Thursday, October 28, 2010
“The Samsung deal was perfectly in keeping with this government’s and this Ministry’s completely irresponsible handling of Ontario’s energy system.” Yakabuski said.
When the McGuinty Liberals announced the Samsung deal last January, even Members of the McGuinty cabinet were infuriated.
“The government surprised the public, the entire energy sector and even their own cabinet by signing this secret deal with Samsung.” Yakabuski said.
Despite the government’s lack of disclosure, the Premier was forced to admit that the deal contained no job guarantees despite a $437 million subsidy.
According to a column by Randall Denley in the Ottawa Citizen of Jan. 24, 2010, the jobs claimed by the McGuinty government in the Samsung deal will cost $300,000 each in public subsidies.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Seems the McGuinty Liberals have directed the Ontario Energy Board to require all regulated natural gas and electricity utilities to set aside 0.12% of their revenues for the purpose of subsidizing energy bills of low income Ontarians. This to be recovered from other's energy bills.
You will be paying even more for energy as a social program to transfer wealth from the middle class to the poor in the province hit by the "energy poverty" as they are now experiencing in the UK. A poverty of the government's making.
And this just may be the beginning.
It makes one wonder what the motives are here. Is this government, influenced by eco-freaks deliberately trying to destroy this civilization? It certainly looks that way. The only other option is they are stupid people running the show. I highly doubt those in power right now are that stupid. We have people in political and influential power whose purpose is to dismantle the middle class, capitalism and democracy.
I've tried my best to stay away from politics in this blog because high energy costs affect everyone regardless of your position on the political scale. But it is becoming harder and harder to separate the two. From my extensive experience dealing with people of the political left that they have one united goal -- end capitalism and establish an unelected single world government.
Make no mistake about this. From the founding of the IPCC by Maurice Strong (who has been quite outspoken about killing capitalism at any costs), to the current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's desire to implement "global governance", to the eco-nutcases running various NGOs around the world who wish us to return to a hunter/gathering lifestyle (and a correspondingly 99% cull in human numbers). These people are hell bent on labeling everyone living as a threat to the planet, and acting to fix that.
Friday, October 22, 2010
OTTAWA — Canada's inflation rate rose in September, driven largely by higher energy costs.
Annual inflation was running at 1.9 per cent last month, according to Statistics Canada's consumer-price index released Friday.
That followed a gain of 1.7 per cent in August, and was in line with economist expectations for September.
Much of the gain came from energy prices, which were 5.6 per cent higher than a year earlier. This included gasoline costs, which were up 3.1 per cent, and electricity, which was 7.7 per cent more expensive.
Overall inflation, on a year-to-year basis, has been on the rise in recent months after going as low as one per cent in June. The Bank of Canada's target inflation rate is two per cent cent. Higher energy prices in comparison to a year earlier have been a major component of inflation for a few months now, with this element seeing a five per cent rise in August.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile items such as energy and certain foods — and even the new harmonized sales taxes in British Columbia and Ontario — was 1.5 per cent last month. Economists expected the core rate to be 1.6 per cent, which it was in August. This measure, which is closely monitored by the central bank for underlying trends, has fallen from as much as 2.1 per cent in February.
Robert Kavcic, economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the "soft" core rate "highlights the fact that plenty of slack remains in the Canadian economy."
He added: "Inflation remains tame in Canada, which will allow the Bank of Canada to stay on hold (on interest rates) well into 2011."
The only major product category to see lower prices in September was clothing and footwear, prices for which were 2.2 per cent less than a year earlier.
Looking at the other main components: food prices were up 2.1 per cent; shelter costs were up 2.5 per cent; household operations, furniture and equipment up 1.4 per cent; transportation costs up 3.1 per cent; health and personal-care items up 2.1 per cent; recreation, education and reading up 0.7 per cent; and alcohol beverages and tobacco products were 2.4 per cent more expensive.
Provincially, Ontario had the highest inflation rate in September at 2.9 per cent. Newfoundland and Labrador was also above average at 2.3 per cent.
The lowest inflation rate was in Manitoba at 0.5 per cent, following by Prince Edward Island at 0.8 per cent and Alberta at 0.9 per cent
On a month-to-month basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 per cent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to a 0.1 per cent gain in August.
Annual inflation by province in September
Newfoundland and Labrador 2.3%
Prince Edward Island 0.8%
Nova Scotia 1.8%
New Brunswick 1.6%
British Columbia 1.6%
Some foreign — and even domestic — solar equipment manufacturers are complaining that Ontario’s buy-local policies will cost investment and jobs. It takes some gall to criticize dumb and damaging initiatives when your existence depends on them.
A group of photovoltaic producers — led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp. — is complaining that to receive Ontario’s super-premium rates for solar energy, projects must have a 60% local content. This, bleat the solar robber barons, is bad for the economy!
Worldwide, solar companies have been boosted by the policy pandemic of feed-in tariffs, whereby the high costs of uneconomic renewable power are averaged down with much cheaper conventional electricity sources. This is leading to sharp cost increases for consumers.
