Ontario’s Lock-down is Bad News for Small/Medium Sized Businesses

IESO has just released their March Monthly Market Summary and it hammered Ontario’s small and medium sized businesses where 42% (2..4 million) of Ontario’s private sector employees work, according to the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business).

The lock-down imposed by the Ontario and Federal governments, related to the pandemic, has driven down electricity consumption in the province with March being an early warning to the extended shutdown.  The March 2020 Monthly Market Summary when compared to the March 2019 summary indicates an overall drop in consumption of 5.7% or 669.3 GWh* (gigawatt hours) and 86.6% (580 GWh) of the drop was by Class B ratepayers.

While consumption dropped, Ontario’s net exports increased from 2019 by 664.1 GWh but as we ratepayers know that is not a good thing as those exports are sold at the market price or HOEP which fell 49% from an average of $27.34/MWh in 2019 to $13.93/MWh in 2020.  What that means is even though net exports increased by 80% revenues decreased from $22.7 million to $20.8 million. That implies; because of the way energy costs are allocated in Ontario, generating excess power (principally wind and solar) and selling it to our neighbours is akin to simply giving it away.

Now looking at the cost of consumption in the province and the transfer of support from Class B to Class A ratepayers the results are worse.  In March 2019 Class B ratepayers consumed 8.629 GWh and the GA (Global Adjustment) costs were $692.2 million meaning the average GA per MWh was $80.41/MWh and the HOEP added $27.34 making the overall cost of a MWh/$107.75 (10.7 cents/kWh). In 2020 it grew to a GA of $119.42/MWh and with the HOEP of $13.93/MWh added, it came to $133.35/MWh (13.3 cents/kWh) or an increase of $26.60/MWh.  Class A ratepayers on the other hand had an all-in rate in 2019 of $75.76/MWh and $75.87/MWh in 2020, an increase of only 9 cents/MWh.

Included in the Class B customer base are all residential customers (and farmers) but the Ford Government froze those rates at 10.1 cents/kWh due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The government did nothing for all of the remaining small and medium sized Class B businesses who are shouldering more than just high electricity rates due to the lock-down.  Their livelihood is at stake!

How can the government expect Class B small and medium sized businesses to continue to support the larger Class A customers via the cost shift and hope they will survive the pandemic?

The time has come for the province to recognize how important to Ontario those businesses and their 2.4 million employees really are! Either they should fix the mess those contracted wind and solar generators have created, amend the methodology of the Global Adjustment, or, offer relief to the rest of the Class B ratepayers.

April looks to be even worse for those businesses so the Government should fix it now!

 

*A GWh is 1,000 MWh and the 669.3 GWh is what 890,000 average Ontario households consume monthly.

Climate Change Activists and their Strange Bedfellows

For a couple of decades, individuals and environmental groups around the world voiced the view that AGW (anthropogenic global warming), now referenced as “climate change”, was an upcoming catastrophic event, unless we humans curb emissions of CO2. An increase of earth’s average temperature of 1.5 degrees by the year 2100 forecast by the UNIPCC, would reputedly destroy mankind.  Politicians around the world bought into the premise; it was mankind causing the climate to change!

Those politicians, inspired by eco-warriors insisted; we must stop using fossil fuels or we are doomed.

Those who weren’t completely sold on the “premise” (this writer included) as time went on, lost faith in the forecasts and the uptake of the pseudo-science the UNIPCC and others proclaimed. More and more evidence of their bad forecasts were slowly laid bare. The claims made; looked to be nothing more than a giant “Ponzi scheme” or simply ignorance among those screaming the loudest.

Politicians around the world however, bought into the claims! Those politicians agreed technology like; wind turbines, biomass, ethanol, solar cells, electric cars, etc. were a way to end fossil fuel usage and save mankind from the catastrophe.  Politicians rushed to buy into the foregoing even though the technology associated with most of it was developed in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.  Legislation, regulations, mandates, etc. were passed with increasing frequency to achieve the goals set by the eco-warriors! Electricity rates and other fuel costs shot up in countries where government subsidies were mandated and taxpayers paid for them. Those actions have cost trillions of dollars globally!

Needless to say the push to discard fossil fuels in Canada reached an epiphany in the minds of the eco-warriors as Canadians elected a minority Liberal government last fall.  Support would come from the NDP, the Green Party and the Bloc!  The election results would surely deliver their objectives!

