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

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

No signals of “climate change” were evident!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 4th; Just Another day of Generosity by Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers

Well, once again, Ontario’s electricity generators were producing power we didn’t need. Nevertheless, the ratepayers and taxpayers of Ontario were obliged to give it away to our neighbours in Michigan, Quebec and New York.  This is a regular occurrence during the Spring and Fall seasons as demand is generally at the lowest levels for us but the GEA (Green Energy Act) imposed by the Liberal government during the McGuinty/Wynne years declared wind and solar generation were the future so they gave them contracts with very high rates and “first-to-the-grid” rights!

Ontarians have been paying the price for over a decade and despite the fact Liberals were found guilty of their stupidity on the electricity file and booted out of power, the current and recently reelected Ford led Conservative Party has done nothing to change things over their prior four years of power!

So, Saturday the fourth of June was simply another example of how the mess continues!

Peak demand in Ontario occurred during the 18th hour and peaked at 14,437 MW. Nuclear and hydro alone at that hour generated 14,631 MWh so wind and solar were not needed but those damn contracts stand in the way. At that hour wind was operating at 16.9% of their capacity and they could have peaked at 45% of their capacity at 1 AM but IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) had them curtail 1,200 MW. 

IESO were busy selling off our surplus power throughout the day to our neighbours and did so with slightly over 24,000 MWh to Michigan, 22,300 MWh to Quebec and about 12,000 MWh to NY!  That power was sold at the astronomical (sarcasm intended) average HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) of $6.34/MWh.

What the preceding tells us is we are giving Michigan and New York, clean green power to help then keep energy costs low and reduce their emissions. Quebec benefits by not using their hydro generation which they have presold to US States like NY under lucrative contracts.  No benefit for Ontario’s ratepayers or taxpayers as the following outlines!

If we simply assume the approximately 58,000 MWh, we exported earned us only $368,000 (58,000 MWh X $6.34/MWh), we should consider what it cost us!

The mix of electricity sold presumably included wind generation (26,000 MWh including curtailed), solar, hydro, nuclear and perhaps even a little natural gas. The minimum cost was approximately $116/MWh based on the GA (Global Adjustment) estimate by Scott Luft and the 2nd estimate by IESO for May and includes the $30/MWh taxpayer subsidy. Using the $116/MWh the cost of those exports becomes $6,728,000 and including the 4,900 MWh of curtailed wind total costs rise to over $7.3 million.  So, for what cost Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers $7.3 million we received less than $400K.

What the foregoing points out to the politicians in charge is that there is something inherently stupid with the way our electricity system is managed. We changed the political parties once because of the electricity file but the Ford government simply shifted a large part of the costs to the taxpayers so it was hidden from sight.

Perhaps the next election will be focused on the provincial debt and include the costs the Ford led government hid inside our Provincial debt.

If they actually do something to sort out the mess created by the Liberals it could reduce the provincial deficits by $6.9 billion as reported by the FAO of Ontario assuming they can keep electricity costs flat, perhaps by taxing the intermittent and unreliability of that expensive and harmful wind generation.

Only time will tell!

Four Years Later and I Repeat: “If I were Ontario’s new Minister of Energy …”

Back on May 30, 2018 an article I penned, just prior to the last provincial election, listed ways in which the incoming ruling party could reduce electricity costs by $2 billion annually.  Electricity costs had more than doubled in Ontario under the reign of the McGuinty/Wynne led Liberals due to their enactment of the GEA (Green Energy Act) when George Smitherman was the Minister of Energy.

Ontario’s voters were expected to respond when casting their vote in early June 2018 and they did!  The ruling OLP (Ontario Liberal Party) were decimated turning them into what many referred to as the “mini-van party”.

My prior advocacy work had focused on the “electricity sector” and the cost of wind and solar generation. My efforts included frequent dialogue with the Conservative appointed “energy critics” so, at that time, I and many Ontario ratepayers in rural and urban communities had hopes the Doug Ford led Ontario Conservative Party would deal with the mess the Liberals had created. Potentially the savings would have amounted to around $8 billion over the past four years.