Takashi Sato, president of Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada, was reported as saying this week that “We are very encouraged by the FIT [feed-in-tariff] as far as a tariff program is concerned.”
You bet they are! Who wouldn’t want their industry subsidized by having consumers forced to pay multiples of the market price for a portion of their purchases?
“However,” continued Mr. Sato, “the program contains some poison because of the domestic content requirement.”
We beg to differ. The program is pure hemlock all the way through.
Japan has challenged Ontario’s Green Energy Act at the WTO, with the EU and United States cheering it on, but this is sheer hypocrisy, even if the Ontario government’s actions are indefensible (It remains to be seen whether Dalton McGuinty plans to go the Danny Williams route of flouting trade agreements in the knowledge that Ottawa has to pick up the bill).
The U.S. is complaining about China’s renewable industry subsidies, but China has fired back noting that a $60-billion-plus chunk of Mr. Obama’s stimulus package consisted of such subsidies, with “Buy American” clauses attached.
“What America is blaming us for is exactly what they do themselves,” said Mr. Zhang Guobao, vice-chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission. “Chinese subsidies to new energy companies are much smaller than those of the U.S. government. If the U.S. government can subsidize companies, then why can’t we?”
Well of course they can. The problem is that such actions are collectively suicidal.
When launching his own campaign of hypocrisy in Ontario, Mitsubishi’s Mr. Sato claimed that the solar industry was set to boom. Au contraire. The solar industry is headed for a crash, and any superficial buoyancy is not due to bright market prospects but to frenzied activity in anticipation of subsidy withdrawal. As usual, Icarus McGuinty appears a little slow on the uptake, still convinced he can bear the Ontario economy Sol-wards on waxy wings.
Spain had a similarly crazy policy that subsidized farmers to plough their orchards under and cover them with solar panels. Supposedly shrewd men of the soil invested to take advantage of a solar tariff of around 44¢ per kilowatt-hour, 10 times that paid to mainstream suppliers (but still way short of Ontario’s top rates of over 70¢).
When he unveiled a solar plant in 2007, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero declared, “We are a world power in this field, we are capable of exporting our technology and competing across five continents and we are today at the forefront of the renewable-energy industry.”
When Mr. Zapatero took a delegation to Washington a year ago, President Obama (who is to put more solar panels on the White House, just like Jimmy Carter) praised Spain as a model of green-energy-driven economic transformation.
It certainly is: the transformation to ruin.
Typical of such bold moves toward “sustainability,” Spain’s proved utterly unsustainable. Soon Madrid found itself saddled with upward of €126-billion of solar obligations. Investors wound up importing most solar equipment because domestic suppliers couldn’t meet the surge in demand. Studies indicated that each renewable job cost two regular jobs.
Spain, like most countries, has found itself with a surging deficit in the wake of the economic crisis. This in turn has forced it to renege on its commitments to high solar power prices. The response has been outrage from the solar industry, a slump in investment and a sharp drop in the price of solar panels. Critics point out that these government’s policy lurchings have damaged the investment climate more generally.
Anybody with half an economic brain could have seen that the universal policy urge to subsidize green energy was going to lead to both massive oversupply and unsustainable drainage of the public purse. Meanwhile we should remember that the whole green energy thrust is likely based on scientific sand.
As Czech President Vaclav Klaus pointed out in a speech this week to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (which was excerpted on this page yesterday), climate change is far more about political power and rent-seeking than science. The solar fiasco shows that this thrust is not merely dangerous to freedom, as President Klaus indicated, it is also fiscally suicidal.
Back in Ontario, meanwhile, Mr. Sato’s arm-twisting kicker is that unless foreign solar manufacturers get their full section of the subsidy trough, they may have to uproot and head for, well, even more stupid jurisdictions. That means Ontario might not be able to reach its renewable targets! We can only hope so.
Farewell, Mr. Sato. Don’t forget to send a postcard.
Financial Post, 22 October 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
In a surprise announcement earlier this month, the Ontario government pulled the plug on a new 900-megawatt gas generation plant in the Toronto suburb of Oakville. Since the contract to build the $1.3-billion plant had already been signed with TransCanada Corp., the provincial government is on the hook for undisclosed but likely substantial penalties. But there’s an even bigger surprise in the gas plant backdown. In announcing the reversal, Energy Minister Brad Duguid said the province was killing the plant because it no longer needed the power. “As we’re putting together an update to our Long-Term Energy Plan,” he said, “it has become clear we no longer need this plant in Oakville.”
The real surprise here is the reference to a “Long-Term Energy Plan.” No long-term plan exists, at least in any public sense. What does exist is a seven-year planning saga that has left a Keystone Kops trail of procedural mash-ups and a power policy shambles.
Few believe that the gas plant decision was anything more than a move to save the Liberals a couple of seats in the Oakville area, where a local protest movement brought in celebrity U.S. environmental icon Erin Brockovich to oppose the $1.3-billion project.
Mr. Duguid, pretending otherwise, makes it sound as if some orderly and rational process had determined precisely how much electricity Ontario will need in the future. But the history of long-term electricity planning under Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government and various energy ministers, including George Smitherman, now a candidate for mayor of Toronto, suggests anything but order and rationality.
