Electric vehicles poor value proposition

I take little joy in that title, but…

With electric vehicle sales declining, at least in North America, and replacement rates reportedly demonstrating decreasing loyalty to “alt fuel” vehicles, an increasingly rare post from the wonderful “Do the Math” blog demands attention.

For me, energy is a hobby. I buy an expensive car and expensive solar batteries because I want to learn more about their pros and cons. In part, I am glad that I can export what I learn to the people. Most folks do not have the financial or technical capabilities to look into possibly-hyped technologies and report, free of financial agenda.

I am yet not personally convinced that we will see an EV revolution. Gasoline price fluctuations are a short-term killer of long-term planning. Batteries still do, and likely always will, disappoint. I am learning similar lessons on the nickel-iron battery front. We may have to face the fact that gasoline has been the ultimate transportation fuel, and the economists’ picture of universal substitutability may not apply. If EVs can never really outperform gasoline in cost, ease/simplicity, convenience, and robustness—and if they remain expensive to own and maintain, from where will the prosperity derive for us to all have such marvelous toys?

– read the entire post: Do the Math: My Chicken of an EVRead More »

Letters: “Conservation works” … NOT

Ontario Minister Chiarelli has emoted a letter responding to Brady Yauch’s excellent piece on the province’s gluttonous “conservation” spending.
Chiarelli’s letter is targeted to Ontarians with lower bills.
They’ll be difficult to find. “Over the past four years, Ontarians have done something remarkable” states Chiarelli, but the Annual Yearbook of Distributors demonstrates quite the opposite – Ontarians have been done something remarkable:
In 2010 Ontario’s distributors had “Power and Distribution Revenue” of $12.8 billion and delivered 121.1 terawatt-hours (TWh)
In 2014 Ontario’s distributors had “Power and Distribution Revenue” of $16.7 billion and delivered 119.8 terawatt-hours (TWh)
That’s an increase of 30.5% collected for less consumption but, apparently, having “conserved enough energy to power a city the size of London for two years or every hospital in the province for a year.”
I recently showed that in the past 4 years “Ontario has been a net exporter of enough electricity to power the province’s libraries for 437 years.”

Financial Post

Re: “A $2.6-billion stimulus for Ontario” by Brady Yauch, Aug 11

I was intrigued to read a recent editorial in this paper that discouraged Ontario’s efforts to promote conservation in our electricity system and help families and businesses save on their electricity bills. Brady Yauch calls for Ontario to end a program he thinks has been too successful. That’s a strange conclusion to draw when we know the energy savings Ontarians have achieved have resulted in lower bills.

Over the past four years, Ontarians have done something remarkable. Working together, we’ve conserved enough energy to power a city the size of London for two years or every hospital in the province for a year. That’s a lot to be proud of.

This isn’t time to change course and abandon a plan that with every dollar invested results in two dollars in savings. Ontario’s most reliable resource is conservation. The less…

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Ontario’s Power Trip: How Hydro is walloping Ontario business

Parker Gallant summarizes the electricity situation as of July 14th, but things got more complicated with the release of final July global adjustment figures on the 17th.
New splits for global adjustment classes took effect July 1, and for the new 12-month period the “class A” scheme hasn’t worked to shift cost away from large users nearly as well as it has in the past.
Industry can’t handle higher prices, but it’s high time the “stakeholders” turned their attention to actual cost controls – such as Spain’s action on renewable energy contracts – instead of sleight of hand tricks to get preferential treatments for their sector.

Financial Post

Over the past several months there has been a constant din of noise from all business segments in Ontario about the high price of electricity and its effects. Electricity prices have risen as they have absorbed the high costs of 20-year contracts for renewable energy in the form of wind and solar as additions to Ontario’s electricity grid. Ontario currently has a huge surplus which results in as much as 20 per cent of our generation exported at fire sale prices. Couple that with a drop in demand, annual spending of $400 million on conservation messages, smart meters that allow time of use (TOU) pricing and the Hydro One, OPG and other Ministry of Energy employees enjoying wages and benefits that outstrip the private sector means electricity bills for all segments of businesses and households are now a drain on the economy versus an attraction for new business and the…

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Ontario is conserving little energy – even less sanity

In the past 48 months Ontario has been a net exporter of enough electricity to power the province’s libraries for 437 years … or so one could claim based on the misleading claims in an official tweet linking to the latest obnoxious irrelevant claim from the Ontario’s government saveonenergy site:

Over the past four years, you, and Ontarians like you, have done something remarkable. You’ve helped to make Ontario a province of energy savers. You’ve saved enough to power:

A city the size of London for almost two years or
Every hospital and social service centre in the province for almost one year or
Ontario’s libraries for 50 years or
Ontario’s community centres and public cultural facilities for more than 18 years
That’s a lot to be proud of.

Thank you for making energy conservation a priority and for doing what you can to save electricity. Whether it’s switching to energy-efficient lighting, purchasing energy-efficient appliances and equipment, or retrofitting your home or business, it all adds up to six terawatt-hours [TWh] in electricity savings.

so where is this “saved” electricity?

Saved isn’t an appropriate term for the reduction in demand accompanying the 1.6 TWh of wind and nuclear supply curtailed in 2014, along with “OPG’s 3.2 TWh of lost [hydro] generation due to SBG [surplus baseload generation] conditions” – a steep increase from the1.7 TWh of potential hydro OPG curtailed in 2013.

The situation is worse than simply having curtailed public hydro supply, and other essentially emissions free supply at a level far exceeding claims of “saving” or “conservation.” A great deal of generation Ontario committed to purchase has been dumped to exporters.Read More »