COP-26 Out Could be a Cop-Out                                                                                                                               

These past few days Boris Johnson, the UK’s PM and host of the upcoming COP-26 Climate Conference must be wringing his hands as the COP-26 Climate Conference being held in Glasgow from October 31st until November 12, 2021 is showing signs of major problems. 

On his home turf, the UK recently had to fire up a coal plant to avoid a blackout as their 24,100 MW capacity of onshore and offshore IWT (industrial wind turbines) went on holidays while natural gas prices soared.  The BBC article noted: “Over the coming months, those sky-high gas prices are expected to remain volatile. So, as well as forcing National Grid to make some tough choices about where we get our electricity from, it could also have a big knock-on on what we pay.”

As if to top things off for Johnson, new regulations associated with the electricity system and coming into force next year were recently announced and they state; “Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid. Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm.”

To put the foregoing in context the number of EV registered in the UK are approximately 300,000 out of 38 million vehicles which equates to less than 1%!  Prime Minister Johnson must surely have his fingers crossed that some of those recent events will not impact COP-26 and bring to mind, the realization reliable electricity cannot be supplied by those intermittent sources such as wind and solar usually referenced as “renewable” rather than “unreliable”!

The foregoing may be a strong signal to Prime Minister Johnson that his plan to end sales of all non-electric cars by 2035 is a non-starter unless they will forego being charged except perhaps once a year!

On top of the UK’s problems, the Spanish government has stepped into the fray as they recently moved to halt the record rise in power prices by; both reducing their taxes on energy and by curtailing what they referenced as “exceptional benefits”.  The article outlining the Spanish Government’s actions went on to state; “The government says the hikes in electricity bills are driven by spiraling prices of so-called carbon certificates, which give companies the right to release carbon dioxide; gas imports that Spain needs to complete its energy mix; and surging power demand in recent months.”

The amusing feature about the Spanish government’s actions is that back in December of 2020 “Renewables Now” were bragging Spain generated 43.6% of its power from renewables and had closed 3,486 MW of polluting power plants which were mainly coal-burning units during the year.

As is to make the COP-26 Conference outcome even more worrisome for PM Johnson, China advised Britain “it will not yield to international pressure for bigger improvements to its climate change commitments at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow.”  They will not be bullied into going green despite the visit from Alok Sharma, the UK senior climate change representative, who visited Beijing for pre-summit talks hoping to persuade China to “enhance” its carbon emissions reduction targets. It is worth noting China’s emissions stand at 28% of all global emissions and continue to climb. Without an “enhanced” commitment from them one should suspect COP-26 will fail to provide Johnson with the ability to claim it was a success!

Canada’s commitments at the Conference are presently unknown until the results of our election come to light.  What is known however, is one Canadian is playing a prominent role at COP-26 and that individual is Mark Carney whom I expounded on in prior articles.

PM Johnson back in January 2020 appointed Mark Carney (former Governor of the Bank of Canada and former Bank of England Governor) as his “advisor” for the conference. In addition, Carney is the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. I personally suspect Carney is not at all concerned about the outcome of the COP-26 Conference despite his lofty positions for the UN and PM Johnson.

Should COP-26 turn out to be a failure and Canadian voters couple that with the boot for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party we should expect Carney’s fallback position will be to run for leadership of the Federal Liberal Party. 

Stay tuned!

The Circular Economy will Take “Peoplekind”* Down the Drain

Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) on July 26, 2021 posted an article on their website titled “Taking Charge” and one of the early claims made in the article was:

A growing number of corporations are prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions within their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and taking steps to ensure the electricity they use is generated by non-emitting sources, like wind and solar energy.”

The article doesn’t explain the reasons why those corporations are taking those steps but anyone following politics is aware; numerous “developed world” governments are passing acts or regulating emissions that put a price on them.  Those actions raise the cost of what corporations produce and suddenly the products they manufacture are no longer competitive with products produced in countries not imposing costs. Those countries like, Brazil, Russia China, India, South Africa, (BRICS country members) etc. will either produce similar products with lower prices or will attract those corporations. That means corporations will move to those locations and shut their manufacturing plants in countries like Canada who have imposed both a “carbon tax” rising to $170/ton by 2030 and another tax referenced as the “clean fuel standard”.  We should be confident those imposed costs will mean less jobs in Canada and other developed countries.

The CanREA article pushing wind, solar and battery storage, appeared before Ontario experienced a number of hot days in August which could have resulted in rolling blackouts or brownouts had we not had sufficient gas plants at the ready. The 5,500 MW (approximately) of wind capacity in Ontario went for a holiday.  Likewise the UK also recently experienced the failure of their 24.1 GW capacity of industrial wind turbines and were even forced to fire up one of their coal plants to avoid blackouts joining up with gas plants that provided 46.5% of their energy needs.