The 900-megawatt plant Ontario now says it no longer requires was ordered only 12 months earlier based on a “directive” issued by Mr. Smitherman. In August 2008, Mr. Smitherman used his ministerial power to instruct the Ontario Power Authority to “move expeditiously” on the new Oakville power plant. “It would be prudent to finish this procurement process by the end of June 2009.” The OPA, which executes government policy in electricity, moved quickly and signed a deal with TransCanada in September 2009.
The Oakville reversal is the tail end of seven years of a bungled decision-making process grounded in runaway green activitism and rampant ad hoc-ery.The Liberals took over the electricity industry in 2003 with a high-profile claim that the province lacked a long-term plan. So it appointed the Ontario Power Authority in 2004 and assigned it the task: Create and submit a 20-year Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP) every three years.
To prepare for the 20-year IPSP, the government would establish a long-term outlook of how much electricity the province would need. Working with the OPA, the government would also determine what kinds of energy sources would be used to fulfill the expected demand. This was known as the “Supply-Mix Directive.”
Part of the objective was to fulfill a McGuinty election promise to shut down 6,500 megawatts of coal capacity, increase the use of renewables and create programs producing 6,300 megawatts of conservation. The mix directive also told the OPA how much of a share of the total market should be allocated to nuclear, gas, hydro, etc.
Armed with the long-term Supply-Mix Directive from the government, the OPA then produced a formal public document known as the IPSP — the Integrated Power Supply Plan.
In 2007, former OPA chairman Jan Carr met the three-year mandate and produced the first IPSP, a sprawling document that set out a 20-year strategy. Under the government-established process, that first IPSP was sent to the Ontario Energy Board for regulatory review in 2007. So far, so good.
But then the OEB started the IPSP review process amid requests from dozens of different parties who wished to intervene in the approval process.Tens of thousands of pages were filed by the OPA and interveners. The document list associated with the IPSP rose to include hundreds of filings on the OEB’s website. The public hearings went on for a year or more.
Then came another directive from Mr. Smitherman. In September 2008 — a month after he had ordered the Oakville plant — Mr. Smitherman ordered the OPA to prepare a new 20-year plan. Circumstances and policy had changed, he said, and it was time to “revisit” the 2007 IPSP that was then under review by the provincial regulator.
Today, almost four years after the first IPSP was produced in 2007, no plan exists. The first plan was never approved by the regulator. That first IPSP, moreover, has now somewhat mysteriously disappeared from its public perch on the regulator’s website. After three years of preparatory effort and four years dragging through regulatory review — thereby wasting 30% of the planning period — Ontario’s first IPSP appears to have vanished from the public record. During most of those years, the government ignored the contents of the IPSP and on an ad hoc basis dictated electricity development, making a mockery of the alleged regulatory system.
As a result, we have the minister of energy claiming to have a new long-term energy plan that nobody has seen to replace the old long-term energy plan that has never been approved and is also now not to be seen by anybody.
So who’s got the new 20-year plan for Ontario’s electricity needs? Where is it? What does it say? Does it exist?
Even more confusing was Mr. Duguid’s claim to have reached supply-and-demand conclusions regarding the Oakville plant based on an update to the Long-Term Energy Plan that he said last month would not be ready for several months. The IPSP, he said, would not be completed until 2011 — after the province had collected the results from an online survey of Ontario residents, conducted on the ministerial website. The survey, loaded with leading questions that favour government policy, is still underway. Given the way it’s being conducted, the final survey is guaranteed to endorse the government’s plans, which in turn are based on ministerial directives which in turn are based on … what?
This is planning run backwards: Issue the directives, then work up a long-term plan that fits around the directives.
And these directives have been substantial. While the official 20-year plan stumbled through the regulatory process on its way to nowhere, energy ministers have micromanaged the Ontario electricity system, from the signing of billion-dollar contracts down to the location of transmission lines.In September 2008, shortly after ordering up the Oakville gas plant, Mr. Smitherman told the OPA to scrap the 2007 IPSP and start working on a new one. Mr. Smitherman seemed to have a long-term plan in his head. He issued instructions to the OPA based on a long list of green energy objectives — more renewables, transmission lines to northern Ontario, biomass to replace coal, the deployment of smart meters and consultations with First Nations as partners in generation and transmission.
He also ordered a new 20-year plan: “In furtherance of this Directive, the OPA shall provide an amended and revised IPSP. It is expected that the revised IPSP would be provided to the OEB by the OPA no later than six months from the date hereof.” That’s the same IPSP that will now not be ready at least until early next year.
Without a new plan in place, Mr. Smitherman nonetheless produced scores of other directives, including one in December 2008 telling the OPA to procure advertising. Then, still without a long- term plan, Mr. Smitherman brought in Ontario’s big policy transformation, the Green Energy Act, giving even greater power to the energy minister and the Cabinet. In September 2009 — within days of the Oakville plant contract signing — he fired off another blockbuster directive to the OPA: ”I direct you to develop a feed-in tariff (FIT) program that is designed to procure energy from a wide range of renewable energy sources.”