Suddenly however, Canada and the rest of the world were caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic and “climate change” was relegated to an issue well down the list of priorities. The pandemic however, didn’t discourage those eco-warriors as they joined hands and sent dozens of letters to parliament claiming “climate change” needed to be treated as the next major catastrophic event.

Even as government deficits climbed those eco-warriors and their corporate compatriots such as CanWEA joined together. Robert Hornung of CanWEA even had the gall to suggest on March 24, 2020 to “Bloomberg Law”* that: “Among possible renewable energy measures, the federal government could speed up the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s construction of green projects, Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said.” The group also suggested the government increase the amount of renewable energy it consumes.” The same article quotes Chris Severson-Baker, Alberta’s regional director at the Pembina Institute in respect to Alberta Premier Kenny’s ask of “the federal government to suspend any new environmental regulations, including any increase in a national carbon tax.”  Kenny’s request upset Severson-Baker who said; “It’s total opportunism to talk about targeting those things”.  Apparently, he believes it’s OK to tax us all while creating further unemployment in the middle of this economic meltdown while our governments spend our future taxes by the tens of billions of dollars and many companies lose their ability to survive. 

Very recently eco-warriors have become totally silent, perhaps due to the recent release of Michael Moore’s documentary; Planet of the Humans on Earth Day (April 22nd).  Since its “free” release, just four days ago on YouTube it has had almost 2.4 million views.

The documentary delves into the relationship between eco-warriors and certain capitalists such as Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson, Al Gore, Jeremy Grantham, GM, Goldman Sachs, Koch Brothers, and several others.  Along the way it discloses how both groups benefited by feeding false information to the media and to those of us absorbing the messages repeated by the MSM.

The film dispels the reputed benefits of industrial wind turbines, solar panels, ethanol fuels, biomass, EVs and their batteries and highlights either the incompetence and or lies spread by eco-warriors in their push to save the world. The film brings out the fact those sources of energy actually do more harm than good for the environment and have little if any effect on emissions.

The fact the film connects eco-warriors to the corporate elite suggests the collaboration is really about extracting monies from the general population more than it was about saving the planet. To this writer it certainly appears to have been one of the biggest “Ponzi schemes” ever perpetrated but will we ever know the truth?

*It is worth noting Bloomberg Law is a part of the Bloomberg Industry Group founded by Michael Bloomberg the former Democratic Presidential candidate and multi-billionaire, mentioned in Michael Moore’s documentary “Planet of the Humans”.

We are in the midst of an Eco-charities panic

It seems readily apparent the ENGO (environmental non-government organizations) are in a panic mode as the Covid-19 pandemic has swept the purported “climate emergency” from the front pages to the back pages of the MSM. Their concerns are no doubt focused on possible outcomes that will impact them significantly such as:

1.Their fans/donors may be distracted or become unemployed due to the pandemic!

2.Their fans may not have the available dollars to donate to the cause(s) they tout;  to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or 2050 (pick your target) and save the world from a 1.5 degree “average” temperature increase by the year 2100.

3.Those eco-charities who pushing  the “carbon tax” may find the Liberal government will have no money to hand out via grants to them as they did in the past!

A recent example of the panic was evident in a tweet by Tzeporah Berman who shouted out: “It’s now been two weeks since Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters that a Big Oil bailout was coming in “hours, possibly days” – and details still haven’t been announced. It’s clear that our pressure is working. You can chip in here to keep it growing:  xxxxx.  Thanks to the growing public outcry around a Big Oil bailout, we’re now hearing reports that the Liberal party is increasingly divided around what to do. This is encouraging, but the government still has the power to announce a massive handout to oil and gas companies at any time – and they haven’t ruled it out. It’s time to pull out all the stops. With our friends at Leadnow, we’ve come up with a plan to splash our message all over the CBC news website, at a time when millions of Canadians are consuming online news like never before. Just several months ago Ms. Berman was reputedly awarded a $2 million prize by The Climate Breakthrough Project so she personally could afford to pay up for the CBC ad to push her anti oil and gas agenda.