The Ford led government based on a recent report from the Ontario Financial Accountability Office seems to have simply transferred $6.9 billion in electricity costs for the 2021-2022 year and $118 billion to taxpayers over 20 years, even though taxpayers are also ratepayers!  In quickly reviewing recently released platforms for the OLP, the NDP and the recent OPCP budget it sure appears they all have plans aimed at “global warming” and want to spend billions continuing the push to jump on board with “The Great Reset” advocated by the WEF and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The only dissenting voice amongst the political parties seems to be the newly formed “New Blue Party” whose “BLUEPRINT” states they will take “down wind turbines to reduce electricity costs”!

Following are the recommendations put forward in the article four years ago and I will leave it to the reader to pontificate as to whether or not, any of them were acted on!

“Green Energy Act

Immediately start work on cancelling the Green Energy Act

Conservation

Knowing Ontario has a large surplus of generation we export for 10/15 per cent of its cost I would immediately cancel planned conservation spending. This would save ratepayers over $433 million annually

Wind and solar contracts

I would immediately cancel any contracts that are outstanding but haven’t been started but may be in the process of a challenge via either the ERT (environmental review tribunal) or the court system. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200 million annually

Wind turbine noise and environmental non-compliance

Work with the MOECC Minister to insure they effect compliance by industrial wind developers both for exceeding noise level standards and operations during bird and bat migration periods.  Failure to comply would elicit large fines. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200/400 million annually

Change the “baseload” designation of generation for wind and solar developments

Both wind and solar generation is unreliable and intermittent, dependent on weather, and as such should not be granted “first to the grid rights”.  They are backed up by gas or hydro generation with both paid, for either spilling water or idling when the wind blows or the sun shines.  The cost is phenomenal.  As an example, wind turbines annually generate at approximately 30 per cent of rated capacity but 65 per cent of the time its generation is at the wrong time and not needed. The estimated annual ratepayer savings if wind generation was replaced by hydro would be $400 million and if replaced by gas in excess of $600 million

Charge a fee (tax) for out of phase/need generation for wind and solar

Should the foregoing “baseload” re-designation be impossible based on legal issues I would direct the IESO to institute a fee that would apply to wind and solar generation delivered during mid-peak and off-peak times.  A higher fee would also apply when wind is curtailed and would suggest a fee of $10/per MWh delivered during off-peak and mid-peak hours and a $20/per MWh for curtailed generation. The estimated annual revenue generated would be a minimum of $150 million

Increase LEAP contributions from LDC’s to 1 per cent of distribution revenues

The OEB would be instructed to institute an increase in the LDC (local distribution companies) LEAP (low-income assistance program) from 0.12 per cent to 1 per cent and reduce the allowed ROI (return on investment) by the difference. This would deliver an estimated $60/80 million annually reducing the revenue requirement for the OESP (Ontario electricity support program) currently funded by taxpayers

Close unutilized OPG generation plants

OPG currently has two power plants that are only very, very, occasionally called on to generate electricity yet ratepayers pick up the costs for OMA (operations, maintenance and administration). One of these is the Thunder Bay, former coal plant, converted to high-end biomass with a capacity of 165 MW which would produce power at a reported cost of $1.50/kWh (Auditor General’s report) and the other unused plant is the Lennox oil/gas plant in Napanee/Bath with a capacity of 2,200 MW that is never used. The estimated annual savings from the closing of these two plants would be in the $200 million range.

Rejig time-of-use (TOU) pricing to allow opt-in or opt-out

TOU pricing is focused on flattening demand by reducing usage during “peak hours” without any consideration of households or businesses.  Allow households and small businesses a choice to either agree to TOU pricing or the average price (currently 8.21 cents/kWh after the 17% Fair Hydro Act reduction) over a week.  This would benefit households with shift workers, seniors, people with disabilities utilizing equipment drawing power and small businesses and would likely increase demand and reduce surplus exports thereby reducing our costs associated with those exports. The estimated annual savings could easily be in the range of $200/400 million annually

Other initiatives

Niagara water rights

I would conduct an investigation into why our Niagara Beck plants have not increased generation since the $1.5 Billion spent on “Big Becky” (150 MW capacity) which was touted to produce enough additional power to provide electricity to 160,000 homes or over 1.4 million MWh.  Are we constrained by water rights with the US or is it a lack of transmission capabilities to get the power to where demand resides?

