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.