Recently Ms. Berman* wrote an article for the National Observer wherein she stated: “our government pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into fossil fuel subsidies years after commitments made at the G20 that those would be phased out.“  Apparently Tzeporah Berman and her loyal followers are completely unaware that none other than the Chair of the Ecofiscal Commission, Chris Ragan, interviewed by Steve Paikin on TVO’s “The Agenda” was asked the question: ”What about subsidizing fossil fuels, what we do to the tune of $1 billion per year?” Ragan’s response:  “We as a country do not have explicit fossil fuel subsidies.”  Ragan was recently appointed as a Director of the Canadian Institute of Climate Choices, funded with $20 million of our tax dollars.  The Ecofiscal Commission recommended the “carbon tax” in Canada should be $210/tonne to reduce emissions so we should expect the same to come from the CICC!

There are many others working to shut down the oil and gas sector. Several groups of ENGO have taken to writing letters to Prime Minister “sunny daze” himself, begging him to shut the sector down:

Green Budget Coalition 

The Green Budget Coalition is made up of 22 of the eco-charities pushing “environmental sustainability” and they penned a letter April 8, 2020 to the Prime Minister, the Deputy PM and the Finance Minister.  The letter suggests:  “Large-scale financial interventions designed with climate, ecosystem, social and economic resilience in mind will improve Canadians’ well-being in the wake of the pandemic, not only in economic terms, but also in terms of the health, social and environmental benefits of reduced GHG emissions, employment in a more equitable and sustainable economy, and flourishing biodiversity. “They also suggest we are in a “climate emergency” stating:  “consider the next steps in Canada’s response to COVID-19 in the context of the unrelenting concurrent crises that threaten our well-being in the long term: the climate emergency and the precipitous decline in biodiversity largely driven by habitat loss.”

Climate Action Network

The Climate Action Network has 105 members and they too have penned a letter to PM Trudeau and CC-ed it to “Federal Cabinet Ministers”!  Collectively they claim to have 1.3 million members; or about the same number as those who just became unemployed due to the pandemic. Their letter states: “The federal government has the opportunity with this stimulus package to immediately and directly support workers in Alberta and across the country while also investing in what is needed to grow and support a low carbon economy, and the kind of economy that can weather storms.”  The letter goes on to state: “Oil and gas companies are already heavily subsidized in Canada and the public cannot keep propping them up with tax breaks and direct support forever.”  It appears they too, do not believe one of their ilk, ie: Chris Ragan, (see above), who stated “We as a country do not have explicit fossil fuel subsidies.”

Clean Energy Canada

Clean Energy Canada describe themselves as “a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University” and sent off an “open letter” to Justin Trudeau.  The letter is signed by 11 groups beyond the SFU including CanWEA and CanSIA whose members enjoy the benefits of long-term contracts in Ontario paying above market prices to generate electricity leading to a doubling of electricity rates under the Ontario Liberals. One unfamiliar signatory was the “Canada Cleantech Alliance” which doesn’t appear to have a website and seem to be an offshoot of a US based association located in Seattle.  Why they signed the letter is unknown! The letter pushes the same agenda:  “twin objectives of moving quickly and strategically to get Canada and Canadians working again in the near-term, while enhancing our national commitment to creating a diversified, low-carbon economy, we make three overarching recommendations for ensuring a resilient recovery.“

Recommendations include: “any relief for the fossil fuel sector and/or fossil-fuel reliant platforms which are facing long-term structural challenges, must have stringent conditions to focus on workers, decarbonization and diversification, and not impede the transition to a clean energy economy.

And

these unprecedented investments pave the way to a more sustainable, net-zero emission economy and avoid measures that lock us into a high-carbon future or risk stranded assets. Periods of high unemployment and low interest rates are precisely the right time to focus on new low-carbon investments and infrastructure, including those required to support and accelerate the transition to clean energy.“

And

“We can use them to scale up investment in energy retrofits, renewable power production, storage and transmission, clean fuel production, electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment and measures to further green government.

The associations and the “clean energy program” within SFU signing this letter depend on tax dollars and favourable contracts from federal, provincial and municipal governments and seem to believe the private sector are bottomless pits of tax dollars that will fund their recommendations.

It appears from this vantage point, the numerous eco-charities trying to further influence the Liberal government are worried!  The flow of grants from the Federal ministries and donations from the “foundations” supporting them may slow or dry up. They will then be forced to find a real job in competition with those they denigrate in the oil and gas sector and its supply chain.

Their claimed “charitable” work is a misnomer serving only to harm this once thriving part of the Canadian economy contributing so much to Canada’s employment and tax base.

The time has come to change the definition of a “charity” to eliminate those bloodsuckers!

*Berman’s husband Chris Hatch, is a “reporter” for the National Observer and it receives funds from several of the charities who want to shut down Alberta’s oil and gas sector.