MPAC’s wind turbine assessments

One of the previous Ministers of Finance instructed MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corp,) to assess industrial wind turbines (IWT) at a maximum of $40,000 per MW of capacity despite their value of $1.5/2 million each.   I would request whomever is appointed by the new Premier to the Finance Ministry portfolio to recall those instructions and allow MPAC to reassess IWT at their current values over the terms of their contracts.  This would immediately benefit municipalities (via higher realty taxes) that originally had no ability to accept or reject IWT.

If one does a quick addition of the foregoing one will see the benefit to the ratepayers of the province would amount to in excess of $2 billion dollars which co-incidentally is approximately even more than the previous government provided via the Fair Hydro Act.

Hmm, perhaps we didn’t need to push those costs off to the future for our children and grandchildren to pay!

Now that I have formulated a plan to reduce electricity costs by over $2 billion per annum I can relax, confident that I can indeed handle the portfolio handed to me by the new Premier of the province.”

Bits and Pieces Related to the “Net-Zero” Push

There were a few recent announcements and events that should have caught the attention of the general population over the past couple of weeks so let’s look quickly at a few of them!

Largest private storage battery in North America’ to help Imperial Oil cut emissions in Sarnia

This one was in the Financial Post back on February 16, 2022 and stated an Italian company would build a 20 MW battery storage unit for Imperial Oil that would reputedly reduce “their energy expenditures by millions of dollars per year.” They would download cheap energy in the middle of the night to charge the battery storage unit and then use it during peak hours. Many of the “Class A” customers in Ontario already take advantage of this using gas generating units firing them up during peak hours saving millions.  Scott Luft noted in a post a couple of years ago; since the ICI (industrial conservation initiative) inception in late 2011 through to the end of 2019 the cost to Class B ratepayers was approximately $1.4 billion (average of about $170 million per annum) paid to reduce the GA for those large industrial ratepayers. One should assume the Ford government could have changed the way the burden is put on Class B ratepayers to subsidize Class A ratepayers but they have done nothing. The burden continues to fall on Class B ratepayers and part of that has been transferred to taxpayers first by the Wynne led government and then increased by the current Ford led government. Hmm, wondering, would it be cheaper for Imperial Oil to buy those Clean Energy Credits (CEC) Minister Smith is considering instead of using that battery storage unit?

Wind Turbine Setback Promises Not Kept

Before and during the last election campaign the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party promised if elected they would review the setbacks for industrial wind turbines (IWT) as well as the contaminated well water in the Chatham/Kent region.  In the almost four years they have been in power they have done nothing related to either of the two foregoing promises.  WCO (Wind Concerns Ontario) have recently (for the umpteenth time) pointed out the 7,000 complaints filed about IWT noise levels and also posted an article from four years ago about the Chatham Kent well water problems which have also been ignored.  Sure, looks to be almost one of those “Promise Made, Promise Missed” sayings which Premier Ford loves to cite except for that final word.

OPG Year-end 2021

OPG released their 2021 year-end results March 10, 2022 and despite a 4.5 TWh drop (5.5%) in generation they still managed to generate $1,325 million a slight (2.6%) fall from 2020.  Forgone generation due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) dropped from 4.3 TWh in 2020 to only 1.9 TWh in 2021 meaning “water rental payments” declined by $30 million. Currently two of the Darlington nuclear units are down for refurbishment with Unit 3 scheduled to be returned to service in the first quarter of 2024 and Unit 1 in the second quarter of 2025. With both those units undergoing refurbishment we should expect greater dependency on our gas generation plants meaning both OPG’s Napanee and Lennox plants should benefit by supplying more peak generation and maintain profitability for OPG without driving costs up.

