Private sessions on Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan

Here, from The Toronto Star on Friday August 2 (page B5—inexplicably, there is no link to this story online), is a story by Business writer John Spears, on how the consultations on Ontario’s much-needed Long-Term Energy Plan are rolling out. Note: we have it on good authority that the so-called public consultation sessions are dog-and-pony shows with a set of posters from the masses to view.

Private sessions for industry insiders, public sessions for everyone else: That’s how Ontario’s Energy Ministry is conducting consultations on its long-term energy plan.
  The consultation rolled into Toronto Tuesday and Wednesday this week, one of eight stops around the province.
  Energy bureaucrats were reviewing the plan, published in 2010. The plan sets targets for how much of the province’s power should come from nuclear plants, gas-fired generators, hydro stations or other renewable sources.
  An invitation-only session in the afternoon–closed to the public–drew about 100 industry insiders, according to one participant. They were clustered into discussion groups, each headed by a ministry official.
  The public session at The Intercontinental Hotel on Bloor Street West in the evening was less formal, with ministry officials standing by information displays to answer questions or field comments.
  About 50 people turned up for the session, most with some connection or longstanding interest in the power sector. Two, who didn’t volunteer their names, were employees of CANDU Energy; another was an employee of the Town of Whitby, scouting for industry intelligence.
  Brendan Costelleo is a third-year student in nuclear engineering at University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
  “I’m curious what’s going to happen when the Pickering reactor shuts down,” he said. That’s due about the end of the decade; the province is still considering whether to build two new nuclear units to offset it.
  Audrey O’Handley of Whitchurch-Stouffville and Rita Bijons of Toronto were looking to promote low-carbon, community-based energy projects.
  They were happy to be able to speak directly to senior Energy ministry officials, but weren’t sure how feedback from the public was being recorded, as no one was visibly taking notes.
  Information about the review of the plan is available on the Ministry of Energy website.

Ontario power in July: demand down, price up. Does this make ANY sense?

For those who are interested in drilling down into the finer points of Ontario’s power system, specifically supply and demand, take a look at the analytical blog, Cold Air, and the most recent posting, here.

A snippet:

Here’s a striking monthly change:  If you value the Ontario portion of the market as the hourly demand at the Hourly Ontario Energy Price plus the overall total for the global adjustment, you’ll find, based on the IESO’s estimate of a $593.7 million, that July’s total Ontario market value rose $10.2 million from June, while the total electricity demand rose 1.7 million MWh.

That makes the incremental cost of the additional supply required in July less that 7/10ths of a single cent/kWh.

 Which is nonsensical: the highest demand months are the lowest cost months only because of extraordinarily poor market design.

CBC: Liberals ‘stung’ in by-elections

This story from the CBC reports on the meaning of the results of the five by-elections held yesterday, and has links to actual election results.

Byelections are, in the words of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, both “unpredictable” and “tough for government.”
“They’re… a pretty risk-free way for people to send a message to government.”
It turns out Wynne was right on all counts. The byelections were tough and voters did send a message to the Liberals.
Wynne remains premier but her Liberal party — battered by the ongoing gas plant scandal and the misspending of millions of taxpayer dollars at eHealth and Ornge — is licking some new, though not necessarily fatal, political wounds.
Five Liberal strongholds and two wins to show for it: Toronto’s east-end Scarborough-Guildwood and Ottawa South.
Three losses: Etobicoke-Lakeshore, London West and Windsor-Tecumseh.

Kathleen Wynne is still Ontario's premier but her Liberal party — battered by the ongoing scandals — is licking some new, though not necessarily fatal, political wounds after Thursday's byelections.