 Looking at the World Bank’s “Carbon Price Dashboard” Canada stands out as a country that has implemented emissions pricing well beyond other countries around the world. One should wonder “why” when our emissions are a miniscule 1.6% of global emissions and less than our percentage of global GDP (gross domestic product) of 1.9%.

Also worth mentioning is that China, a BRICS member, has basically stated they “won’t be bullied into going green” at the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow. In 2018 the five BRICS countries accounted for 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with China the number one emitter globally at 28% but they produced only 17.4% of global GDP in 2020.  Based on the foregoing Canada is almost twice as emissions efficient as China but apparently the eco-warriors, politicians and those multi-billionaires like Bloomberg, Fink, Gates and the former Governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, in conjunction with the WEF (World Economic Forum) want more! The latter fully support the concept of mankind causing global warming and the reputed upcoming “climate pandemic” in the hopes of becoming wealthier!  The rest of us, based on what the WEF tell us will succumb to their forecast of; “by 2030 You’ll own nothing And you’ll be happy”! One should assume the Board of Trustees of the WEF including luminaries like Al Gore, Mark Carney, Laurence Fink and our current Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland and others including Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, etc. will be the ones owning everything.

The WEF supports the “circular economy” which they claim; “promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.”

Hmm, one should surmise, based on their short video telling us all how we will own nothing but be happy, whose pockets will be lined with the $4.5 trillion they claim will come from the forecasted “economic benefits.”

The other question is where will that $4,5 trillion come from?  We should suspect much of it will be created by the cost of purported “low-carbon energy”.

The International Energy Agency estimates that global investment in low-carbon energy will have to increase 2½ times by 2030 from its current level of about $620 billion a year to meet targets in the Paris climate agreement.”  If one does the quick math on the IEA’s estimate it amounts to about $13 trillion for the next 9 years. One should suspect the $13 trillion will come from the pockets of those who “will own nothing”!

Those investments In low-carbon energy are happening and gaining speed as large pension funds like the CPPI, asset management firms such as  BlackRock, Brookfield, etc. etc. invest our money in renewable energy in increasing ways as the Washington Post reported earlier this year.  

What the foregoing seems to magnify is the elites of the world coupled with the eco-warriors are sold on the “circular economy” and are intent on seeing the rest of us “peoplekind” head “down the drain”!

*A word created by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Strathmere Group Declaration target # 4:

Strengthen investments in renewable energy and in energy efficiency and conservation through creating new clean energy jobs and increasing prosperity through new technologies.

This “declaration” went on to state: “energy security is best achieved through investment in the cleanest available energy and through ending our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Needless to say, Ontario ratepayers are well aware this particular “declaration” had already started to unfold prior to the signing of the joint letter in Washington on June 2, 2009.  Gerald Butts, one of the signatures on the joint declaration as the CEO of the WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund) was instrumental in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in Ontario.  The Act received third reading and royal ascent on May 14, 2009 almost a month before the “joint declaration” was signed. An excellent article by Terence Corcoran of the Financial Post from five years ago noted: “Prior to the 2007 election, Butts was a McGuinty insider. After the election, he became McGuinty’s principal adviser. As one of his biographical notes describes it, Butts “was intimately involved in all of the government’s significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy.”

What followed was spelled out in the Ontario Auditor General’s press release of December 2015 disclosing the cost of renewable contracts under the GEGEA was $37 billion to the end of 2014 and would cost another $133 billion up to the end of the contracts. To add fuel to the fire Ontario’s Liberal Party, under Kathleen Wynne, on January 1, 2017 launched their “cap & trade” program joining Quebec and BC.  The foregoing may have occurred because PM Justin Trudeau had announced in early October 2016, he would impose a price on carbon beginning in 2018 if any provinces didn’t have one.  At that time Gerald Butts was his Principal Secretary and his puppet master.  Again, as we in Ontario know, when the Ford government was elected, he cancelled Wynne’s “cap & trade” program! 

In early 2017 the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was issued and recommended a carbon tax starting at $10/ton on January 1, 2018 increasing by $10 each year to a maximum of $50 per ton. The Framework only loosely focused on achieving “net-zero” targeting only “new buildings”.  Suddenly on December 11, 2020 with the country in a Covid-19 lockdown Trudeau and his new Environment Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson announced the carbon tax would be expanded to $170 ton to wean us all off of “fossil fuels”. The pretext was it was being done so Canada could meet its Paris Agreement targets.