Bitcoin mining data centre opens in Sarnia

It seems back in yesteryear, mining referenced; “the business or process of working mines” and extracting ore! In recent years it seems all about setting up an elaborate data centre with complicated math problems which when solved supposedly create a “bitcoin”!   One of those bitcoin mines has recently started operations in Sarnia.  Established by “Bitfury Group, an Amsterdam-based Bitcoin mining and crypto tech company” it will start with a 16 MW capacity and expand by 12 MW by May end. It may eventually expand to 200 MW.  To put the latter number in context; a plant capable of generating 200 MW per hour is about what 200,000 average Ontario households would consume annually. The power to support the “mine” will be provided by TransAlta’s Sarnia Cogeneration Plant, a 499 MW capacity natural gas-powered plant. The TASarnia plant is also under contract to IESO and several other Sarnia located companies. Curiosity piqued about how much energy “bitcoin” operations consume globally led to an almost one year old article in the Harvard Business Review. The article suggested, at that time, it was 110 TWh (terawatt hours) which is equivalent to about 80% of Ontario’s annual consumption.  One should assume all of that 110 TWh was/is provided by reliable fossil fuels or nuclear power as intermittent wind and solar could never be relied on to ensure those mining data centres continued to operate.

As one should assume from the foregoing “bits and pieces” the path to net-zero is full of pot-holes eco-warriors and inane politicians seem unable to visualize!

PS:  I was called out on the following “(Scott Luft noted in a post a couple of years ago; since the ICI (industrial conservation initiative) inception in late 2011 through to the end of 2019 the cost to Class B ratepayers was approximately $1.4 billion (average of about $170 million per annum) paid to reduce the GA for those large industrial ratepayers.)”.  I would point out I always have a lot of faith in what Scott posts so I must assume it related to something as simple as a misplaced period “.”!  It turns out the OEB, Market Surveillance Panel back in December 2018 evaluated the ICI and in their report stated:  “In 2017, the ICI shifted $1.2 billion in electricity costs to households and small businesses—nearly four times greater than the amount in 2011. In 2017, the ICI increased the cost of electricity for households and small businesses by 10%.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wind Generation in the middle of the night wastes ratepayer and taxpayer dollars

Today, November 26, 2021 at 3 AM the wind was blowing and those IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated 3,677 MWh or 81.2% of their rated capacity of 4519 MW at that hour. Ontario’s demand was low though at 12,941 MW so IESO were busy selling our surplus as total generation was 15,361 MWh.

IESO exported 1,375 MWh to Michigan, 658 MWh to New York and 578 MWh to Quebec. Those 2,611 MWh we sold went for pennies on the dollar as the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) was a miserly 1.33 cents/kWh.  At the same time, one should surmise IESO instructed OPG to also spill hydro.

It is obvious Ontario didn’t need the IWT generation at that hour but they have a bad habit of generating power when it’s unneeded and fail to deliver it when demand is high during hot summer days.

So, Ontario sold the 2,611 MWh to our neighbours for the princely sum of $13.30/MWh which generated $34,726 but paid those IWT generators $135/MWh so they received $352,485 for those unneeded 2,611 MWh meaning Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers picked up the loss of $312,759 for just that one hour.

The full night for the 7 hours from midnight to 7 AM had those IWT generating 28,460 MWh so the likely cost to Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers was over $2 million for just those seven hours. 

We should all assume those IWT were also busy chopping up birds and bats and causing rural residents sleeping problems in addition to adding to the costs of our electricity bills.

Sure, would-be good news if the Ford government actually did something to reduce the costs of generating electricity other than simply transferring the costs to taxpayers and increasing our provincial debt!

Sad News from Denmark about Industrial Wind Turbines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CanREA loves Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal Government and its plans to destroy Canada’s economy

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association exhibited their love affair with the Justin Trudeau led Liberal Government the same day the tax and spend 79 page document; “A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT AND A HEALTHY ECONOMY” was released! 

Robert Hornung, President and CEO of CanREA, was truly excited judging from his quotes in their press release. He stated; “CanREA is pleased to see a commitment of $964 million over four years to support renewable power generation and grid modernization. We look forward to working with the Federal Government to flesh out the details of these initiatives in the weeks ahead.”  Hornung was pleased with the promise of almost one billion dollars from us taxpayers on top of what they get from the various provinces where wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries, will be added to the electricity grids and ratepayers will pay up for their subsidized costs. We are already doing it in Ontario!