 

Have the Tides Finally Turned?

As we descend deeper into the pandemic caused by Covid-19 one wonders how it’s affecting those eco-charities pushing the “climate emergency and the reputed damage caused by fossil fuels. They claim; we must eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 or the world will face a disaster.

The coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world at present has meant the “climate emergency” eco-charities have been screaming about for the past several decades, has been relegated to the back pages of both the MSM and the virtual internet community.  It is now a “back of mind” issue for almost all Canadians today, as the impact of a real emergency has taken hold.

One wonders if the decades, of this reputed emergency have passed and signifies we have wizened up to what many perceive as an unprecedented “Ponzi scheme?”  Only time will tell!

Tides Canada, a charity with US links

One of the larger and more aggressive charities to have pushed the “climate emergency” agenda in Canada is Tides Canada, an outgrowth of a US charity founded in 1976.  The US charity in 2018 had revenue of $548 million and handed out (granted) 54% or only $296 million of it.  The Canadian arm of Tides is two charities; Tides Canada Foundation and Tides Canada Initiatives Foundation. Tides Canada was founded in the year 2000 according to their website.

A review of their latest CRA filings for the two charities show collective revenues of $35.884 million versus collective revenues of $7.416 million in the prior year.  So, revenues were up by $28.468 million however, $7 million of that was simply a donation from Tides Canada Foundation to Tides Canada Initiatives Foundation. The actual increase in revenue was therefore up $21.458 million or 289.3%.  From examination of the $7 million transferred it appears a lot of it was destined for First Nations grants which raises the question; were those grants connected with the rail blockades aimed at stopping the Coastal Gaslink pipeline?

If one discounts the inter-foundation transfer and looks at where the $28.468 million actually came from you discover, $5.431 million or 18.8% came from Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments,  $7.404 million (25,6%) came from outside Canada, 25.3% or $7.298 million came from other charities and only $3.445 million or 11.9% were actual donations from parties who received charitable receipts.

Reviewing Tide’s donations, the two foundations paid out $12.7 million in grants including those paid to First Nations. The usual cabal of eco-charities (focused on the elimination of the Canadian oil and gas sector) received grants from Tides and included; Environmental Defence, the Sierra Club, the David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, etc. etc. Total grant payouts represented 43.9% of the $28.868 million of adjusted gross revenues. To this writer, that suggests an inefficient charity with well paid staff.  Along those lines an examination of the CRA compensation report for the top 10 employed by the foundations suggests an average salary of about $118K each.

Eco-warrior concerns

The pandemic seems to be causing angst elsewhere amongst the proponents of the “climate emergency” with one article suggesting that “EU carbon market prices are plummeting as a result of the economic shutdown.” The article noted as of March 25th the price had dropped by 40% and a Polish representative called for scrapping it altogether even though it generated €2.2 billion in auctioning revenues last year for Poland.  If there are low levels of emissions, which is the current situation with business shut down, companies who normally emit them don’t have to buy carbon credits.  A recent article in January 2020 stated “The European carbon market – the world’s largest by volume and value – rose in worth by 30% to €169 billion.”  Many of those European country’s governments will suffer severe revenue shortages as those invisible emissions decline.  As a result, it may cause them to either increase other forms of taxation or reduce spending. As an aside, the emissions reductions may also negatively affect agricultural production and drive food costs higher due to reduced crop yields.

In the US an emerging concern has been amplified by AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) with them saying on March 19ththe global pandemic is putting $43 billion of wind industry investments and payments at risk.”  As explained in the Power Magazine article the biggest concern is not about the people affected by Covid-19 it’s about the delays that will occur in erecting industrial wind turbines.  The delay will result in “expiring tax credits” so AWEA have appealed to Congress.

AWEA in its appeal to Congress said that developers of wind energy projects have been moving forward “based on what appeared the safe assumption that their projects would qualify for the federal production or investment tax credits”.  With those tax credits expiring, delays in completing those projects could push them past deadlines to qualify for the credits.”

Not surprisingly AWEA have got the Democrats on side as the article goes on to state: “Leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition on Thursday said they will push for tax credits for renewable energy in any stimulus legislation. Democratic Reps. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, Doris Matsui of California, and Paul Tonko of New York, co-chairs of the committee, in a statement said, “Our members pushed for these credits in the end-of-year funding package and will continue to fight for them in this round of economic stimulus.”

