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Alternative (Energy) Facts – from Environmental Defence, et al.

I started receiving messages last night on a sorta report by Environmental Defence (ED), and as I am still receiving them, I thought I’d write some thoughts – if only to simply copy a link when again asked for my thoughts.

Here is how ED’s Keith Brooks begins a blog post on their latest “work”:

Electricity prices in Ontario have risen in recent years, putting the squeeze on some Ontario residents and businesses. There are many reasons for the increase in electricity prices and renewable energy is one of them.  However, the role of renewables in diving up electricity bills has been vastly exaggerated.

I wrote on a poor 2014 ED work and noted their new backgrounder contains a graphic with the same information as Figure 1 of their 2014 work. Without acknowledging any level of competency in the compilation of data for either ED graphic, here’s the elements of residential electricity bills as they report them for 2016 and 2014:

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Perhaps the “role of renewables in driving up electricity bills” is perceived as being significant because:

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Conservation: wasted in Ontario

If you follow my work you already knew of natural gas-fired power plants having their contracts essentially bought out. Antonella Artuso has provided the opportunity to read the story presented with the skill of a professional journalist – and she uncovered an estimate on the savings provided:

“Atlantic Power Corp. has announced it is idling plants in North Bay, Kapuskasing and Nipigon but will be paid until the end of its contract on Dec. 31, 2017, while Northland Power’s Iroquois Falls facility says it will produce less power until April.

TransAlta Corp. has stated that its new contract provides a fixed monthly payment until Dec. 31, 2018, with “no delivery obligations.”…

The IESO will not provide information on how much the NUGs are paid, but told the Toronto Sun that the replacement NUG contracts will generate “ratepayer savings of up to $53 million over the next two years.

Included in my post on the same topic;

Should numbers be disclosed, the value of the IESO’s employees in “conservation” roles could be established. The difference between the cost of not having supply from the four contracts redone/bought-out for 2017 and having that generation should benchmark the price of conservation to evaluate spending in that area.”

So now that we have a number of “up to” $53 million, I’ll use that to estimate the value of the IESO’s conservation spending.Read More »

sbgestimate

Spilling: Ontario’s water taxes and surplus baseload generation

Following a recent post in which I displayed the growth in hours the market failed to produce a positive price for electricity I was advised a much better indication of Ontario having too much committed supply is when the price exceeds the taxes on hydroelectric generators. I’ve since performed some research, and analysis, that do show this is a better methodology for estimating periods of surplus baseload generation (SBG).

The Ontario Ministry of Finance shows two charges levied on hydro-electric (hdyro) generators: property taxes and a water rental charge of 9.5% of “a stations’s gross revenue from annual generation”. The property tax escalates with the production level: 2.5% (of revenues) on the first 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh),  4.5% on the next 350 GWh, 6% on the next 300 GWh, and 26.5% on all annual generation above 700 GWh. This makes the top rate 36% (combining water rental and property tax).

OPG’s hydro generators have a number of rates, but all are between $40 per megawatt-hour (MWh), and $45/MWh. For simplicity, I picked $15/MWh (36% of $41.67/MWh) to query IESO data in order to estimate the percentage of hours  Ontario has experienced surplus baseload generation.Read More »

Surplus power: the other side of wind’s “success story”

Great post from Parker Gallant

Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives

Napanee gas plant: more flexible resources needed to offset intermittent wind -- trouble is, they also push emissions up Napanee gas plant: more flexible resources needed to offset intermittent wind — trouble is, they also push emissions up

January 23, 2017

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) summarized their submission on Ontario’s long-term energy plan (LTEP) to the IESO on their website.  “Ontario is the Canadian leader in clean wind energy with 4,781 megawatts of installed capacity, supplying about 5 per cent of the electricity that Ontarians depend on,” CanWEA said. “Wind has been the largest source of new electricity generation across Canada over the past decade. Over this time, costs have come down as capacity factors have increased.”

Here’s the other side of that apparent success story. It’s not as rosy as CanWEA, the wind power industry lobbyist, would like you to believe.

The IESO just released the 2016 Electricity Data indicating industrial wind turbines (IWT) were responsible for the generation of 9.0 terawatts (TWh) of power, representing…

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Ontario electricity powers 2.5 million homes in Michigan and New York

During the past decade’s green dumbing down of electricity communication the standard unit of output became the “home”. The unit is derived from dividing the annual output of a generator (usually one with unpredictably sporadic production) by the average annual consumption of a residential consumer. I updated my databases with the latest (2015) US EIA data, grabbed what the IESO admits to importing and exporting, and graphed out Ontario’s net exports to New York and Michigan in the trendy “homes” unit.

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Industrial wind turbine industry found dead in Ontario

North American Windpower has Mark Del Franco Eulogizing Ontario’s Wind Industry

Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to pay our respects to Ontario’s utility-scale wind industry, which has passed away from unnatural causes (a lack of government support).
Those of you knew who knew Ontario will recall it was a place of great passion for renewable energy. In just a short time, Ontario grew to become Canada’s leading wind province. And with the passage of its Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009 – which introduced North America’s first feed-in tariff – the province became a leader on the global stage. Those were good times. Soon after the act’s unveiling, global energy players, such as Samsung Renewable Energy and turbine manufacturer REpower Systems (now Senvion), as well as U.S. developers, such as Invenergy and Pattern Energy Group, set up shop north of the border. And Ontario was also an early pioneer of climate change. In 2014, the place rid itself of coal-fired generation.

You could continue reading at the wind site, but at this point let me remind you the industry did remarkably well considering it was born with neither a brain nor a heart.

It’s survivors seem to be similarly lacking in intelligence and empathy.
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Climate Heretic: to be or not to be?

Judith Curry discusses 3 thought provoking articles – all worth a full read.

“The truly astonishing thing about all this is how little climate heretics – such as myself, Roger Pielke, and Matt Ridley – actually diverge from the consensus science position: RP Jr. hews strictly to the IPCC consensus; Matt Ridley is on the lukewarm side of the IPCC consensus, and I have stated that the uncertainties are too large to justify high confidence in the consensus statements.

RP Jr and Matt Ridley provide appalling examples of the personal and arguably unethical attacks from other scientists, journalists, elected politicians and others with government appointments.

Scott Adams provides some genuine (and as always, humorous) insights into the psychology behind the dynamics of the climate debate.

As to the question: to be or not to be a climate heretic?

I’m planning a climate heretic blog post shortly after the first of the year. After seeing RP Jr’s title, perhaps I will title it ‘Happy Heretic’ (stay tuned). Here’s to hoping that the Age of Trump will herald the demise of climate change dogma and acceptance of a broader range of perspectives on climate science and our policy options .”

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

On experts, lukewarmers, and unhappy heretics.

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