Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM on August 3, 2022

Marc had me on his show today and my chat with him was preceded by his conversation with Jocelyn Bamford the Chair and founder of the CCMBC (Coaliation of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada. You can listed to her discussion with Marc starting at 48:00 of the podcast followed by yours truly at 1:04:12 and ending at 1:18:24.

Jocelyn covered lots of subjects related to what the Trudeau led government is doing that is negatively affecting the economy and businesses in Canada and my chat with Marc was related to renewable energy here in Ontario and how it has badly affected the EU and in particularly Germany and the UK. Naturally we also talked about industrial wind turbines and EV (electric vehicles) reflecting on a couple of my recent articles.

You can listed to both Jocelyn’s and my chat here at the times noted above:

Wind Missing When Needed

Following is a screen shot taken on the IESO website and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) shown on it is a reflection of what Ontarians would experience on a regular basis should our natural gas plants shut down as pushed by the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The combination of the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment) comes to $293.49/MWh or 29.3/cents per kWh and getting close to what many European countries pay due to their move to renewable energy.  It should be recognized the 29.3 cents doesn’t include distribution or other costs so my guess is the all-in cost would be up around what residential ratepayers in Germany are currently paying. Germany is now firing up their coal plants in order to survive the upcoming winter as their gas supplies have been severely impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war and Russia has reduced the transmission of natural gas via their pipelines.

Most European counties anticipate electricity shortages over the next two years so we should expect the same here in Ontario should we shut down our gas plants as desired by the OCAA and the 33 municipalities who have endorsed their closure.

Industrial wind generation’s peak on August 2, 2022 came at the hour ending at 1 AM when they produced 1,927 MWh (39.3% of their capacity) but at the hour ending at 6 PM when peak demand hit 20,561 MW they managed to only generate 258 MWh or 5.2% of their capacity. Hour 4 when peak demand was lowest for the day at 13,796 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro but, wind turbines ran at 26.2% of their capacity generating 1,283 MWh when it wasn’t needed.

The ups and downs of wind generation were particularly visible this day demonstrating their inability to deliver power when it was actually needed. 

The time has come for the politicians and the eco-warriors citing the purported benefits of those industrial wind turbines to acknowledge their uselessness and how they do nothing more than add costs to our electricity and tax bills and must be backed up with natural gas plants!

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 3

Part 1 of the EV transition highlighted some of the costs associated with it and Part 2 of this series outlined some of the negative issues of EV and their batteries. In an effort to keep it readable at less than 1,500 words it was stated a Part 3 would be a requirement so here it is!

EV Fires

Should one do a simple Google search using the words “tesla car fire” and then hit the video button you will get dozens of videos of intense fires (presumably caused by the batteries) including some simply parked in a garage or stopped at an intersection. Some news story with videos where deaths have occurred note Tesla is being sued.  It surely makes one hesitant to consider their next vehicle should be an EV as it’s not just Tesla EV catching fire as another Google search discloses. As these happenings gain more publicity the push-back on the government decrees in the developed world, including here in Canada where the decree is; “all vehicle sales (cars and trucks) by 2035 will be electric” will surely grow!

Battery Storage Fires

An article by S&P Global on May 31, 2022 titled; “Battery blazes, breakdowns underscore ‘growing pains’ for energy storage” highlights the problems associated with battery storage and the fire occurrence in Southern Australia back in 2021 when it was claimed to be the largest battery storage unit in the world.  The article also outlines the latest problem with the 400 MW unit in California (Moss Landing Energy Storage) and now the largest unit in the world which recently experienced their second incident.  The article notes: “The breakdowns are among more than 50 known failures at medium- to large-scale battery storage projects in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Daily outage reports from the California ISO, which has more battery storage on its network than any other grid operator, point to additional frequent “plant troubles” curtailing capacity that the state is counting on to keep the lights on during critical periods of peak demand.” The article goes on to state: “Ranging from limited operational hiccups to catastrophic explosions, such incidents are likely to continue to accompany the proliferation of battery peakers, technology and safety experts said.” This certainly suggests the continued use of natural gas plants to back up the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar generation will be with us for a few decades unless our politicians and the bureaucrats advising them are OK with frequent blackouts.