It is discerning to realize; the eco-warriors, the carbon market traders, the wind and solar renewable energy companies and left leaning politicians continue to gang up on hard working taxpayers and now as the world faces a true emergency they have the gall to ignore the pandemic and instead continue to push their agenda at the expense of the citizens of the free world.

It’s time for the cabal to take off their blinkers and to understand, “the tides have turned”!

This Ponzi scheme must come to an end!

MaRS Discovery District, Greenbelt Foundation and Ontario Trillium Foundation redefine the word “charity”

With all that is going on in Ontario and the rest of the world associated with the pandemic perhaps it is time for some of our politicians to look inward and try to determine if their past creations make sense and if those creations should be tossed aside.  The result might be to save some hard-earned tax dollars that could be re-deployed to cope with some of today’s Covid-19 fallout.  This looks at just three of those creations.

All three of the captioned companies were creations of the Ontario provincial government and annually receive tens of millions of taxpayer funds which they then reputedly hand out in a “charitable” way.

Their annual reports filed for just the year ended March 31, 2019 indicates they collectively received almost $155 million from the province and $3.7 million from the Federal government. Those funds in turn supposedly resulted in $153 million expended on “charitable activities”.

It’s unclear how many employees the three charities have in total but a review of the recently released Ontario “Sunshine List” indicates 78 employees made the list and received just over $12.7 million in compensation indicating, the “average” salary received was just shy of $163,000 each.*

While the Ontario Trillium Foundation appears incorporated as a “not-for-profit” both MaRS and the Greenbelt are registered charities and their files can be found on the CRA Charities list under the names of “Greenbelt Foundation” and “MaRS Discovery District”.  Let’s examine the three!

Greenbelt Foundation:

In Greenbelt’s filings with the CRA for the March 31, 2019 year-end they provide a list of other “charities” whom they granted funds to and on that list are several towns, municipalities and even Ryerson University.  Also, on that list can be found donations made to the David Suzuki Foundation (revenue of $12.7 million in the most recent year-end), Environmental Defence (annual revenue $3.7 million) and the World Wildlife Fund (annual revenue of almost $25 million).  The other amusing (not for taxpayers) thing about Greenbelt is they spent $564,854 on advertising and promotion and received a miserly $2,929 in actual charitable donations for which they issued tax receipts. What the foregoing infers is our tax dollars are being wasted and also handed out to help charities (we may not willingly support) and municipalities but we taxpayers have no say in the matter.

MaRS Discovery District:

In the case of MaRS we should recall that it was $50.5 million of Ontario taxpayer dollars that first funded them when Dalton McGuinty was the Premier as noted in a 2005 Press Release.  Another $20 million came from the Federal Government.  Since then the province has annually provided them with $20/30 million and the Federal Government with a few million more.  Additionally most will recall the taxpayers back in 2014 bailed them out of their “Phase 2” $344 million expansion.  In their latest CRA filing they record spending $653 thousand on advertising and promotion and raised $528 thousand for which they issued charitable receipts.  Better than Greenbelt but, they still didn’t cover their “A and D spending”!  Major expenditures included $7.5 million on office supplies, $4.4 million on consulting and professional fees, $23.1 million on compensation, $12,3 million on management and administration and $14.4 million on “other expenditures”!  They then have the audacity to suggest and report $40.6 was spent on “charitable activities” but for some unknown reason are not required to report who the beneficiaries were of their largess with our tax dollars.  Needless to say, they lost $3.4 million yet they have 62 people on the recent Sunshine list! Many of those** they funded or provided with their “expert” advice and our tax dollars are reputedly connected to the MaRS “cleantech” sector.

Ontario Trillium Foundation:

As noted above the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is not registered as a charity however, in their most recent year-end financial statement they record having pledged $108,148,100 in grants to numerous parties.  Their year-end, March 31, 2019, discloses over 410 grants averaging approximately $263,000 with several spread over 2 or 3 years and many of them are true “charities”.  Never-the-less sprinkled among them are grants to the likes of Tides Canada (annual revenue of $35.9 million) and the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) with annual revenue of $29.8 million and a few smaller ones. Donations to other “climate change” charities in the past were much higher and went to: David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina, WWF, Environmental Defence, Sierra Club, etc. etc. Perhaps those now responsible for handing out our hard-earned tax dollars at OTF realized the meaning of what a “charitable institution” really is? Despite the foregoing it should be up to us taxpayers to pick the charity we would support which would eliminate the approximately $30 million of expenses they incur for administration, compensation, etc. Let us decide where some of our taxes should go!