The impact of raising the tax to that level was spelled out in a Fraser Institute report which noted: “In this study, we present an analysis using a large empirical model of the Canadian economy that indicates that the tax will have substantial negative impacts, including a 1.8% decline in Gross Domestic Product and the net loss of about 184,000 jobs, even after taking account of jobs created by new government spending and household rebates of the carbon charges. The drop in GDP works out to about $1,540 in current dollars per employed person.” The report forecasted the carbon tax of $170/ton would create additional debt of $22 billion and noted almost 50% of the job losses (78.000) would be in Ontario.

To top things off when Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland tabled her budget on April 19, 2021 it was full of spending plans aimed at supporting renewable energy and ending fossil fuel use. The budget contained $17 billion in spending plans and tax relief measures including $5 billion for the “Net Zero Accelerator” additional to the $3 billion previously committed! The $8 billion seems aimed at large emitting companies like those in the steel and cement business.  Another $4.4 billion was earmarked to “retrofit” residential buildings.  Also included were generous tax breaks (50% for 10 years) for companies manufacturing electric vehicles, (NB: They and the Ontario government handed Ford $590 million of our tax dollars a year ago for EV manufacturing at their Oakville plant), solar panels and presumably the world’s largest wind turbine blades at 107 metres long to a Quebec company who just received $25 million! 

The Trudeau led government also on June 29, 2021 announced they were speeding up the goal to have every light duty vehicle sold by 2035 to be “zero emissions” vehicles rather than 2040.  The Minister of Transport, Alghabra has already handed out $600 million of our tax dollars as rebates to those purchasing EV and now wants more!

It seems pretty clear the Strathmere Group, with the leadership of Gerald Butts in respect to this particular declaration, will brag they have been successful at achieving it. It was done with great pain to taxpayers, ratepayers, Canadian families and our business community with an emphasis on small and medium sized companies who due to the financial effects of escalating costs lost their competitiveness or moved to a more welcoming community.  

What they actually accomplished was neither the creation of “clean energy jobs” or increased “prosperity”!

Open letter to the Honourable Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy

Dear Minister Smith,

Re:  Oneida Battery Park Project

I recently note you sent a letter dated August 27, 2021, to Ms. Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in respect to the captioned.  The letter instructed IESO to negotiate a “draft” contract with the parties proposing the 250 MW battery storage project.

I was pleased to observe you couched your directive with the following instructions:

I will not consider a directive to the IESO asking it to execute the drafted final contract until:

• National Resources Canada’s determination regarding the $50 million in funding under the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program is known; and

• The ownership of the project is fully clarified, including the equity participation of both NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp.”

Along the lines of your directive I sincerely hope you are aware of an article I penned January 23, 2021 partially analyzing the project when it was first announced in a press release from the Federal taxpayer owned Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).  The press release indicated the CIB would invest $170 million of our hard-earned tax dollars. My article attempted to point out the negative impact the project would have on Ontario ratepayers despite our tax dollars being thrown at the project.  It now appears another $50 million of our tax dollars may be slated to join the $170 million already committed!

The other issue which I would point out is in respect to what recently occurred to a similar project in Southeast Australia.  An article on August 5, 2021 on the CNBC website was headlined: “Tesla Megapack fire highlights issues to be solved for utility ‘big batteries”.  The article noted: “There have been around 40 known fires that have occurred within large-scale, lithium-ion battery energy storage systems,” which should be considered; if this project is allowed to proceed.

What I wish to reiterate to you and IESO is; you must recall the Green Energy and Green Economy Act caused Ontario’s electricity rates to spike by well over 100%.  Projects such as this will add further costs to the system and negatively impact ratepayers including small and medium sized companies.  The effects will be a reduction in employment, drive manufacturers and other businesses elsewhere and create further energy poverty.

The possibility of fires on large-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage systems also cannot be ignored.  A fire such as happened in 40 cases would simply serve to increase emissions as would the mega batteries relatively short life span and their eventual disposal.

I sincerely hope the Ontario Ministry of Energy and IESO will bear the foregoing in mind before any approval is granted to proceed!

Your very truly,

Parker Gallant,

Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives

Why should China’s Emissions GO UP while PM Trudeau Insists Canada’s will GO DOWN

An article in TIME dated August 21, 2021 stated “China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 new blast furnaces — equivalent to adding about 1.5% to its current annual emissions“.  To put that in context, China’s emissions in 2020 are estimated at 14,400 million metric tons which is about triple what the US emits annually and 20 times what Canada emits. The 1.5% China’s emissions will increase; is 216 million metric tons and equivalent to about 29% of Canada’s 2005 emissions. Trudeau has committed to reduce Canada’s emissions by 40-45% by 2030; (299/336 million metric tons) or about 138% of what China’s emissions will increase from the point when those power plants and blast furnaces are operating and increase employment in China while the developed world continues its self-flagellation!

