Power policy in Ontario “new levels of irrationality”: Financial Post

Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli looks to the heavens for answers on high, job-killing electricity rates: he won’t find them

Financial Post, July 21, 2015

The Wynne government discovers its electricity regime is not cost-effective. But flying off to Newfoundland & Labrador will not fix it

In its 2013 long-term energy plan, the Ontario government said it would begin looking at importing electricity from other jurisdictions when such imports “are cost effective for Ontario ratepayers.” On Monday, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli appears to have noticed that electricity rates in the province have already soared beyond the point of cost-effectiveness, thereby making it attractive to look at importing cheap power, as per plan, from other jurisdictions.

In comments surrounding the announcement of a joint “high-level working group” to study electricity trade between Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador, Chiarelli said the objective is to “bring down rates” in Ontario. Well, that’s news.

Anyone who follows his public pronouncements knows that he has been blissfully unperturbed by Ontario’s soaring electricity prices. So his acknowledgment it might be necessary to bring rates down will be welcome by consumers and industries. In the past, the minister has mostly rejected the idea that electricity rates are all that high and need to be reduced. Less encouraging, however, is the proposed source of the cheaper electricity, hydro power development in Newfoundland & Labrador, from where electricity would have to be wheeled about 2,400 kilometres to make it to Toronto. As my friend Lawrence Solomon quipped, “Well, at least the power would be cheaper than wind.”

 

Read the full article here.

Comments

John Vincent
Reply

I believe there is an energy plan of sorts from the Liberals. The current nuke fleet is in the range of 42 years old. they are normally amortised for 30 years. It would take at least 20 years to build another 4 unit plant. By then the current fleet would be 60 years old. Coal fired stations are gone in Ontario.
From that it is safe to say the Liberals have decided solar and wind backed by gas is the future of electrical power in Ontario. If that can be backed from time to time by NFLD or similar hydro power, then so be it. But otherwise we are to cover the land with wind and solar for all our power needs. So there’s no need to complain about the installation of either of these power sources because far more will be on the way.

John Foreman
Reply

Interesting that there appears to be no consideration of the reality of “line loss” as the electricity is transmitted over “2,400 kms”… an added expense that we’re already paying for as power is transmitted from Bruce or Niagara or even neighbouring wind “farms”! By the time the Nfld/Labrador power gets to the GTHA, there won’t be enough “juice” to recharge your electric shaver! Keep on “spilling” water at Niagara Falls! That will, undoubtedly, further justify the need to go to Newfoundland to find the power the provincial Liberals think we need!

John Vincent
Reply

John: I agree line loss is a mjor consideration on long runs. However, consider the james Bay project with New York City et. al. as its major customers. They over came the line loss factor, to a degree, by installing series capacitors to ofset the inductive reactance. I guess it works, after all, parallel capacitors are used ad nausiem on the power system.
However, I don’t expect the Liberal enrgy minister would know what we are talking about.

Barbara
Reply

Power won’t come 2400 kms as it will be fed into say Quebec for use and then Quebec produced power can then be sent westward?

In the meantime, Ontario power prices will not come down as Ontario needs to look good at COP 21 for reducing electricity use. Along with all the money that has been spent on conservation programs.

COP 21 to be held in Paris which is supplied by French nuclear power to be sure the grid won’t fail while COP 21 is taking place?

Grant
Reply

In 2014 we spilled water at our hydro dams that could have produced 3.2 TWh of power, enough to supply 320,000 homes.

Barbara
Reply

Smithsonian, July 21, 2015

‘Recession, Not Fracking, Drove a Drop in U.S. Carbon Emissions’

” In effect, more than half the carbon decline was due to a drastic drop in the volume of goods consumed by the U.S. population. Almost a third of the drop could be attributed to change in production structure including offshoring American industries to China and other countries.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/recession-not-fracking-drove-drop-us-carbon-emissions-180955972/?no-ist

Ed Edwards
Reply

Unless Hydro One addresses the overspending and bloated salaries of their employees we will never see any reductions in our electricity bills. This organization is out of control with $pending. According to this,

http://www.ontario-hydro.com/index.php?page=electricity_rates_by_province

Newfoundland has similar costs to Ontario. Why not try Quebec which has the lowest…….Duh!

Amazing how dumb our politicians are.

John Vincent
Reply

Hydro One salaries are the least of your worries when it comes to over costing of electricity. Obviously you’ve missed the Green Energy act and the billions in subsidies we are paying for no return and as a result of that, the billions we are paying other utilities to take excess useless power off our hands.

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