400-plus fill Sarnia theatre to hear the bad news about wind power

August 1, 2013–More than 400 people gathered at the Imperial Theatre in Sarnia last night to hear a panel of guests discuss the effects of the Green Energy Act on Ontario, and specifically, the damage done by the Ontario government’s rush to expensive, unreliable wind power.
    Organized by We’re Against Industrial Turbines of Plymptom-Wyoming (a WCO member group), the meeting featured wind power activist and former turbine neighbour Barbara Ashbee-Lormand, WCO VP Parker Gallant, University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick, SWEAR’s Dave Hemingway, and Middlesex-Lambton resident Esther Wrightman. Wrightman is being sued by U.S. energy giant NextEra for posting a video of staff removing a tree and Bald Eagle nest, and for repeating on her blogsite the community’s nickname of “NextTerror.”
    Parker Gallant told the crowd what’s really in their electricity bills, and how much Ontario’s rush to renewables–mostly wind–is costing everyone. Nuclear is responsible for 56% of the power we use and costs about 45% of Ontario’s costs, while wind produces just 3% (actually less) and costs 6%. Electricity bills have gone up dramatically, Gallant said, and the trend will continue as more solar and wind come online.
    Economics prof Ross McKitrick told the audience that Ontario’s Green Energy Act has cost 10 times what it would have cost to retrofit Ontario’s coal plants to provide cleaner power.
    Esther Wrightman recounted her legal battle with NextEra; at one point, she was having trouble adjusting the microphone and quipped, “I’m more comfortable with a bullhorn.”
    A story prior to the event appeared in the Sarnia Observer:

For more information, contact us at

Follow us on Twitter at windconcernsONT

Wind energy town hall meeting planned

Wind energy town hall meeting planned | Sarnia Observer:

A public town hall meeting that three area anti-wind turbine groups are holding July 31 in Sarnia will feature presentations on how wind energy impacts energy costs, as well as the people and wildlife living near them.
The 7 p.m. town hall meeting at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre on Christina Street is being hosted by We’re Against Industrial Turbines — Plympton-Wyoming, Conservation of Rural Enniskillen and the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group.
The agenda includes a video presentation by economist Ross McKitrick, as well as presentations by retired banker Parker Gallant, Orangeville area resident Barb Ashbee-Lormand and Esther Wrightman, a Middlesex County anti-wind activist being sued by Florida-based Nextera Energy.
Nextera’s application for provincial environmental approval to build its proposed 97-turbine Jericho Wind farm in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township is available online for public review and comments at

Continue reading at the Sarnia Observer

Twenty lies the Liberals told you

From Lorrie Goldstein…

Twenty lies the Liberals told you | Column | Opinion | The London Free Press:

Picture from source article

13. “We will shut down Ontario’s coal-burning plants by 2007”: The Liberals still haven’t closed them, now promising to do so in 2014.
14. “We will bring clean, renewable energy to Ontario”: Under the Liberals, wind and solar power are producing minuscule amounts of unneeded, unreliable, inefficient and expensive electricity, which has to be backed up by fossil fuels. This will, according to the Auditor General, cost Ontarians billions of dollars extra on their hydro bills, for decades to come.
15. “We will bring stability to Ontario’s electricity market”: See above.
16. “We will respect the views of rural constituents by giving their MPPs free votes”: If that was true, Liberal MPPs wouldn’t be responding to furious complaints from their constituents about having industrial wind turbines rammed down their throats with form letters.
17. “We will ensure that all developers play by the rules”: Unless they’re wind developers, where the Liberals took away the rights of local citizens to oppose wind projects.”

Continue reading at The London Free Press

Wind farm companies warn against wild land ban

Wind industries suggestion for siting restrictions: none

Wind farm companies warn against wild land ban – Telegraph:

Scottish Renewables, which represents the industry, delivered an outspoken attack on additional protections being proposed in response to a public outcry about the spread of turbines across the countryside.
Ministers are considering introducing special safeguards that would make it more difficult to build on wild land, which is defined as being rugged, remote and free from modern visible human structures.
They are also examining increasing the recommended distance between wind farms and the nearest town or village from 2km (1.2 miles) to 2.5km (1.6 miles) and giving greater protection to wildlife.
But Scottish Renewables said the proposed reforms to the planning process would jeopardise £2 billion of investment and Mr Salmond’s plan to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from green sources by 2020.
They recommended that there be no blanket protection for wild land …or areas near towns and villages.