Even the foregoing commitment by Trudeau et al wasn’t enough in the eyes of some of the environmental groups such as Greenpeace (a Strathmere Group member) who suggested it should be at least a 60% reduction (448 million metric tons).  Greenpeace’s article goes on to state: “We must start with eliminating fossil fuel subsidies immediately” and criticizes Trudeau claiming; “After more than five years in office, the Trudeau government is still incapable of proposing a target as ambitious as that of Joe Biden who took office just three months ago.”  What Greenpeace fails to mention is Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline from its neighbour, Canada, and his ironic recent call-out to OPEC countries and its allies to pump out more oil to help reduce “prices to consumers”! 

The Trudeau Government has apparently listened to the cry from the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace however as one example is they recently banned future thermal coal mines because of their reputed contribution to climate change!

Apparently as U.S. President Biden noted, a shortage of fossil fuels causes inflation which is clearly what Canada is now experiencing.  Canada’s inflation rate hit 3.7% recently principally due to the myriad of taxes and regulations associated with our generation of fossil fuels. To top things off our GDP (gross domestic product) fell in the latest quarter by 1.1% despite most economists forecasting a growth of 2.5%, expecting a bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic!         

It certainly appears Trudeau’s admiration of Communist China uttered by him in 2013 is still top of mind but working in reverse.  What he said at that time was: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.

What he fails to see is his inane leadership punishes all Canadians while supporting China by increasing our inflation rates and reducing our GDP!

Our dime is now worth a nickel!

Gas Plants Saved Ontarians from Rolling Blackouts During Peak Demand Month

While the month and year are not over yet it appears that August 2021 will win the prize for most peak hours. Despite being a few days away from the arrival of September, August looks set to dominate as eight (8) of the ten (10) peak demand hours have occurred in August. Based on weather forecasts; demand should fall over the balance of the month and into early September.

August 26, 2021 peak demand hour (ending at hour 15) looks set to be the second highest at 22,740 MW but may be subject to minor adjustment by IESO. August 24, 2021 ending at hour 17 currently stands as the highest (22,956 MW) peak demand hour so far this year.

It is interesting to pull together some of the data for those eight “peak demand” August hours to examine how we made it through without experiencing rolling blackouts or brownouts!

Cumulatively the eight August peak demand hours show total Ontario demand was 178,645 MWh and the bulk of that was provided by nuclear and hydro which we tend to think of as “baseload” power although hydro is flexible (we can simply spill it) and some nuclear (Bruce) can be steamed off.

Those familiar with the electricity system in Ontario and the GEA (green energy act) will recall industrial wind turbines (IWT) were granted “first to the grid” rights treating them as ranking higher than baseload power.  That changed as we were frequently flooded with excess power (particularly from IWT) due to their intermittent and unreliable output and had to pay our neighbours to take the excess! The ability of IWT and solar to produce power when it was actually needed escaped the politicians (McGuinty/Wynne) thought processes so eventually IWT generators agreed to be paid for “curtailing” their generation. Their tendency is to generate power in the low demand periods of the Spring and Fall!

So, the question is, how did IWT and solar perform during those (8) August “peak hours”?

As it turns out wind and solar managed (on a combined basis) to only produce 5,593 MWh (an average of 872 MW per hour) over the 8 peak hours which represented a mere 4.9% of demand.  Ontario gas plants which are referenced as “peaking plants” were thankfully at the ready and generated 47,808 MWh or 26.8% of “peak demand”.

What the foregoing highlights is that without gas plants Ontario ratepayers would have experienced both rolling brownouts and blackouts for those 8 peak hours along with many other August hours and days that were devoid of meaningful “renewable” (IWT & solar) generation.

Based on the foregoing we ratepayers would appreciate those thirty (30) municipalities and their elected representatives to explain exactly why they endorsed the OCAA’s (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) push to tell the Provincial Government to shut down all of Ontario’s gas plants.  As an alternative they should simply rescind their council motion(s) directing the Ontario Minister of Energy to shut the gas plants!

Do those municipalities have a solution for rolling blackouts and brownouts that would be caused by the lack of “peaking power” or are they simply delusional politicians?

You be the judge!