Transit EV Bus Fires

As the push to eliminate fossil fuel use for all the developed world continues the concept of electrifying all transit and transport vehicles gathers steam so, with lots of government support many transit authorities are working to convert their bus fleets.  As just one example the City of Ottawa under its $57.4 billion “Energy Evolution” transition plan, have a target aiming to have a zero-emission transit sector by 2030. One should presume the 944 transit buses currently in Ottawa will be converted to battery operated ones by that date. Ottawa isn’t the only city in Canada or around the world with these plans and many European cities are much farther ahead.  One example is Stuttgart (check out video) with two of EV transit buses and in the fall of 2021 one of them “is believed to have been the source of a massive fire that destroyed 25 buses in the city and also heavily damaged part of the depot they were parked in.” Once again there are dozens of videos and stories of EV bus fires from various locations around the world including one a few days ago in Connecticut which would make one somewhat reluctant to step on board for a trip or be content to allow your child to take an EV school bus.  Needless to say, investigations into these fires are going on wherever they occurred and many of the fleets have parked their EV buses until the investigations determine the cause of the fire(s) is complete and the cause known.

Child Labour mines for Cobalt in the Congo and Zambia

Cobalt is one of the principal ingredients in an EV lithium-ion battery and the Congo has the highest known cobalt reserves in the world representing close to 70% and another African country, Zambia has the 2nd highest known reserves.  Interestingly enough CNN back in May 2018 did some investigative work resulting in them posting a video titled “CNN FINDS CHILD LABOUR IN COBALT TRADE.” The video highlights the use of child labour to mine the cobalt and supply those EV battery manufacturers in China, the U.S.A, Europe and shortly, presumably Ontario. The latter have joined hands with PM Trudeau and the Province to provide grants for a new $1.5 billion plant to be built in Windsor with our tax dollars. Obviously, those tax dollars will be supporting the continued use of child labour in the Congo and in Zambia.

Supply Shortages Loom

Another major problem with the whole “energy transition” push is the probable upcoming shortages of key components required for the electrification of everything and one of those is copper.  As noted in an article in the Financial Post a couple of weeks ago, “Numerous metals and minerals have been hawked as “the next oil,” but according to veteran energy historian Daniel Yergin, only one metal represents the linchpin of the energy transition away from fossil fuels — copper.“ Yergin “sees a looming supply-demand gap in copper that risks “short-circuiting” the energy transition and stalling global ambitions to slash greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050.” The article cites a report estimating copper supply would need to double from current production of 25 million metric tons to 50 million metric tons by 2035. The report concludes: “copper shortages could delay how long it takes to reach net-zero emissions; Yergin also acknowledged that various other critical minerals — lithium and cobalt, for example — could well have an impact on climate goals too.”

It sure looks as if the electrification of everything is a pipe dream that will continue to exhibit dire consequences on mankind except perhaps for the small but very rich segment of the population. The time has come to kill the wishes of the eco-warriors and those politicians who have consumed their Kool-Aid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let “common sense” prevail!

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 2

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

Car Battery Replacement

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

What happens to those Dead EV Batteries

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

Looming problems for EV batteries

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

Automobiles manufactured per year 1950/2019:

China None / 28 million

United States 8 million / 11 million

Japan 31 thousand / 9.8 million

India 15 thousand / 5 million

Germany 300 thousand / 5 million

South Korea None / 4 million

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

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

EV for police service

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

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

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

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                    

Wind Energy once again displays its spasmodic and undependable nature

Another couple of warm (not hot) summer days here in Ontario on July 16th and 17th and guess what?  If you guessed those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were basically unreliable and failed to deliver what the eco-warriors believe in, you were absolutely right!