The FIT, a key element of the Green Energy Act, is the basis for scores of deals that, among other things, pay retail giants like IKEA 71.3¢ for a kilowatt-hour of solar power. The 71.3¢ IKEA deal was announced the same day the Oakville plant, whose power costs would be maybe 10¢ a kilowatt hour, was killed.
If any one politician is responsible for Ontario’s electricity costs doubling over the next five years, Mr. Smitherman is the top candidate.The current Minister, Brad Duguid, took up the Smitherman role within days of taking over the portfolio. In April 2010, he issued the Samsung windmill and solar directive to the OPA.
The government, he said, has “entered into a green energy investment agreement with Samsung C&T Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation.” The Samsung consortium, the Minister said, has agreed to develop 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar renewable generation projects. The OPA, he said, is directed to negotiate “one or more power-purchase agreements as appropriate … with the Korean Consortium.”
The cost of the Samsung deal, estimated at $7-billion to $10-billion depending on the method of assessment, will be passed on to electricity consumers, as will the massive costs of accommodating wind and solar power.
Last month, Mr. Duguid was still at it. He told the OPA to provide transmission for the Samsung wind and solar projects funded by feed-in tariffs and also to set aside another 500 megawatts of transmission capacity elsewhere. The cost of this is unreported, unregulated and unreviewed.
All these directives but still no long-term plan, the very element of policy the Liberals ridiculed when they took office in 2003.
There is no plan — that is, except for the one that will be produced next year long after all the contracts have been signed.
The OPA was originally established to be a temporary agency that would develop a 20-year plan and then disappear. Instead of that it has grown hugely and accomplished little beyond signing lots of 20-year contracts for wind and solar power, follwing scores of directives issued by the government. This is costing the province’s ratepayers and taxpayers billions while making the province an unattractive destiny for business.
This is long term planning Liberal-style: Directives first, plan later.
Parker Gallant is a retired Canadian banker who looked at his Ontario electricity bills and didn’t like what he was seeing.Read more: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/10/21/ontarios-power-trip-whos-got-the-plan/#ixzz132zXIxds
Monday, October 18, 2010
- TTC fees (the TTC is asking for a major increase)
- Electricity rates.
When asked how long these freezes will be in effect, the answer was "Until after the election."
Hence this is an election ploy not a party policy.
DONT BE FOOLED AGAIN, NO NO!!
Friday, October 15, 2010
$800 million in your hydrobills went to power Ohio.
The ramifications of this is enormous. The eco-nut cases want Ontario to go green. McGuinty is claiming wind and solar will make Ontario number one in green power. Except not one megawatt is being used here. It's all either sent to the US for free, or they are paying the US to take if off our hands.
I first checked to see if coal was being throttled back when the wind blows. Nope, I saw no evidence of this in the data. Then I checked to see if natural gas was being fired up when the wind was not blowing. That's the claim that they need more NG plants. Again, I saw no evidence at all that NG was being powered up when the wind is not blowing. I then checked hydro and "other" sources. No correlation at all when the wind spikes in output.
There was only one place left to look for where wind power was being sent. And that was to compare it to the difference in the Total Demand and Ontario Demand. This difference is exported to the US. And there is was. Spike for spike. Every time wind spiked up, so did the exported power. There is no mistake in this. The correlation between wind and the export is 95%.
Expect this revelation to go ballistic.
I suspect the Liberals know this. It may have even been a reason for Smitherman to bail the Liberal ship. The ramifications of this are huge. This should cost Duguid his portfolio. He needs to resign over this. And the Liberals need to be thrown out of office for it.
Oh, and no more wind development, the Samsung deal needs to be ripped up as it was based on a fraud. No more solar FIT approvals. Thus charade must stop now!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I'm committed to another engagement or I would come and attend. If you can be there do so and be heard over high hydro rates.
Let's hope this is the first of many.
Let me see if I understand this. Seniors, in particular, should spend all day during the hot periods at the kitchen table in front of a small fan, sweltering while eating cold beans out of a can (for fear that heating it will cost more than the can of beans). And this is supposed to be a modern advanced society?
Let's have a look at some history. Contrary to what you have heard in the media about heat deaths increasing because of global warming, heat related deaths have dropped dramatically since the 1920's (1, 2). There are two reasons for this, especially in the Western World.
The first is that since the 1900s heat waves are fewer. In Southern Ontario we have 1/3 fewer days above 30C now than we did in the 1920s (3).
The second reason for the drop in heat related deaths is the proliferation of personal home AC units. Thousands of people's lives have been saved because of AC. And the Liberals want us to stop using them?
I wonder what the Ontario Medical Association would think about this? How will it effect our healthcare system with a dramatic increase in heat affected elderly arriving at ER rooms?
Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible that McGuinty tell people to stop using AC while he sits in his AC cooled office. But that's just me.