Another quote referenced CanREA’s members from the wind, solar and energy storage segments: “We were also pleased to see a commitment of $300 million to support remote communities in moving away from polluting and expensive diesel generation, believing as we do that wind, solar and energy storage technologies can play an important role in meeting that objective.” The document released by Minister Wilkinson, carried the following message which pleased Hornung as it seemed directed at CanREA’s members: “There are also job and economic growth opportunities through the entire value chain of clean electricity – from mining of key minerals including copper, nickel and lithium, through designing and manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries, to installation and export.”  To the best of this writer’s knowledge none of CanREA’s members manufacture those products in Canada as they are generally imported from China and elsewhere! Another failed effort Ontarians were promised!

It is truly amazing how much of the world’s population has bought into the concept of believing wind and solar coupled with battery storage can supply reliable emissions free power!  The Catherine McKenna Federal led entity “Canada Infrastructure Bank”, also jumped in offering financing for batteries to store intermittent wind and solar generation. 

While the Trudeau led government seems intent on destroying Canada’s success by pushing our exit from fossil fuels, other countries like China and India are adding coal plants at a heavy pace as a recent report in Statista notes: “The global installed coal power generation capacity is projected to see a net increase over the next decades and predicted to reach 2.2 terawatts in 2050. Worldwide, about 180 gigawatts of new coal capacity was under construction in 2020, with a further 300 gigawatts in various stages of planning.”

Should one spend some time reviewing the “effective capacity” of various generation sources coal is ranked second to natural gas in the fossil fuel sector, at approximately 50%, whereas combined cycle gas plants are close to 60%. 

If one then examines industrial wind turbines, via a review of IESO’s 2020 APO (Annual Planning Outlook) one is shocked to see its’ “effective capacity” is estimated at 17.4% during Ontario’s winter months and a miserly 3.2% during summer months.

What “effective capacity” means is industrial wind during the summer months in Ontario will only deliver generated power when it is needed 3.2% of the time! As an example, if its rated capacity is 100 MW it can only be counted on to deliver an average of 3.2 MWh in a few of the hours!  That’s a fail!

To put the foregoing in perspective, Ontario would need 1700 MW of wind capacity to “hopefully” deliver what a 100 MW coal generation plant could deliver and need even more if they were replacing a 100 MW gas plant. 

Now try to imagine how many industrial wind turbines would be required to generate the 24,000 MWh needed in Ontario on a hot peak demand day during July or August!  The landscape in Ontario would be totally dominated by IWT but that presumably, would please the “climate change” advocates. 

The time has come for our politicians to face reality and recognize wind, solar and battery storage will not only destroy the Canadian economy, but also, kill birds, bats, insects, harm people’s health and in the process ruin our beautiful landscapes!

Stop this madness!

The Strathmere Group Part 2

Collaboration Amongst US and Canadian Eco-Warrior Charities

In Part 1 of this series the formation of the Strathmere Group was outlined with only a tenuous grasp of what they were all about and how Marlo Raynolds, played the major role in its creation.  While Part 1 disclosed the McConnell Foundation granted $338,000 it didn’t disclose that in 2016 they also granted them $150,000 and a Montreal based charity, Echo Foundation, granted Tides Foundation Canada $100,000* “To support the Strathmere Group to nurture collaborative work among ENGOs”.  

What also wasn’t disclosed was that Raynolds was a candidate for the Liberal Party in 2015 in the riding of Banff-Airdrie and came in a very distant 2nd to Blake Richards who was the Conservative candidate.  Despite that loss however Raynolds was hand-picked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a senior position as noted in a  Nov. 12, 2015 post on the CochraneToday website: After losing his bid against sitting Conservative MP Blake Richards in the Oct. 19 federal election, Raynolds moved to Ottawa on Nov. 2 to work as chief of staff for minister of the environment and climate change Catherine McKenna.” Needless to say, Raynolds was happy to be ordained by PM Trudeau!  