At the present time the three “charities”, briefly reviewed, are providing no meaningful contribution to the pandemic and instead are consuming tax dollars that may be better applied to keep the province from collapsing in an economic heap.  Those 78 employees on the “Sunshine” list could be redeployed to actually contribute to the real charitable activities currently needed.

Our governments must make decisions now to consider our economic future and not penalize our younger generation by creating insurmountable debt.

*Full disclosure.  The writer is a member of a small charitable organization (40 members) and each and every member is paid absolutely NOTHING.

**Represented by 56 “startups” whom MaRS reputedly helped to reach that stage.

OPG’s Record Results for 2019

The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced their financial results March 12, 2020 for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the media appears to have been so focused on Covid-19 to even notice.  At first glance the $1,126 million of after-tax income reported appears to be less than 2018’s $1,195 million but the latter includes after-tax income of $205 million associated with the sale of the Lakeview Generating Station and unrelated to earnings from power generation.

Power generation was 77.8 TWh (terawatt hours) in 2019 versus 74 TWh in 2018 and gross revenue climbed by $485 million from $5,537 million to $6,022 million.  Payments, in lieu of taxes, were $190 million versus $141 million in 2019. All-in, the province will be able to include $1,316 million as revenue.  That, as Scott Luft points out, is a long way from covering the $5.5 billion in costs for the “Ontario Electricity Rebate”* (OER) for the upcoming March 31st year-end budget.

Noted in the financial report is the following: “The Enterprise Total Generating Cost (TGC) per megawatt hour (MWh) was $50.82 for 2019, compared to $53.24 for 2018.”  While it appears the claim in this statement is the cost of generating a MWh decreased on a year over year basis, OPG do not define what is included in the “TGC” calculation.  One should suspect a number of substantial costs, paid by ratepayers, are not included in the TGC!

This writer’s preference is to calculate the actual costs per MWh by simply dividing gross revenue by actual generation.  If one does that calculation for 2019 for OPG; the per MWh cost is simply $6,022 million (total revenue) divided by 77.8 TWh (generation reported).  Resulting from this calculation; the cost per MWh for 2019 was $77.40/MWh or 7.74 cents/kWh (kilowatt hour).  Ratepayers in the province would be happy if that was the average of TOU (time-of-use) rates, but ratepayers know, other factors played a role in increasing costs.  Wind and solar generation have driven prices up over the past 10 years by over 100% due to above market, contracted prices and the inability of wind and solar to generate power when it is actually needed causing us to export surplus generation for pennies on the dollar to our neighbours.

Looking back in OPG’s past is interesting.  If one reviews their financial statements for 2009 (the year the GEA was passed) the same calculation as noted above indicates a per MWh cost of $60.97 (6.1 cent/kWh). That means we have seen an increase of $16.43 per MWh or 26.9% over the 10 years!   Ontario’s inflation rate over those same 10 years was 17.97% so the cost of OPG’s generation over that time-frame was slightly above Ontario’s inflation rate.

While we can commend OPG for keeping their costs of generation at reasonable levels it is unclear why they suddenly went south of the border to acquire a string of hydro electric generating stations at a cost of C$1.12 billion. The acquisition of Cube Hydro (merged with Eagle Creek Renewable Energy) adds 627 MW of (mainly) hydro electric capacity but does absolutely nothing (on its surface) to benefit Ontario ratepayers.  As a provincial crown corporation their focus should be to ensure the delivery of cheap reliable power to Ontario ratepayers!

We ratepayers will need to keep our eyes fixed on OPG to ensure they don’t loose sight of their mission which is noted on their website as “ Ontario Power Generation’s mission is to provide low-cost power in a safe, clean, reliable and sustainable manner for the benefit of our customers and shareholder.”

*The OER replaced the Wynne led governments “Fair Hydro Plan” subsidizing rates for residential customers.

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices should “fact check”

Back in 1989 (thirty-one years ago) Noel Brown, a senior UN environmental official told the Associated Pressentire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” Brown noted the Maldives would be under water as the oceans would rise by three feet. While the Maldives weren’t mentioned in the recent report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC), “rising sea levels” were; as one of, “the main hazards and conditions on the way to 2050.”