My 88 year old mother and I have been homeless since last January, and stayingRates can be cut almost, if not more, in half by the government right now by eliminating the Global Adjustment. The GA was introduced to top up supplier's income when demand is low and the spot price for power drops. So, for example, over the summer the spot price for power averaged $45/mWh (.045c/kWh) plus or minus $24/mWh (.024c/kWh) most of the time. Yet, wind producers are guaranteed anywhere from $90 to $120 (The Samsung deal is for $140). The Global Adjustment makes up the difference.
with relatives. We had a house in the Kawartha Lakes, less than 20 years old
when we bought it. For the first six months we lived there, our hydro bills were
around $70/mo. We had a brand new Energy Star washer and dryer, most light bulbs were switched to CFL's, and we had Geo Thermal heating and cooling. A "Smart
Meter" was installed, and the next 2 bills I received were almost $400 each, and
then I received a bill for $800. This came in June when we weren't using any
heating or cooling.When I contacted hydro, the woman I spoke to hung up on me
when I asked for an explanation of the charges. She just kept telling me that
everything I needed to know was printed on my bill. I pursued the issue for
months and was given some truly outrageous explanations , such as, everyone who
uses Geo Thermal heating and cooling pays at least $1,000/mo. for hydro, even
when the system is brand new. Well, we spent over $1,000 having the Geo Thermal
system checked and re-charged so that it was running at optimum efficiency and
there was no change in the hydro bills. And again, the charges were still out of
this world when the system wasn't even in use.My mother and I are both on fixed
incomes and simply couldn't afford to keep up with the hydro bills, so we had no
choice but to sell the house at a huge loss, so we've been completely wiped out
financially, and we still owe money to hydro.At the time we bought the house and
I set up the new account with hydro, I asked what the previous owners had paid
for hydro, on average. I was told that it was a "Privacy Issue" and they
couldn't disclose that information. Yet, when the problem with the "Smart Meter"
came up, I was told that they were also basing part of our charges on the
previous owner's usage! I was also told over and over again that hydro's
equipment never fails and is never wrong, although they did switch out the
"Smart Meter" for a differnt brand, and months later told me that indeed there
had been an issue with the original one - it hadn't been set to zero when it was
installed, so we had been charged for KwH that were already recorded from
wherever it had been previously.Since the passing of the Green Energy Act, when
we were selling the house I had to be able to give any prospective buyer an
estimate of our monthly hydro cost. I was finally told by someone in Hydro's
head office in Toronto to give the figure of $375/mo., which we did. Very very
nice couple bought the house, but I heard just last week that the issue is still
on-going with them, they received a bill for $3,800 + for ONE MONTH, and they're
now in the process of switching the house over to completely solar power.
Fortunately they're in a financial position to be able to do that. I certainly
would have liked to also.As for old style meters slowing down and gumming up,
exactly how old is old? My parents lived in the same house in Toronto for 45
years and it still the original meter when that house was sold in 2000.
A couple of us are trying to get the numbers for the entire energy sector. However, this year alone so far, the GA is 70% of wind's income. And that is part of your consumption charges.
No other energy industry has this GA. Can you imagine a government guaranteeing the oil industry $150/barrel, and every time you fill your tank there is a line item "Global Adjustment = $100"! Or how about your gas bills. Natural Gas is about 3.2c at the moment. How would it fly if the government guaranteed the gas companies 18c? Would the public stand for this?
Absolutely not. So why do we tolerate this with power producers?
During periods of low demand in recessions every other business has to deal with the loss of revenue. They shed jobs, reduce salaries, find efficiencies to cut costs. But this Government is shielding the energy producers from the effects of lower demand. Hence there is no incentive in the power industry to become efficient, for example, start to lower those huge salaries at the top.
Any new government that takes over next Fall will have to tackle this issue head on, and NO considerations should be thrown out as un-doable. We are in a real pickle in this province. Make no mistake about it. Energy costs are contributing in a big way to keeping Ontario as a have not province, inching us closer to becoming a province of destitute impoverished peoples leaving in droves to better places.
Are we a third world nation-like province, or are we a modern advanced society here? We need to do what has to be done to return this province to the power house of Canada it used to be. Any claims that is not possible any longer are defeatist and narrow thinking.
On a side note, it is clear from this comment above that people are starting to grasp at straws because of these high rates. I've looked into it, and a house cannot become completely powered by solar. The up front costs are huge, at minimum $30,000. Then one finds out that at best one can only power 20% of the house with solar. Every 6 years the batteries all have to be replaced, at $300+ each (you need more than 100 of them). All this is doing is putting people further into the hole.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Oakville residents were understandably jubilant when the province reversed itself Thursday and cancelled construction of a $1.2 billion gas-fired power plant in their community. On their way to victory, they had deployed petitions, mass demonstrations, sympathetic celebrities (including a paid appearance by environmental crusader Erin Brockovich), YouTube videos, and a platoon of local politicians. They scored a landmark win, but it will energize opposition to other vital power projects.
Whether or not one accepts the official explanation that the plant is no longer required, the deal to build this 900-megawatt generating station, and its subsequent cancellation, reveals a fundamental flaw in Ontario’s electricity planning process.
Ensuring there is an adequate supply of electricity in the future is the responsibility of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), a government agency. Until last week, the OPA’s position was that a gas-fired power plant was sorely needed in the southwestern GTA due to heavy local electricity demand and the closing of a 1,140-megawatt coal-fired station in Mississauga.
