as they can. Stories like the two aforementioned ones suggest EV have only scrap value once their batteries die and need replacement.

What happens to those Dead EV Batteries

So, one should wonder, what’s going to happen to those EV batteries once they they die? A recent article focused on the USA had this to say: “Due to electric vehicles’ rising popularity, it goes without saying that their battery waste will become a major issue. Experts estimate that 12 million tons of batteries will be thrown away by 2030, transportation and storage could prove a logistical nightmare.” It seems apparent EV batteries weighing 1,000 Lbs. after their 6-to-10-year life ends will have to be recycled. At present there are only four lithium-ion recycling centers in the USA so those batteries will need to be transported to those sites or tossed into waste sites where they will leak toxins.  In respect to the foregoing the article also noted: “They are also a fire hazard if and when stored together. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency found that between 2013 and 2020, more than 240 lithium-ion battery fires broke out across 64 municipal waste facilities.” The above suggests recycling EV batteries will be much more complex and even dangerous then the process of recycling ICE motors raising the costs of dealing with the waste they create.

Looming problems for EV batteries

A fairly recent article titled:“Dark clouds on the horizon for electric vehicles” pointed out two potential problems associated with the continued production of EV.  The first one was in respect to the probability the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is expected to classify lithium carbonate; a major component of EV batteries, as; “dangerous to human health”. Should that classification be endorsed by other countries or regions one should expect it will affect the processing and manufacture of their power supply, ie: batteries negatively?  The second potential problem the article highlighted was in respect to the recent sinking of a cargo ship with 4,000 automobiles and many of them EV and noted, “from a fire where electric-vehicle batteries were part of the reason,”!  The article went on to state: “Most of the EVs will be manufactured in foreign countries far removed from American ports” and evidenced it with the following chart:

Automobiles manufactured per year 1950/2019:

China None / 28 million

United States 8 million / 11 million

Japan 31 thousand / 9.8 million

India 15 thousand / 5 million

Germany 300 thousand / 5 million

South Korea None / 4 million

The cargo ship, the Felicity Ace was carrying Porsches, Bentleys, VWs and many were EV and the latter were apparently the cause of the fire. The ship was on its way from Europe to the US and the cargo was valued at US$500 million.  Needless to say, it sank despite efforts to extinguish the fire and tow it back to port. The potential losses affected the principal insurance company, Allianz Insurance and they recently published their annual Safety and Shipping Review” and in it noted the following:  “Car carriers have also been increasingly lost to fire, starting in cargo holds caused by malfunctions or electrical short circuits in vehicles before spreading quickly through open decks. AGCS noted that the growing numbers of electric vehicles transported by sea could complicate the matter further, as existing countermeasures may not respond effectively to an EV blaze. Loss expenses would be massive given the value of the car cargo, the cost of wreck removal, and pollution mitigation.”

Based on the foregoing one would expect insurance companies will raise their rates considerably; further adding to the costs of EV.

EV for police service

The concept of EV for the utilization of police service are popping up with Repentigny, Que., a town north of Montreal where City officials issued a release saying the project, which converted a Ford Mustang with a 300-kilometre battery range, into a police car, “will not only be eco-friendly but will also give the force a new visual identity.” In Ontario the City of Windsor has defined “its goal is to start replacing older unmarked police vehicles, sometimes used for administrative purposes, with fully electric cars.”  Barry Horrobin, the director of planning and physical resources for Windsor Police stated: ”Record-breaking fuel prices didn’t prompt the change, as they’ve been looking toward electrifying their fleet for a few years.”  One should wonder if the 40% drop in EV fuel efficiency during winter months in Canada will mean those police vehicles will use more electricity driving up the budgets of police forces.  Surely those municipalities aiming to improve their “visual identity” or concerned about “record-breaking fuel prices” have done their homework so municipal taxes won’t have to increase?  A story out of the UK suggests EV are not suitable for police response.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary in the Southwest city of Gloucester “has the largest full electric fleet in the UK, making up 21% of their 435 vehicles” and Chris Nelson, the Police and Crime Commissioner said; the vehicles “run out of puff” and no doubt with electric prices so very high in the UK will cost local taxpayers for charging those EV to provide the “puff” they need. 