Continue reading at the Telegraph:

FERC Commissioner: Wind subsidies must go

FERC Commissioner: Wind subsidies must go – Power Engineering:

It’s time to let wind subsidies become a thing of the past, said Phillip Moeller, a commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, speaking to a luncheon at “Reading the Tea Leaves: A Forum on the Future of America’s Installed Power Plants” hosted by Alstom, the Institute of Clean Air Companies and others.
“There are people who have been quoted saying in the future we’re not going to need any more baseload in this country. That, obviously, I think is wrong,” Moeller said.
The wind power industry in particular, he said, is sufficiently mature to no longer need federal subsidies, which he said have the deleterious effect of distorting energy markets in harmful ways. “The wind subsidies are wreaking havoc, particularly on the nuclear fleet,” Moeller said.

Continue reading at Power Engineering

Industrial Wind Turbines – Watershed Magazine

Since being posted to our Facebook page earlier, as recommended by CCSAGE‘s Gary Mooney, it’s been recommended to get this article referenced on the blog too

Industrial Wind Turbines – Watershed Magazine:

It starts with an unfamiliar car in the driveway. Two people get out and approach your farmhouse. They knock, you open. “We’re interested in doing a study on the feasibility of wind turbines here,” says the taller one. “There’s no commitment,” adds the other, following a well-rehearsed script. Just like the travelling salesmen of yore, the Fuller Brush man or the FilterQueen vacuum guy, these folks have something to sell, a proposal – you can do your bit for the planet and make a little green while you’re at it. What’s not to like?
You invite them in to hear more, offer them coffee while you sit around your kitchen table, listen with interest as they lay out the numbers: $12,000 per year minimum per turbine and maybe as much as $18,000. You picture five slender poles with blades glinting in the sunlight and do the mental arithmetic: 60 to 90 grand a year for letting them use your land? Sure beats sitting on a tractor for 12 hours a day.

Problem is, they’re not slender poles, they’re industrial behemoths, five metres wide at the base, 100 metres tall to the hub with blades half again as high – 150 metres from toe to tip, as tall as a 40-storey building. In skimming the fine print, you also missed the part about the potential health and environmental impacts of turbines, and breezed past the language about not talking to anyone about the deal.
But you don’t realize this till later, after you’ve signed the lease, and by then your neighbours have stopped speaking to you and have formed a group to stop the wind project with whatever it takes, including filing a lawsuit, contacting reporters and meeting with local councillors and MPPs.

Continue reading at Watershed Magazine:

Cutbacks to existing contracts rattle Europe’s renewables proponents

Germany is attempting to control electricity costs after it’s EEG, considered a renewables’ surcharge, jumped to over 5 euro cents/kWh in this, a German election, year. This despite the relatively small contribution of wind (8%) and solar (5%) to total 2012 electricity generation in Germany (bdew figures).
The German Energy Blog explains proposed changes to the EEG, with perhaps the biggest surprise being a straight 1.5% cut in payments on existing contracts. German Renewables groups proposed alternatives (Bloomberg) essentially to stop excluding industry from paying for renewables (industry has benefitted from falling market rates as costs were increasingly transferred from market pricing to the feed-in tariff’s fixed rates), and the government cutting back on it’s tax haul.
Regardless of the choices in controlling consumer cost, it’s a lot of effort for 13% of supply. 

Spain gets far more than 13% of it’s supply from renewables – the Canadian Broadcast Corporation noted wind producting 25% of Spain’s electricity in January. Spain celebrated with another round of actions (details at Lexology) to curtail a massive $28 million euro tariff deficit, growing at ~5 billion euro dollars a year,
The cuts, expected to save ~1 billion euros a year – keeping in mind the deficit is ~5 billion – have foreign “investors” feeling litigous, according to Reuters

The entire article can be read at Cold Air Currents