As recently as March, Colin Andersen, the OPA’s CEO, wrote an article for a Toronto newspaper stating: “It would not be responsible to build a plant elsewhere and deliver its power to the Southwest GTA.” He explained that using another location would require new high-voltage transmission lines affecting many other communities and costing Ontarians hundreds of millions of dollars.
In an interview last week, Andersen said circumstances had changed and an Oakville plant is no longer the best option. But he was unable to point to any single report that prompted the change of plans. Rather, he said the reversal came gradually, thorough an ongoing process of analysis and planning. Pity it didn’t dawn earlier, before September 2009, when the Ontario Power Authority announced it was awarding a contract to build and run the Oakville plant to TransCanada Corporation. Now, barely a year later, the Calgary company is preparing to discuss what “reasonable payments” it might receive as compensation for the broken contract
The size of that compensation is now in the hands of lawyers; it is expected to be many millions. But it is no mystery who will pay — Ontario’s already-burdened energy consumers.
One of two things went wrong here: either the experts at the OPA badly misjudged the need for a huge new generating plant, or they were overruled for political reasons because Premier Dalton McGuinty was worried about losing the Oakville, currently held by Liberal MPP Kevin Flynn. Neither option inspires confidence in Ontario’s energy future.
Furthermore, with its U-turn the McGuinty government has bought itself future grief, for the tactics and strategies used in Oakville will likely be adopted by King Township residents fighting a gas-fired plant in their area, by people across the province fighting the installation of wind turbines, and, indeed, by any group fighting an unwanted public facility in its backyard.
It's simple to understand once explained, but the green lobby groups either do not understand this, or they do and are deliberately hiding what green jobs do to the economy because deep down these people want to destroy this "evil" Western Industrialization (and so far they are doing a good job of this).
Wealth is created by private enterprise building items that people purchase. There are costs to making, delivering, and retailing those items. Costs incurred to create wealth is like a leach, or a number of leaches. The bigger the leach, the more it costs business to generate wealth. Energy is one of those leaches (costs) of doing business.
There are a number of leaches that suck on wealth creation. Labour is one. Taxes another. Services is another, and even food is a leach (as food is just a medium for energy transfer to people so they can work). Energy costs, including electricity, is also one of those leaches. The more leaches that drain wealth creation, and the bigger those leaches are contribute to lost wealth creation making our economy poorer.
Electrical generation does not on its own create wealth. It allows private enterprise to create wealth, but power generation is not a creation of wealth. It can't because it is not a tangable item one can own. The more the costs of power increases, the bigger the wealth leach becomes. This includes those green jobs. The more green jobs there are the bigger the leach is sucking on wealth creation.
The bigger the leach is on wealth creation, the less incentive there is for private business to create that wealth. All of society runs on the ability of business to create wealth. Nothing runs without it. Less wealth creation means less taxes for governments, which means less monies for health care, education, road repairs, etc. Less wealth creation means fewer people making a middle class wage, which means less people buying items, killing wealth creation even more. This feeds on itself pushing the economy further into recession with the end result of economic collapse.
The former USSR finally realized this, and even Cuba is now realizing it as they shed millions of government jobs. One hold out from that failed era is North Korea. And we know how advanced they are, not.
Spain is now feeling the pinch because of this as this report showed that for every green job created, 2.2 jobs were lost in the private sector. For every job lost in the private sector is a reduction of wealth generation. It's then no surprise that Spain makes up one of the biggest indebted nations. One of the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) with a very high risk of default. See this but do so sitting down.
So don't get fooled by the econ-nutcases claiming that green jobs are good for the economy. It is the exact opposite. Green jobs are a leach on the economy. Just as much as government jobs are a leach (paid through the higher taxation leach). But expect the eco-nutcases to rant and scream trying to defend this premise that green jobs are good for the economy. Remember that their goal is to return humanity to a lifestyle of hunter/gatherers (that's no joke).
Álvarez, G.C. (2009) Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources. http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment-public-aid-renewable.pdf
The World's Biggest Debtor Nations, CNBC.Com, http://www.cnbc.com/id/30308959/The_World_s_Biggest_Debtor_Nations?slide=1
Saturday, October 9, 2010
LONDON, ONT. -- The government has no idea how much it will cost in penalties to cancel the $1.2 billion Oakville gas power plant, Premier Dalton McGuinty acknowledged Friday.
Negotiations will now begin with Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation on a deal after the Liberals killed the plant in the wake of stiff community opposition, saying the 900 megawatts of power it was to generate is no longer needed.
McGuinty suggested TransCanada will give the province a break because it already operates plants in Ontario and is hoping for future business, but the government refused to release details of the contract for "competitive reasons."
“I know that we're going to be able to find a way for both sides to sit down and determine what the best path is going forward,” McGuinty said after touring a new school with full-day kindergarten.
Opposition parties warned the penalties could be as high as the value of the contract, and that they will eventually filter down to hydro bills that are already rising because of new energy projects and the 13 per cent HST.