July 16th

Those IWT on July 16th at Ontario’s peak demand of Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM), generated 158 MW or 0.8% of the peak demand of 19,999 MW. That 158 MW represented 3% of their capacity at that hour but much earlier in the day they reached their high for the day at 3 AM when they generated 444 MW or 9% of their capacity.  At 9 AM however when demand is increasing, they once again hit their low point generating only 44 MW or 0.9% of their capacity. In total those IWT generated 4,906 MW over the full 24 hours and that represented only about 4.2% of their capacity. 

Fortunately for all of us Ontario’s natural gas plants were available to ramp up at 9 AM and generated 1,309 MW and at the Hour 17 peak for the day generated 4,483 MW.

July 17th

On July 17th the IWT were generating 531 MW at the Ontario peak demand hour which was once again Hour 17 and was 2.6% of the peak which reached 19,925 MW.  Those IWT peak for the day, was Hour 21 at 635 MW or 12.9% of their capacity. Earlier in the day at Hour 9 they generated 118 MW or 2.4% of their capacity

Once again, those natural gas plants came to the rescue generating 4,427 MW at the peak hour, and 1,563 MW at Hour 9 when those IWT were almost absent and because demand was still high at Hour 21 those gas plants generated 4,081 MW.

The Irony:

While the gas plants were demonstrating their necessity it is ironic as IESO is contemplating adding additional reliable supply via the addition of a 600-megawatt hydrogen-ready power plant project in Sarnia, Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is pushing to stop it!  “The new plant would be designed to run on either 100 per cent natural gas or a blend of up to 65 per cent hydrogen and natural gas, according to a document the company submitted to the federal agency.”  The article in the Sarnia Observer went on to quote Gibbons: “Building a new gas-fired power plant would be moving Ontario in absolutely the wrong direction”. The OCAA’s list of supporters includes none other than George Smitherman, former Minister of Energy under the McGuinty led government and who enacted the GEA (Green Energy Act).  Another supporter is Peter Tabuns, Ontario’s NDP energy critic. It seems obvious the same individuals who caused Ontario’s electricity prices to spike by well over 100% in the past decade don’t recognize the importance of a reliable and competitively priced electricity supply.

Conclusion

All Ontario residents and businesses should be thankful our natural gas plants are at the ready to ensure we don’t suffer rolling blackouts similar to what is happening in Europe and in US states such as California and Texas who have embraced wind and solar in order to save the planet from the fictitious predictions of the eco-warriors!

Eco-Warriors Bubble Up Again

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

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

Did Anyone Notice Wind Wimped Out Again

Yesterday, July 13, 2022, was one of those; not so hot summer days in most of Ontario so according to IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) peak demand at hour 16 only reached 18,135 MW during a five (5) minute interval.  At that hour those IWT (industrial wind turbines) with a capacity of 4,900 MW were contributing 108 MW or 2.2% of their capacity and 0.6% of demand. Had they been absent they wouldn’t have been missed!

The two generation sources the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) insist the government shut down, ie:  Nuclear, generated 9,430 MW and Natural Gas plants generated 4,093 MW at that hour.  Had the latter two generation sources not been operating at that or any other hour Ontario would have experienced wide-spread BLACKOUTS with a negative effect on businesses and our daily activities.

Once again at hour nine (9) as daily demand was increasing on a regular work day, those IWT were generating 36 MW which was probably less than they were using just to keep their lights blinking! 

The foregoing unreliability and intermittency of IWT is not an occurrence for Ontario only as it has been demonstrated around the world where they have been endorsed and promoted by politicians.  On their own, without other generation sources, such as natural gas or coal fired generation backing them up, most of the developed world would find ourselves back in the dark ages.

It seems truly unbelievable the push to go fully “fossil fuel free” has gained so much momentum around the world collectively as one example: the push for EV (electric vehicles) to replace ICE (internal combustion engines) is occurring. 

Plugging those EV in to recharge them without fossil fuels generating electricity is nothing more than a pipedream by the eco-warriors and their obedient and obtuse politicians as recently noted.