Electricity policy in Ontario: meets the definition of insanity
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
Unfortunately in Ontario, our present and past Energy ministers keep doing the same thing over and over, with results that are particularly painful for residential and small commercial enterprises. We have now seen the May 2015 results posted by the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) and can say without hesitation, it’s the same thing — again.
Ontario exported 1,984,992 megawatts (MW) in May 2015 which represented 18.8% of total Ontario Demand. That brings electricity exports in the first five months of the current year to 10.63 terawatts1. or enough to power the cities of Mississauga, Oakville and Sudbury for all of 2013.
The 2 terawatts exported in May generated $15.4 million each in the wholesale market, generating revenue of $30.8 million, but the cost to produce those same 2 terawatts was $265.4 million meaning Ontario lost $234.6 million.
The losses of $234 million in May brings the total losses in the first five months of the current year to $862 million (an average loss per month of $172.4 million). By the end of June 2015, losses will be in excess of $1 billion dollars, or about what it cost ratepayers to move those two gas plants from Mississauga and Oakville.
We are heading for total losses in 2015 of well over $2 billion. So why is our current Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli seeking another 500 MW of wind and solar generation? Unless he is out to disprove Einstein’s theory of insanity!
June 30, 2015
1. One terawatt is equal to 1 million megawatts which is equal to 1 billion kilowatts.