That will leave ratepayers on an expensive hook for a decision made on a purely political basis to save the seat of Oakville Liberal MPP Kevin Flynn in the provincial election next Oct. 6, said New Democrat energy critic Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth).
“Is Kevin Flynn the billion-dollar man?” Tabuns quipped.
“I can't believe anyone would break a contract without knowing what it's going to cost.’’
That's further proof the Liberal government is making energy policy on the fly, said Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke), his party's energy critic.
“They have an absolute responsibility to ratepayers who are already taking it on the chin to disclose all of the accounting issues surrounding this contract,’’ he added.
“If they say they can't release the contract details, they're covering up something.’’
The government's Ontario Power Authority will handle the negotiations with TransCanada and balance “value for ratepayers with fairness for investors,’’ said spokesperson Ben Chin.
“They're being very flexible.”
TransCanada has said it is entitled to “reasonable payments’’ but has declined further comment, including how much it has spent over the years trying to get the Oakville project up and running by 2014.
Chin said the amount spent is a “small percentage’’ of the overall cost.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Last updated at 8:13 AM on 5th October 2010
Wind farms: A key part of the strategy
A £200billion plan to switch to green energy could cost households an average of £769 a year, it was claimed today.
Industry regulator, Ofgem, said a massive construction plan is needed to build new wind farms, power stations, including nuclear, and a modern national grid.
The first stage, a £32billion plan to build new pipelines and pylon networks, has been given the go-ahead.
Ofgem said this element will cost households a relatively modest sum of an average of £6 a year.
However, industry analysts said the full £200billion cost would put up the average annual bill of £1,194 by £769 a year - or 68 per cent - to £2,000.
Ofgem defended the need for the expensive building programme, saying: 'Britain needs to be rewired in a smarter way to secure sustainable energy supplies for consumers
'Vital investment in pipes and wires
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1317600/769-year-rise-power-bills-rewire-nation-green-energy.html#ixzz11oKzXGHa
Thursday, October 7, 2010
It is a must read.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
With Ontario power utilities asking for rate hikes approaching 20% — this on top of outsized rate hikes in previous years – the press and the public has been asking for the cause of the rate hikes.
One indication comes from the UK, where the government regulator today announced that UK households should expect $1240 a year price hikes, raising their annual bills above the $3200 a year mark.
The reason for the UK’s dramatic hikes? The UK’s so-called green energy program, which like Ontario’s is embarking on a building binge of wind farms and other unneeded generating stations, topped off by a not-so-smart grid to bring this unneeded power to market.
Ontario is on the same path. Getting off the path and reversing the upward spiral would be easy to do: Simply tear up the Ontario Green Energy Act
Published On Tue Oct 5 2010
When the Liberals came into office at Queen’s Park in 2003, they inherited a mess in the energy sector. The previous Conservative government had experimented with deregulation, and when electricity rates soared as a result, the Tories responded by freezing them, with taxpayers making up the difference. Investment in new supply dried up even as demand for electricity rose. Refurbishment of aging nuclear plants was put on hold after huge cost overruns. And the province grew ever more dependent for electricity on burning coal — a major source of both smog and greenhouse gas emissions.
To their credit, the Liberals have not shied away from tackling these problems with a series of measures, starting with the lifting of the rate freeze. They are phasing out the coal-fired power plants and replacing them with renewables and natural gas. They are investing heavily in hydro facilities. They are refurbishing nuclear plants in a systematic way. They are installing “smart meters” that charge households less for electricity used in off-peak hours. They are upgrading transmission lines.
All this is costing billions and driving up electricity rates. The opposition parties at Queen’s Park have seized on the rate hikes to denounce the government’s handling of the file while offering little, if anything, as an alternative. (Reading between the lines, however, one can surmise that the Conservatives plan to keep on burning coal and to scrap the Green Energy Act.)
The opposition clearly has the Liberals on the defensive. “I don’t think that we really took the time to help them (the public) understand why it is that we had to modernize our electricity system and that there are real costs associated with that,” Premier Dalton McGuinty told the Star last week.
To regain the upper hand in this debate, the government needs to produce a long-term power plan setting out where our electricity will come from and how we are going to pay for it in the coming decades. Such a plan was first promised several years ago and is long overdue. Energy Minister Brad Duguid is promising it will be released by the end of the year. That is a deadline that should not be missed.
The government also needs to come to grips with the alphabet soup of agencies that have replaced the old Ontario Hydro in the electricity field: OPA, OPG, IESO and so on. They appear to duplicate each other or to be working at cross-purposes. The government should issue a white paper outlining options for streamlining the sector.
The debate in Ontario on energy issues has been unfortunately reduced to sloganeering by both the government and opposition. The release of fact-based documents outlining plans and options for the future would be the first step toward restoring reason to the debate and allowing voters to make an informed choice.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
An Ontario Energy Board (OEB) letter, dated September 17, 2010, confirms that the McGuinty Government has done an analysis on how much electricity bills are going up but won’t disclose it to the public.
The letter states: “a preliminary analysis and forecast of electricity costs” has been conducted by the OEB, and yet “the Board does not intend to release this work publicly at the current time.”