Gas Plants Saved Ontarians From Rolling Brownouts Once Again

Well, the hot humid weather continued in August and IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) has updated their “Peak Tracker”.  As it turns out the hour ending at hour 17, August 24, 2021, was the # 1 peak demand hour, so far in 2021, reaching 22,986 MW (megawatts) in Ontario.

Wind and solar generation chipped in with a miserly combined 656 MW or 2.8% of that peak demand while our gas plants contributed 30.3% (6,963 MW) of demand meaning; unlike California we didn’t suffer from rolling blackouts or brownouts!  It is interesting the “super green” state of California recently announced their plans “to open 5 natural gas plans to avoid blackouts”!

The foregoing strongly suggests wind and solar cannot be counted on when they are needed and hopefully this sends a signal to all the eco-warriors that they are not the answer to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Try to imagine if the current 8.7 million registered road vehicles in Ontario were all electric (coming by 2050 as promised by our politicians) and a small percentage of them needed charging.  At that time if we were dependent on wind and solar generation and experienced a week or two of similar weather we would be in big trouble.

The highways would be empty as would grocery store shelves as the “electric vehicles” delivering supplies would be unable to, nor would farmers be able to harvest their crops!  Is this what the eco-warriors have in mind as they seem unable to appreciate the benefits of fossil fuels?  

It is apparent eco-warriors really believe mankind controls the earth’s temperature and not the sun!  

Barry Manilow can’t smile without climate change

Once again, I was invited, as a guest, on the Marc Patrone Show on SAUGA NEWS 960 AM this morning. While the captioned title doesn’t reflect all we talked about it is apt because Manilow’s show in New York’s Central Park was cut short due to heavy rain and the media blamed it on climate change! 

Marc and I chatted about peak hours and the push to close our gas plants along with other related climate change issues and you can listen here starting at 1:22:15 of the podcast:

Or if you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2527

Yet Another Peak Hour and Ontario Survived it Thanks to Gas Plants

Yesterday (August 23, 2021) Ontario experienced another warm day with the temperature reaching 31 C in Toronto but that was 10 degrees less than the record high of July 10, 1936 when it reached 41 C.  Nevertheless, we achieved another “peak hour” with electricity demand reaching 22,309 MW at hour 17 (ending) making it the # 2 peak hour so far in 2021.

Wind (424 MW) and solar (141 MW) at that hour provided us with 2.5% of total demand and those gas generators supplied 26.5% of our demand (5,912 MW) which we needed or ratepayers of both Class A and B would have experienced blackouts or rolling brownouts.

Ratepayers of both Classes should press the 30 municipalities (telling the Ford Government to close those gas plants due to the OCAA’s [Ontario Clean Air Alliance] travelling minstrel show), to have second thoughts and rescind their council’s request to close those gas plants.

Another Peak Demand Hour and Wind is Missing

As we have come to expect in Ontario, “peak demand” generally occurs on hot summer days and the hour ending at hour 17 on August 20th was the most recent occurrence coming in at # 8 of “peak demand hours” so far this year.

Demand at the above hour reached 21,569 MW and the bulk of that needed demand was supplied by Nuclear, Hydro and Natural Gas generators. At that hour gas plants supplied 25.9% (5,587 MW) of demand while wind generators managed to produce only 0.45% (98 MW) of demand and the bulk (53 MW) of that came from the Greenwich Renewable Energy Project a 99 MW station located Northeast of Thunder Bay so none of their generation was useful in the well populated areas of the province. The other 40 plus wind turbine generating stations scattered throughout the province produced only 45 MW which probably didn’t even cover their consumption during that hour.

The foregoing fact is something you will not hear from the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) whose push is to close out gas plants. The OCAA’s push to close gas plants has reputedly been endorsed by 30 Ontario Municipalities representing over 50% of the province’s population. 

In an effort to push the alarm button further the OCAA has called for all their followers to: “Please contact Ontario’s new Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, and ask him to direct the IESO to develop and implement a plan to achieve a complete phase-out of our gas-fired power plants by 2030.”

What Jack Gibbons the Chair and CEO of OCAA doesn’t seem to understand is that the events of hour 17 are frequent during the very hot days of summer and the very cold days during the winter.  If Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, followed through with the OCAA’s recommendations Ontario’s ratepayers would be faced with numerous brownouts and even full blackouts during the dead of winter and the heat of summer.

I would suggest the ratepayers of Ontario should write a letter to the councils of the 30 municipalities informing them of the above facts and recommending they rescind their endorsement to shut down Ontario’s gas plants by 2030 as proposed by the OCAA.

You can find the full list of the municipalities that have endorsed the closure by simply clicking on the following.

Ontario Municipalities that have endorsed gas power phase-out