We should be pretty sure running “out of puff” in Canadian winters will be the norm as we reach the point in 2035 where all sales of light-duty vehicles are mandated to be 100% EV which presumably includes police vehicles.

As researching the events leading to this series has disclosed more negative findings related to EV it appears Part 3 of this series is a necessity so stay tuned.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                    

Eco-Warriors Bubble Up Again

The Narwhal is pushing pumped storage on behalf of Northland Power and dear old Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is excited.  They are also excited about battery storage.

I took a run at the Northland plans back on November 18, 2013 and didn’t like what it was suggesting at that time.  I wouldn’t think things have changed much except for the increasing capital costs which suggest it would be even worse now than it looked like almost nine years ago.

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 1

A Bloomberg News author titled his recent article: Tipping point: U.S. crosses mass-adoption threshold for EVs of 5% of new car sales and went on noting; “Most successful new technologies — electricity, televisions, mobile phones, the internet, even LED lightbulbs — follow an S-shaped adoption curve. Sales move at a crawl in the early-adopter phase, then surprisingly quickly once things go mainstream.” The author’s prior sentence strongly suggested electric vehicles (EV) are a new technology but had the author bothered to simply Google search, “when was the first electric car invented” he would have discovered the date was around 1832 or about 190 years ago. There was no mention in the article about government grants handed out to EV purchasers for the cars or charging stations. The author obviously felt it was simply the “new technology” those buyers were endorsing to create that “S-shaped adoption curve” and not the taxpayer dollars supporting their sales.  Blinkers were fully on!

Another article from last week in the FP suggested EV sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2022 accounted for 8.2 % of new vehicle registrations and had the following chart to demonstrate that! 

What the foregoing article didn’t say was all light vehicle sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2021 had dropped by 12.3% to only 337,039 according to Automotive News meaning EV sales were about 27,600.

Cost to Taxpayer

The chart indicates the bulk of those sales were in the two provinces who provide grants BC (up to $3K) and Quebec (up to $7K) to EV purchasers. Most provinces also provide grants for home charging stations. In Ontario taxpayers have also joined with the Federal Government’s taxpayers providing Ford, GM and the Chrysler and Dodge factories in Brampton and Windsor collectively with over $2 billion in grants to manufacture EV in the province.

Another interesting and related issue was a video interview on June 29, 2022 by Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn of Brian Kingston of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association in which he stated Canada would need 1.6 million public charges for the EV transition. Ontario has already provided funding for a number of charging stations as well as offering municipalities grants to assist them where and when needed but so far it’s only (term used lightly) $91 million. It is hard to determine the individual costs of those 1.6 million charging stations but looking at British Columbia the province is offering funding starting at “$20,000 per <50 kW DCFC installation, and ranges up to $80,000 per >100 kW charge port. These rebates can cover up to 50% of total project costs, including purchasing, planning, and installation costs.”  What that suggests is at the low end (assuming the price is similar in all provinces) those 1.6 million charging stations may cost taxpayers well over $32 billion dollars.  Totally mind blowing!

As if to underscore the uneconomical attributes associated with EV, another recent announcement by the Ontario Provincial Government and the Federal Government suggests the taxpayers of Ontario and the rest of Canada are a bottomless pit of funding.  The Press Release was headlined: “Umicore to build industrial scale battery materials manufacturing plant in Loyalist Township, first of its kind in North America” and stated: “Umicore plans to make a $1.5 billion investment to build a first of its kind industrial scale cathode and precursor materials manufacturing plant, in eastern Ontario.”  The release naturally rambles on about the benefits and only casually mentions what Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore is quoted stating: “Moreover, we are most grateful to the Canadian and Ontario governments for their support and for their readiness to co-fund this planned project. The facility will help Canada and Umicore in their shared objective of achieving a carbon-neutral battery supply chain.” There is no mention of what the Canadian and Ontario taxpayers will be contributing but we should expect it will be at least a few hundred million.

Our Federal and Provincial Governments are both onside with their concept of satisfying the Canadian COP-26 commitments to eliminate fossil fuel use to achieve their net-zero targets. On the other hand, they seem immune to the fact many of the tax dollars they are using come from the Canadian oil and natural gas sector and taxes applied to us users of oil and gas. Their unprecedented spending and debt creation simply amlifies the negative effect on our economy causing energy poverty and job losses!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this short series as we explore some of the issues that may make all of the spending highlighted above simply a waste of our tax dollars. 