The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say Ontario families can expect to pay an extra $732 on their hydro bills. It’s time for Dalton McGuinty to come clean on the costs of his failed energy experiments, and release the OEB’s forecast so families know how much their bills are going to go up.
“This letter shows Dalton McGuinty knows exactly how his energy experiments, sweetheart deals and tax grabs are driving up the hydro bills of hard-working Ontario families. It’s no wonder he’s keeping those numbers a secret.”
-- Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak
“It’s time for Dalton McGuinty to come clean on the costs of his energy experiments, release the OEB’s forecast on electricity costs and start telling Ontario families the truth.”
-- Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak
· According to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the cost of these Liberal energy schemes, taxes and fees – such as the HST and Samsung deal – will add an additional $732 a year to family hydro bills by 2015.
· During an August 26 technical conference, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters asked if the OEB had conducted any forward-looking bill analysis. An OEB staff member wrongly replied: “no”, which prompted the September 17 letter to “correct the response given on August 26.”
· A September 17 OEB letter (Board File Number EB-2010-0008) provided no reasons for withholding OEB electricity cost forecasts from the people of Ontario.
The McGuinty Liberals knew full well that their so-called smart meter plan was botched but they’re going full-steam ahead at the expense of hard-working Ontario families.
Electricity stakeholders have alerted the Ontario PC Caucus to a letter from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to electricity distributors acknowledging that setting mandatory Time of Use (TOU) dates for McGuinty’s smart meter program is “premature and inappropriate at this time.” The OEB admitted that “distributors may encounter extraordinary and unanticipated circumstances during the implementation of TOU pricing” (OEB letter, Aug. 4, 2010, Page 4).
Ontario PC Leader, Tim Hudak, called on Dalton McGuinty to stop the botched implementation of his so-called smart meters, fix the problems and give families choice in opting into time-of-use pricing. A PC Caucus Opposition Day Motion, debated this afternoon, once again called on the McGuinty Government to suspend the smart meter time-of-use program until billing problems are fixed.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Around the table was:
- Tom Adams, an independent energy and environmental advisor
- Paul Clipsham, the Director of Policy and Business Development for the industry and trade association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
- Donald Dewees, Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto.
- Joyce McLean, Director of Strategic Issues for Toronto Hydro. She is also Past Chair of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
- Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
Yes, the same Gord Miller who wishes the peak price to be 5 times higher, we will get to that at the end.
Over all I was extremely disappointed in the panelists. Tom could have done a lot better, and tended to studder too much when trying to find an answer. Gord was clearly more confident, only because he didn't have hard questions thrown at him. When the issue of jobs came up, I expected Tom or Donald, to explain a recent report in Spain showed that for every green job created, 2.2 private sector jobs were lost. Paul eluded to that happening, but would have been better if the number and experience of Spain was shown.
Joyce, obviously an advocate for green power, was asked a question from a live post about people working from home and having electrical power from ground source heat pumps who cannot change their times, and hence Time of Use would make their bills skyrocket. Her answer was a complete side step and the usual mantra "change to off peak and weekends". Like in the middle of winter people with GSHP can let their homes freeze during the weekdays.
Obviously these people who advocate more green energy don't give a damn about the effects these higher costs have. Miller is one of those who's desire is to feel righteous about "saving the planet" and doesn't give a damn about how it affects everyone else. He's got his nice high paying cushy job. Wanna bet he doesn't do his laundry in the middle of the night?
Of course, for people like Miller it's "do as I say, not what I do. I'm the Elite, and your nothing."
Then there was the discussion of the HST, where it was suggested to be removed from power bills. Donald, the professor, said it should stay because it is already across the board on everything else. What? And no one caught this? Hey, Prof, IT'S NOT ON FOOD, because that's considered essential. And since power is also essential, the HST should also be removed from power.
Then there was also Joyce saying that they need the huge increase at Toronto Hydro because it cost millions to upgrade Toronto Hydro's aging system. And no one picked up that TH pays the City of Toronto some $250 million EACH YEAR as dividends for owning the company. Well, maybe Toronto should forgo that money for a few years and get the system upgraded! (BTW, that dividend is just another tax. Which you pay GST on.)
So, over all I was not impressed. There was no challenge to the basic premise of GEA, and that is AGW. There was no explanations of how pathetic wind and solar are. No explanation on how to fix prices. No exposing the Global Adjustment that pays producers not to generate power. Highly disappointed the hard questions on such a crutial topic was not presented.
Now on to Miller's desire to up rates by 5 times.
This is a normal December 2009 bill with the top row the actual billings, and the bottom row with Miller's proposed increase. This was done by adjusting the costs for peak time by 85% of the consumption during high peak time during weekdays (5/7)). That is, taking into account that most of the time of power use is during the weekdays when peak price is highest.
|Reading||Electrical Costs First||Electrical Costs Second||Delivery Cost||Regulatory Costs||Debt Retirement||GST||Total|
You can see the over all bill would double, and the GST would increase 5 times. Must be nice to be a rich person like Miller.
How about we let Miller know what we think of his plan: firstname.lastname@example.org