The year 2000 has come and gone but to the best of my knowledge no nations have disappeared due to rising sea levels. The Maldives recently announced they are opening four new airports in the current year.  The lack of them being under water however, hasn’t deterred the numerous “experts” involved with the CICC.  Higher sea level concerns for Atlantic Canada and BC were also included in the report by the Canadian Council of Academies (CCA) in their July 2019 report; the forerunner of the CICC’s report.  As pointed out in an earlier article CCA’s disclaimer under “Conclusions” saw them opting out of everything forecast in their report.  Despite the opt out position taken by the CCA the media only focused on the disastrous message.  Reuters noted the CCA report was a follow up to one from Minister McKenna’s ministry and reported:  “Canada’s unique geographic, environmental, and social identity shapes the hazards that it faces and its exposure to climate-related risks,” Eric M. Meslin, president and CEO of the CCA, said in the press release.”

Returning to the issue of “flooding” the CICC’s report on page 19 touts the Netherlands for their leading-edge ability to control flooding “even though a quarter of the country is below sea level.”  What those “experts” failed to note is “The low-lying Netherlands has been fighting back water for more than 1,000 years, when farmers built the first dykes.“  A search turned up an article confirming “flooding” in the Netherlands is not a recent event caused by the effects C0 2 on the atmosphere or melting artic ice!

The CICC’s report also highlighted severe flooding in Thailand in 2011 as if it was a one-off event.They ignored the probable cause which had nothing to do with “climate change”!  Had they looked back to 1942 they would have discovered a more severe flood and a YouTube video  highlighting the damage before “global warming”, the “climate crisis” or “increased emissions” was even a concept. Again, a simple search on the web by the CICC “experts” would have generated information as to why the 2011 flood occurred. One they may have found was a report by Richard Meehan, a civil engineer and adjunct faculty at Stanford University.  Mr. Meehan’s biography notes he “began his career designing and building irrigation and flood control works in Thailand in the 1960s”.

Mr. Meehan’s report notes: “Though monetary damages in the 2011 flood were unprecedented, the flood itself was not an extreme natural event, hydrological statistics variously suggesting a 30 to 75 year return period for a similar flood.”  The report states the reason for the monetary damages was essentially because “of poorly drained swampy lands on the lower Chao Phraya floodplain, including vast tracts of former swamps and riceland now occupied by very large industrial “estates” (or industrial parks in western terms), each the size of a city and home to hundreds of modern manufacturing plants developed in the 1970s and after.”  The message is clear: don’t build homes or industries in flood prone areas or at some point in the future the damages from a flood will be costly to you and/or your insurer!

The Charting our Course report does sprinkle in some benefits to “global warming” such as: “parts of Canada could benefit from warmer temperatures. Warmer winters could, for example, result in fewer cold-related deaths and illnesses and lower heating costs for households and businesses. Warmer temperatures in spring, summer, and fall could also open new tourism opportunities that previously did not exist.”

The following paragraph in the report however dispels those benefits by stating: “any benefits in a high-emissions scenario are likely temporary and short-lived. Benefits diminish as extreme climate events become more common and intense. Fewer deaths due to extreme cold are offset by more deaths from extreme heat*. Savings in heating bills are offset by increased use of air-conditioners in the summer.

It is interesting the word “likely” is used as it signals the 79 “experts” spending $20 million of our tax dollars are not really convinced those “high-emissions” will actually cause the damages they profess!

Despite the foregoing our senses should tell us the “experts” will ultimately recommend we need much higher carbon taxes to save the world from the likely “climate crisis”.

They might change their mind if they actually did proper research and “fact checked” their conclusions!

*Debunked in:  The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices is “Charting our Course”

A new decade starts with climbing electricity prices in Ontario

IESO just released their January 2020 Monthly Market Report and it brought ratepayers and taxpayers more bad news.  Consumption in the first month of 2020 was down by around 599,000 MWh (what 855,000 average Ontario household’s consume monthly) or 4.7% compared to January 2019.

Consuming less however, cost us more, thanks to the way the McGuinty/Wynne led governments ruled the Province granting renewable energy; “must-take”, contracts at high prices!

Costs were up even though wind generation in January 2020 was down from 2019 by about 216,000 MWh (including curtailed).  Unfortunately consuming so much less had a negative effect on market prices as IESO sold off more generation to our neighbours.  Net exports increased from 1,106,328 MWh to 1,605,552 year over year, up 45.1% and the HOEP average price received for those exports for 2020 was only $14.82 MWh versus $27.82 the prior year.  Wind was not needed either year as in 2019 it was 93.7% of Ontario’s gross exports (1,637,496 MWh) and in 2020 it was 68.7% (1,364,869 MWh).