The bad news could well be: Canezuela is just around the corner!

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.

Why are Parasitic Universities Considered Charities?

Researching on the “web” occasionally presents information that can be shocking and one such event recently occurred.  Stumbling across a 267 page report titled “2021 Canadian Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard” and having a quick look one notes two logos on page 2 with one called “Efficiency Canada” and the other Carleton University.

As it turns out a visit to Efficiency Canada discloses it is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre.  The site has a donate button stating it’s a unit of the Carleton Center for Sustainable Energy Research so a donation will presumably generate a tax receipt.* The site also has a “supporters” page and it is several of the usual “charitable foundations” handing out those tax-free dollars in full support of the UNIPCC and the “climate change” agenda and included; the Ivey Foundation, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the McConnell Foundation, etc. etc.

The report on page 12 ranks the provinces and BC comes out on top followed by Quebec in second spot.  Newfoundland and Labrador rank last!  It is amusing that amongst the paraphernalia; the report lauds electric vehicles (72 mentions) while it castigates provinces for lack of electric “capacity savings” as a percentage of peak demand.  They fail to connect demand with charging EV which will raise demand for reliable electricity power! As one should suspect; emissions, climate change, net-zero and renewable energy are the theme throughout the report in order to reputedly show what the provinces must do to save the world!

On another note it is worth seeing how Carleton University brag  about being selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers (2022) and they list the reasons why but fail to mention compensation which may highlight why their employees think they are great.  Carleton University have 44.4% (1087) of their 2,445 employees on the Ontario Sunshine List earning over $100K annually.  If one does the math based on the CRA filing (April 30, 2021 year-end) the average compensation of ALL 2,445 employees is substantial. The CRA report notes: total compensation for all employees was $422,419,000.00 and $97,492,113.00 for part-time employees so deduct the latter and divide the amount by those 2,445 employees and you see the average for each employee is $132,935.00.

According to a recently released salary review: “Fully employed Canadians received an average yearly salary of around $54,630, Canada income statistics for 2020 reveal.” That statistic suggests the “average” Carleton University employee earns 2.4 times what the average Canadian worker does.

Carleton reported for 2020-21 they had “207 full time faculty members” in the Liberal Arts Faculaty and a “1:8 faculty to student ratio” which makes one wonder exactly what those other 2,238 employees are engaged in to justify their compensation?

Statistics Canada stated in 2018/19 there were 46,440 full-time academic teaching staff at Canadian public universities so we should hope the ratio of non-teaching staff is not the same as Carleton University.  If that was the case, the 11.8:1 ratio of teaching staff to other employees, would mean Canada’s 96 public universities would have almost 548,000 non-faculty staff costing taxpayers/students $72 billion dollars annually in compensation. 

On the latter note the CMEC (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada) claim: “Statistics Canada has reported that postsecondary institution revenue in 2018–19 increased to $41.5 billion (in 2001 constant dollars)”.  They also note 45.8% of postsecondary funding comes from the government (one assumes they actually mean taxpayers and the term, “government”, means Federal, Provincial and Municipal).  They go on to state 29.4% are student fees and the balance (24.8%) comes from donations, bequests, nongovernmental grants and sales of products and services.

The latter brings us back to the opening paragraph suggesting those donations, grants and bequests play a huge role in influencing our places of learning.  Much of this latter funding is specific to the objective of influencing the outcome of both the teaching process as well as favourable research supporting belief in “climate change, global warming, net-zero, global emissions” etc. etc. 

Even if the donations, grants, etc. are only 10% of the $41.5 billion they will have a profound effect on the educators seeking to keep those donations and grants coming even if they are non-believers in mankind’s ability to control the temperature.

Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the education system with a particular focus on the postsecondary institutions and the reason for their “charitable” status!

*A search of the CRA file for Carleton University and a review of their Financial Statement does not detail where funds “specifically” came from with the exception of those “tax-receipted” (1.5% of Gross Revenue) but their financial statement disclosed they received $69.5 million for “Research Grants and Contracts” for their April 30, 2021 year and that represented just over 10% of their gross revenue.