Greener than a sack of hammers

I saw this tweet from Cherise Burda – the Ontario director of the Pembina Institute

It’s one of those statements that looks intelligent if it comes from somebody who is presentable as being intelligent.

It isn’t.

The “Provincial Gas Tax” is shown as 14.3 cents per litre in both pies, and there is no indication in the tweet, pies, or reality, that the carbon content of a litre of gasoline has changed. Burda’s description of that as a “REVERSE CARBON TAX” is dumber than her understanding of when a capital letter is appropriate.

This is why I am hesitant on a carbon taxation; the most vocal proponents don’t speak intelligently on the topic, and they aren’t looking for a tool that will allow markets to find carbon mitigation measures – they are usually looking for a revenue tool to carry on their pet idiocy.



I don’t see any substantial changes since I wrote A tool to heal, a tool to steal



Participate in PECFN’s BioBlitz at Ostrander Point, August 9-10, 2014

This is an excellent opportunity to learn about an environment Toronto’s government intends to neglect.

CCSAGE Naturally Green

BioBlitz poster FINAL low colour-page-001 Click on image to enlarge


Public invited to help inventory the biologically significant Ostrander Point.

Prince Edward County (July 30, 2014) – The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are hosting the county’s first ever BioBlitz at Ostrander Point. The event runs over a 24 hour period from noon on Saturday August 9 to noon on Sunday August 10, 2014 and includes guided tours for the public focussing on how to identify a variety of species from plants to birds, insects and amphibians and reptiles.

Ostrander Point is located within the South Shore Important Bird Area, a site recognized globally for its importance to birds and biodiversity.

“Much of the biodiversity of the South Shore Important Bird Area has not been identified” notes Myrna Wood of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists Club. Wood continues “Ostrander Point was the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing during which…

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Thumbs down on finding high fives: a Class A problem

I posted this to yesterday – which is hid (to me) by gremlins this morning – so I am repeating the post here.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on why the IESO’s reporting of “Ontario demand” isn’t reflective of actual demand in Ontario. Embedded generation is lowering the demands on generators feeding directly into the IESO’s grid – and because much of it is solar, the IESO is reporting lower demand during sunnier hours.

Omitting embedded solar generation has changed the demand profile indicated by the IESO’s reporting. Today is a good example of what’s happening and how it can impact the hours chosen to determine global adjustment shares for Class A customers, which are implemented to allocate significant charges for an entire 12-month billing period.

  • The IESO forecast a peak demand at hour 17 (5-6pm), at 20,295MW
  • The IESO now reports peak demand at hour 19 (7-8pm) at 20,388MW

I’ve pulled the estimated embedded generation forecast for hours 13-20, adjusted that to account for all embedded solar [1] added that to the IESO’s reported demand, adjusted for line loss and other legacy embedded generation… and the problem of finding the day’s peak is displayed:

image (10)


“Load” is estimated here to estimate line loss and legacy embedded sources – and it still peaks in hour 16 or 17, as it always has.

Confusing and unconvincing?Read More »

Estimating production from Ontario’s solar panels

I posted this to yesterday – which has some gremlins this morning, so I’m double posting here

When the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) released data projections made in supporting the development of Ontario’s latest Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) they showed the cost of purchasing generation from solar would grow about $280 million in 2014 (in 2012 dollars), and $443 million in 2015. The OPA anticipated that 45% of the growth in in generation costs from 2013 through 2015 would be due to the costs of purchasing production from solar panels.


45% of the cost increase over a 2 year period puts solar, in 2015, as about 1% of supply but 10% of total supply cost (according to the OPA work for the LTEP).

I’ve spent some time trying to incorporate hourly estimates of solar input into my tracking of Ontario electricity data. It’s not easy, and it’s dynamic, so I’m writing this post to explain how I’m estimating solar production, why my estimates change, why they are better than anything else most, if not all, will see – and what the estimates show.

For most generation, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)  Hourly Generator Output and Capability Report provides an production,, and the capacities of the generators can be established. The level of data available for these generators is what is desired for solar output.

Wind reporting indicates the shortcomings of IESO generator reporting:

  1. the IESO reports only generation directly on the IESO grid
  2. the IESO reports only on generation sources beyond a certain capacity (10 MW?)
  3. the IESO’s supply summary page does not provide useful total capacity figures

The first two points are greater concerns with solar as most solar generators are “embedded” in local distribution company (LDC) and/or under 10MW in stated capacity. On the third point, of stated capacity, the IESO’s supply overview page currently shows 1824MW of installed wind generation capacity. That may mean something in terms of internal IESO definitions, but the true installed wind capacity is much more meaningfully provided in the OPA Quarterly Progress Reports on Electricity Supply. According to the OPA, at the end of March 2014 “in service” contracted wind capacity was 2762MW; OPA reporting show the IESO’s claimed 1824MW was exceeded over 30 months ago, by the end of 2011.Read More »

Wind: talk’n ’bout junk generation

I saw that Alberta was setting demand records the past couple of days, so I visited the Alberta Electricity System Operator (AESO) website to see how wind generation contributed to meeting peak demand.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t

AESO Daily Market Report, July 15, 2014
AESO Daily Market Report, July 15, 2014 from

I say not surprisingly because I’ve written on this before, in July 2012.

Alberta has some comparatively strong wind resources, and seeing that it gets most electricity from coal, I can’t feel too strongly about the increase in wind turbines there.

However, the lull during this latest record does again demonstrate that industrial wind turbine output has little capacity value, can’t displace firm generation, and is a low quality, low value, electricity generation source.


heroes and villains: Steyer, Kochs, McKibben, the Toronto Star…

American firster Bill BcKibben has written a staunch defence of coal billionaire Tom Steyer, aka sugar daddy, which includes, in the concluding paragraph (emphasis added).

While the Times was busy trying to shame Steyer for the crime of changing his mind, real journalists at the Toronto Star were completing an investigation into the extent of the Koch holdings in the far north. Piecing together all the scattered data, they found that they control an astonishing 1.1 million acres of the tarsands, and that they are huge contributors to all the “thinktanks” and campaigns trying to build Keystone and other pipelines. And there’s nothing even remotely hypocritical about it –– it’s just disgusting.

maybe that’s not what’s disgusting.

Read More »