What is an unknown is; was Raynolds still in charge of the Strathmere Group when they obtained that grant from the McConnell Foundation in 2016 as by then he was firmly in the position of “Chief of Staff” to Minister McKenna?  If so, perhaps the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada should investigate. I would note the date of the ECHO’s grant is an unknown!

Just two years before Raynolds ran as the Liberal candidate he wrote a book titled: “Prepare your Non-Profit Organization to Help Create a Wave of Positive Change”.  The only reference to the Strathmere Group is in Chapter 12 on page 89 of this “how to” book and he subtly pats himself on the back.  The following is the excerpt:

After leading the Pembina Institute for a year, I realized that the environmental movement’s organizations really did not connect with each other very often, in fact hardly at all, and almost never at the executive director level. As a result, I initiated meetings between the different groups and for seven years, I led what became known as the “Strathmere Group”, which brought together the executive directors of 12 major Canadian ENGOs directly engaged in public policy. There was outside pressure to make this group the strategic centre for the movement, but the primary purpose was to start by building stronger personal relationships between the leaders of the very different organizations in the movement. Over the years, there has been an increased level of genuine collaboration across the participating organizations.” 

The 124-page book was not advice for the hundreds of NGO formed in Ontario to fight against the intrusion of industrial wind turbines that harms birds. bats and humans and damages rural well water!  It was advice for the proponents who favoured shutting down our use of fossil fuels and believed it would save the world while creating jobs.  A related excerpt from Raynolds abut jobs in his “how to” book says: “Your job is to help the politician tell the story you want to be told. You need to show how your policy idea fits into their broader narrative of what is important to them. If they care about jobs, you need to find a compelling way to connect your policy idea to a good story about jobs.”

It should be disconcerting to all who believe in democracy to note Marlo Raynolds, who lost his bid for power as a Liberal MP has been in a position of power since late 2015.  He has been able to foist his beliefs on the rest of us as Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and continues to do so! 

Moving back to the Strathmere Group’s objectives it appears the first issue on the “Group’s” agenda was to formulate a series of Questions to be asked of Canada’s political leaders in respect to the then upcoming COP 15, Copenhagen meeting leading to “the next global climate deal”. The questions are referenced as: “Backgrounder: Questions Asked of Each Leader” (Appendix A)  and posted on Pembina’s website. The questions focused on; putting a price on emissions, conservation, funding for developing countries and renewable energy “like wind and solar” and as a matter of course scary stuff like “global warming”.

Canada and many other countries agreed to reduce emissions at the COP 15 Copenhagen meeting and Prime Minister Harper called it a “comprehensive and realistic” agreement, while U.S. President Barack Obama hailed it as a “meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough.” The agreement was however, non-binding, and allowed countries to set their own emission reductions targets.  Needless to say, the eco-charities had a hissy-fit that it wasn’t compulsory!

The leaders of the Strathmere Group’s 12 members, months before the COP 15 conference; met in late May and/or early June 2009 “outside of Washington, D.C. to discuss solutions and areas for Coordination”. At that point Nature Canada had dropped out and Equiterre (a registered charity) along with Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-RAC) a not-for-profit had been added. The ”Strathmere Group” member’s leaders met with 21 U.S. environmental and conservation “leaders” for the purpose of expanding the “silo” and setting combined targets to “protect our fragile natural areas such as the Artic and the Boreal Forest.”

Just over two years later (October 6, 2011) and two years after the Ontario GEA was passed an election in Ontario was held and the McGuinty led Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) eked out a minority win.  From all appearances the OLP benefited via support from several of the eco-charities who were, as now determined, members of the Strathmere Group.  As a result the writer personally complained to Elections Ontario via a letter dated October 11, 2011 about the activities of those eco-charities and others including public sector unions.  Five (5) of the members of the Strathmere Group, including Pembina Institute were highlighted on the complaint letter including; Environmental Defence, Sierra Club, David Suzuki Foundation and Climate Action Network Canada. The response from Elections Ontario was benign and if they took action, they did not inform the complainant ie; yours truly!