The drop in the market price (HOEP) of $13/MWh was more than offset by the climb in the Global Adjustment (GA) which increased from $80.85/MWh in 2019 to $102.31/MWh in 2020.  The increase in the GA had a much higher negative effect on Class B ratepayers driving up that portion of costs to 10.24 cents/kWh in 2020 versus 8.08 cents/kWh in 2019.  The foregoing represents a 26.7% increase whereas Class A ratepayers were not as affected seeing their share of the GA climb from 5.32 cents/kWh to 5.66 cents/kWh, an increase of 6.4%.

What the foregoing means is the GA portion of electricity costs to Class B ratepayer, year over year, increased $139.7 million to $911.4 million for just the first month of the new decade despite a reduction in consumption of almost 600,000 MWh. Class A ratepayers saw increased costs of $11.9 million to $196.4 million on a consumption increase of only 3,000 MWh.

Let’s try reverse

Maybe the time has come to drop rates for Class B ratepayers so they would consume more and ironically cause the GA rate to decrease and the all-in price to drop!  Failing that, drop the rate for those small and medium sized Class B businesses so they have competitive electricity prices that would allow them to increase their profits, hire additional staff and in the process consume more electricity!

Time to turn the McGuinty/Wynne Ontario axiom “consuming less, costs more” upside down!

PS: Thanks to Scott Luft of Cold Air for his wind data.

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices says it louder

Should one read a report titled; “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks” issued July 2019 by the “Expert Panel” on “Climate Change Risks and Adaptation Potential” you would probably think the “Charting our Course” report recently issued by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) was an update but it wasn’t!  What a comparison of the two reports highlight is words spoken by the former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, who said: “if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it,”.  The latest CICC report exemplifies her quote and us taxpayers have provided the CICC with $20 million to ensure we “totally believe it”!

How many times can you flog a dead horse?

The first report’s “Expert Panel” are part of the “Canadian Council of Academies”. The council, launched in 2002, has managed to survive on $45 million of our tax dollars for the past 18 years. They are required to produce five reports annually when directed by the Federal Government.  Their report on Canada’s climate change risks came about as a result of a direction from the Treasury Board of Canada.  Seven (7) individuals on CCA’s “expert panel” and “workshop participants” are a part of CICC’s “expert” group and another eight (8) of those experts at the CICC were also cited as references in the CCA’s report.  One of those was Blair Feltmate, Chair of the Intact Centre at Waterloo University. Needless to say, both reports lean heavily on the insurance industries information about how “climate change” has increased insurance claims.  Catastrophes are forecast in both reports and similar comparisons are made to past events blaming them on “climate change”. The latter includes the Fort McMurray wildfires with estimated insurance claims of $1.4 billion. The CBC reported on the fire stating: “Provincial wildfire investigators have established that the fire was most likely the result of “human activity.”

On page 2 of the CCA’s report they have a map of Canada and have highlighted 10 of “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks” and one of them is: “Lower Great Lakes water levels, affecting shipping, hydropower production, and recreation”.  As noted above the CCA report was published in July 2019 two years after Ontarians were told Lake Ontario had just experienced a “100-year flood”. Even worse flooding occurred in 2019 setting new records.  Apparently the “experts” involved in preparing the report failed to absorb the well-publicized news at that time and said nothing about “Plan 2014”!

Akin to the foregoing, CCA’s report contained statements such as: “Houses located in a floodplain, for instance, face greater risk due to their heightened exposure.”  Hardly enlightening news!

As if to excuse the diatribe spewed by the CCA expert’s report, their “Conclusions” had this to say:

Assessments of the risks posed by climate change are subject to many sources of uncertainty. Climate projections and modelling results provide an envelope of possible futures associated with different GHG emissions trajectories, but the exact path of global emissions and the full implications for the climate, combined with other natural and anthropogenic processes, remain unknown.

The CCA report therefore concludes with total disclosure they have no faith in anything contained in the prior 59 pages of their report.  Perhaps this is why former Minister McKenna took the next step to create the Canadian Institute for Climate Change and handed them $20 million of our tax dollars for a report supporting her views.

She obviously wanted her minions to “say it louder”!

Stay tuned for more.

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.