Adams and McKitrick: How green energy is fleecing Ontario electricity consumers

Tom Adams and Ross McKitrick have a column in the Financial Post which promotes their study being released tomorrow by the Fraser Institute.

This promises to be a report I’ll appreciate, having noted many times the systemic costs of growing intermittent renewables (very recently here)

How green energy is fleecing Ontario electricity consumers 

Green industry advocates, including the consulting firm Power Advisory and advocacy group Environmental Defense, have added up the direct payments to new renewable generators, and concluded that since those costs are relatively small, the impact of renewables on the total cost of power is likewise small.

However, such analyses ignore the indirect costs that arise from the way renewables interact with the rest of the power system. Adding renewable generating capacity triggers changes throughout the system that multiply costs for consumers through a mechanism called the Global Adjustment. Our new study, released Wednesday by the Fraser Institute, quantifies the impacts of different types of new generators on the Global Adjustment. The analysis pinpoints what causes the raw deal for consumers.

…Our analysis unpacking the costs of different types of generation shows that the consumer impact of new renewables substantially exceeds the direct payments to those generators by as much as 3 to 1. And renewables are a big part of the problem: Wind and solar systems provided less than 4% of Ontario’s power in 2013 but accounted for 20% of the commodity cost paid by Ontarians.

The entire article can be read, and commented on, at the Financial Post



Cost of energy in EU according to Ecofys

“…note how the ground keeps shifting, but always in such a way as to inflate costs for nuclear power and fossil fuels.”

Jani-Petri Martikainen’s blog may lead to additional reading. Hopefully that includes a recent post of mine commenting on the same Ecofys study: Levlised Cost confusion disguises rate impact of intermittent renewables


Recently a report on energy costs prepared for EU commission by the consulting company Ecofys crossed the news threshold in many places. Usually it has been reported as being “the EU report”, but EU commision states “The views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the European Commission’s views. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information given in the studies, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.” So the report has not been “endorsed” by EU commision (although paying Ecofys for the report is bad enough). Ecofys did the work on WWF bioenergy-heavy renewables-only energy vision and is widely linked and quoted by environmentalists in Europe.

Following quote from WWF report captures quite well, why I am not a fan. “Ecofys estimates that…

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A Young Person’s Guide to Nuclear Advocacy

More good advocacy advice from Australia – a country with no commerical reactors generating electricity in a system with very high emissions.

The Actinide Age

So you want to advocate for nuclear power? You liked the look of thorium, did  your research, and have concluded that conventional nuclear power has been unfairly maligned since the 70s? You saw Pandora’s Promise and can’t fathom why we don’t have the IFR? Or maybe you lie in bed at night wondering what sort of climate-disrupted, energy-starved world your young children will have to face in twenty years time?

Everyone’s reasons and journeys are different, but the necessity of nuclear energy will effect us all the same way. You already have allies in physics and history, and the call for rational energy planning grows steadily stronger.



Before doing anything else, you need to get comfortable with your units. I prefer terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) because a) everyone’s heard of kilowatt hours, and b) it is an equivalent of the more familiar megawatts (MW – there’s a million MWs…

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Barack Obama’s standards pollution

Strange moment in history of the word “standard”

Feeling unable to pass climate legislation through the legislative bodies of the country he was elected President of, Barack Obama turned to the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set regulations on the emissions of carbon dioxide.

The New York Times reported early in July that a lobby group produced much of the complex legislation, and because it’s an anti-nuclear lobby group, Rod Adams of Atomic Insights was noting by the end of the summer that the complex regulation appeared to reward states for replacing nuclear with natural gas.

The other day I read a tweet attributing the following graph to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF):

Curious, I hopped over to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and grabbed a couple of data tables from the most recent Electric Power Annual page.

I’ve calculated the CO2 intensity per kWh (CIPK – g/kWh) for each state as per 2012 CO2 emissions and generation figures from the EIA data (in this spreadsheet), and produced the same type of chart, with the lowest CPIK states indicated in blue (as honest people assuming an honest President might think the states the EPA figures can increase emissions intensity currently have low emissions intensity), medium in grey, and the highest CPIK states in orange.

The graphs should allow people to draw their own conclusions, but here’s a few of the things that struck me:Read More »

Mainstream media in Canada over-hyping potential of renewables

This was first posted within a longer post on Cold Air Currents

In Canada, the focus on expanding industrial wind seems to be swinging to Alberta, although they are still swinging in Toronto too.

AESO 2013 Annual Market Statistics

CBC news somewhat foolishly headlined an article built on a Lazard’s report, Solar, wind cost-competitive for peak energy, study finds:

As a source of peak energy — that is, power at times when there is the greatest demand on the electrical grid — photovoltaics are more flexible and cost-competitive than conventional technologies, Bilicic said

Bilicic apparently isn’t from around here, where Ontario returned to a winter peak in 2014 (early evenings), and Alberta always has had a winter peak – which I assume is also early evening. Solar is completely useless for those winter peaks, but certainly useful for summer peaks, and Bilicic has a point on solar for summer peaking jurisdictions.

Wind is demonstrably not reliable for summer peaks in Ontario, or Alberta. So it isn’t so much that it is not “cost-competitive for peak energy”, as that it’s not eligible for the competition.Read More »