Chapter 3 will examine the joint meeting between U.S. and Canadian eco-warriors and the career advancement of the Canadian signators.

*Thanks to Scott Luft for providing this information. 

Appendix A

Backgrounder: Questions Asked of Each Leader

1. There’s a consensus among experts that putting a price on greenhouse gas pollution is a key element of any credible climate plan for Canada, and we have recommended a price level of at least $30 per tonne in 2009. At the same time, countries are heading into the second half of crucial negotiations on the next global climate deal, which is scheduled to wrap up in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

How will you ensure that Canada has an adequate price on pollution in effect by December 2009?

2. Few places in the world can still boast the kinds of wild spaces — and wild species ―that can be found from coast to coast to coast in Canada. But in the face of rapidly accelerating climate change and pressure to expand resource development, we need to move fast to secure this natural legacy.

Will your government, in partnership with the provinces and other stakeholders, seize the opportunity to implement a “conservation first” planning framework for our lands and waters that will protect at least half of Canada’s intact wild areas and all our species at risk?

3. As we mentioned earlier, countries are now heading into the final stretch of crucial negotiations on the next global climate deal. Two important issues at those negotiations will be funding for developing countries, to help them deal with the impacts of climate change, and national targets that are consistent with climate science.

Please tell us what you would put on the international negotiating table as Prime Minister to make a positive contribution to the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

4. Evidence from across the country suggest that Canada will soon face a national water crisis. Climate change, burgeoning urban and industrial water use, and persistent pollution pose threats to water quality and quantity, and in turn to both human and ecosystem health. Water policy experts, scientists and concerned citizens are all calling for a national water strategy to address this looming crisis.

Do you and your party agree that Canada needs a national water strategy and support efforts by provinces and other stakeholders to manage water resources sustainably? What issues or regions should be priorities in addressing Canada’s water concerns and how will your party take action in addressing these priorities?

5. Emerging renewable energy technologies like wind and solar energy can help address climate change and represent a new industrial economic opportunity for Canada. The federal government’s only major support mechanism for renewable electricity, the eco ENERGY for Renewable Power program, will run out of funds next year. Stable policies have been a key part of creating steady growth renewable energy in many European countries.

First, will you commit to renewing and expanding this support program in or before Budget 2009 ― yes or no? And second, does your party have specific targets for renewable electricity in Canada in the medium term (2015–2020), including set asides for northern and remote communities?

6. In one way or another, each of you have acknowledged that climate change is one of the most urgent threats facing humanity.

To help our viewers gauge your personal interest in this issue, please tell us about how you personally came to understand the seriousness and urgency of global warming.

Ontario’s industrial wind turbines many costs

Wind’s visible costs

An article posted February 10, 2020 highlighted how wind generation, on its own, represented a cost of $12.760 billion over the ten years from 2010 to 2019 to Ontario ratepayers. Industrial wind turbines (IWT) had delivered 83.3 TWh and curtailed 10.5 TWh over that time.  The combined cost of the generation and curtailment represented an average delivered cost per kWh of 15.32 cents without factoring in costs of gas plants being at the ready when the wind wasn’t blowing or spilling clean hydro.

Over the same ten years, exports of surplus power to our neighbours cost ratepayers about $12.5 billion dollars. Wind’s habit of generating power in the middle of the night and spring and fall when demand is low drives down the market price; HOEP (Hourly Ontario Energy Price), resulting in export sales at prices well below contracted rates. This results in ratepayers having to pay the difference.

Last weekend (February 22nd and 23rd) was no exception.  The wind was blowing for the two days but Ontario Demand was low averaging 341,800 MWh.  IWT however, were generating power we didn’t need with grid accepted wind at 148,175 MWh and 14,900 MWh curtailed.  The cost of both, was $24 million or 16.2 cents/kWh. IESO was busy exporting surplus power of 141,648 MWh or 96% of grid accepted wind. On top of that we were probably spilling water (and paying for it) at the same time.

The question the foregoing elicits is; how much were we paid for those exports?  Exports sold February 22nd were at the average price of $1.99/MWh and $1.64/MWh on the 23rd so total revenue earned was a miserly $239 thousand versus a cost to ratepayers and taxpayers of the province of over $24 million just for what the IWT delivered.  Our neighbours must love us!

Winds hidden costs

While the foregoing confirms IWT have the habit of being unreliable and intermittent and require backup from gas plants they also have other bad habits.  One example is their killing of birds. The Audubon Society has suggested it is anywhere from 140,000 to 328,000 annually. They also kill bats in large numbers. Bird Studies Canada in 2016 estimated the kill rate in Ontario was 18.5 kills per turbine (over 50,000 annually). Many killed are on the endangered list!  Additionally, tourism areas may also be negatively affected by IWT as noted in a poll in Scotland by the “John Muir Trust (JMT) found that 55% of respondents were “less likely” to venture into areas of the countryside industrialised by giant turbines”.

A recent report from Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) raises many other negative issues related to IWT!  The report is a synopsis of complaints about IWT submitted by rural residents of Ontario living within close proximity of IWT.  Those complaints were submitted to the MOECC (now the MOECP. The report titled: “Response to Wind Turbine Noise Complaints” analyzed 674 complaints made during 2017.  The shocking issue revealed is: “Only nine of the 674 complaints, or 1.3% of total records, indicated that there was a field response.”  What that suggests is the MOECP’s field offices are either not equipped to deal with complaints or believe the IWT contracted parties will somehow resolve them.  In excess of 5,200 complaints have been logged by WCO since IWT first started to appear in the province and most of them were related to audible and inaudible (infrasound) noise levels. Other complaints have been associated with aquifer (water) contamination, shadow flicker, ice throws, etc.

Approximately 15% of the population will experience negative health effects from the proximity of IWT; a similar percentage to those who suffer from motion sickness.  The effects of audible and infrasound noise will produce; nausea, headaches, anxiety, ringing ears, feeling of exhaustion, etc.  Those individuals will naturally contact their doctors or other health care professionals for treatment adding to the cost of Ontario’s health care system. Those costs are not attributed to the cause, which are the IWT!

Other outcomes where IWT add (hidden) costs is in respect to property values as they are driven lower.  Many studies have confirmed values drop and an Ontario Superior Court ruling suggested the drop was from 22% to 55%.  The drop in values affects the realty tax base in municipalities hosting IWT and could result in lost services due to declining revenue or a substantial increase in realty taxes.

Let’s summarize the visible and invisible costs of IWT:

  1. Increased electricity costs due to the need for duplicate power sources such as gas plants.
  2. Increased surplus power which must be curtailed or sold for pennies on the dollar.
  3. Increased costs due to IWT inability to generate power when actually needed.
  4. Increased surplus power from IWT often means other clean sources must either spill (hydro) or steam off (nuclear) power which adds costs to our electricity bills.
  5. IWT kill birds and bats, many of whom are “species at risk” meaning insects, damaging to crops, are not eaten and farmers must spray their crops with insecticides adding costs to produce.
  6. IWT may affect tourism areas driving away tourists and thereby affect income to those regions.
  7. IWT cause various health problems requiring our health system to respond to individuals affected, thereby adding to health care costs.
  8. IWT cause property values to fall affecting the realty tax base where they operate and the value of the property should the occupants try to sell after the installation of those IWT has occurred.
  9. IWT lifespan is relatively short (20 years at most) compared to traditional sources of electricity generation and when unable to perform, create costs of remediation and disposal of recyclable and non-recyclable materials they consumed when built and erected.

While CanWEA will brag  about the fact that the “fuel” powering IWT is free they ignore all of the other costs.  Is it any wonder, even though electricity from a wind turbine was first created by Sir James Blyth in 1887, it failed to have an influence on the “electrification” of either the UK or anywhere else in the world. Until the UNIPCC forecast their purported concern about “global warming”, IWT were generally found only in very remote locations.  The technology is 133 years old but the “climate emergency” advocates think it’s still relevant!

My forecast is IWT will never, ever, fully replace fossil fuels due to their costs, unreliability, the harm they cause to humans and to birds, bats and turtles! This old technology should be disregarded in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases.