Wind power industry claims Canada needs more wind power–with a hefty price tag for electricity customers

Wind industry trade association study says Canada needs more wind power. Well, they would, wouldn’t they? Problem is, it doesn’t help anything, least of all the environment, says Parker Gallant. But it does plenty to hurt your pocketbook.

What wind power is really all about: not the environment
What wind power is really all about: not the environment

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) press release of July 6, 2016 was headlined “Canada can integrate large amounts of wind energy reliably, cost-effectively, says report” followed by the industry trade association’s assertion that “Canada can get more than one-third of its electricity from wind energy without compromising grid reliability – and at the same time realize economic and environmental benefits”.

The claims were based on a study they undertook (using a chunk of taxpayer dollars to co-fund the study) which GE (General Electric), a major manufacturer of industrial wind turbines, executed.

I recall the story that a wise engineer recounts. A senior research engineer gave him this advice when he joined a large electricity generating company’s “research studies” sector: “Remember to always ask your client what answer they expect to get before you start the experiment. You will need to know that information so you can carefully design the experiment to ensure it will not produce results that prove the opposite.”

One should expect with the objectives of CanWEA and GE so closely aligned the conclusions reached in this study did not produce results that prove the opposite. 

Interestingly, only days before, the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) posted their 2016-2020 nine-page Strategic Plan which said the opposite of the CanWEA/GE study and its claim about not “compromising grid reliability.”   Specifically, “Increasing variable generation, integration of distributed energy resources, and changing demand and supply patterns are creating operability challenges with respect to regulation, voltage control and flexibility.” 

So, variable generation (wind and solar) are creating challenges and what CanWEA/GE propose in this study is to add more wind capacity and to urge Ontario to increase its industrial wind to 16,124 MW … and then back that capacity up with 2,500 MW of combined cycle and 600 MW of single cycle gas.

Based on the study’s suggestions we would expect the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) market to show further deterioration and the GA (Global Adjustment) to jump higher with exports increasing and ratepayers picking up those GA costs.

The experience of two recent July days makes this very point. Canada Day, July 1st was a moderate demand day for Ontario, but a relatively high generation day for Ontario’s 3,900 MW capacity of industrial wind turbines (IWT), operating at about 38.5% of their capacity.   As a result, the combined cost of IWT (output and curtailed) generated payments to the IWT operators was almost $4.7 million.  The HOEP averaged a miserly $4.21 per megawatt hour (MWh), meaning the 53,500 MWh exported, generated revenue of only $225,000. Meanwhile ratepayers were required to pay the GA ($113.03/MWh average as at May 31, 2016) which created a subsidy for New York, Michigan, and others of $5.8 million.

In short, the 4.8 million Ontario electricity ratepayers got dinged for about $1.20 each for those exports for that one day.

One week later, July 7th was a relatively high demand day and a typical summer generation day for those 3,900 MW of IWT operating at only 7.5% of their capacity.   The cost of the MWh generated by the IWT dropped to about $650,000 for the day, and the HOEP averaged $35.95/MWh, meaning the cost of exports for Ontario ratepayers for that day was $1.5 million or only 30 cents each.

What this means is, simply, power from wind is intermittent and unreliable. It is also not needed and has a bad habit of driving down the value of the HOEP. The effect of the latter simply increases the subsidy Ontario’s ratepayers pay to cover the GA costs of our surplus exports.

Here’s the bottom line: More industrial wind turbines will compromise grid stability and will not result in economic and environmental benefits, contrary to the claims in the partially taxpayer-funded study.

Here’s what Ontario’s new Energy Minister, Glen Thibeault, needs to understand: Ontario doesn’t need to acquire another 600 plus MW of new wind power generation, and he should cancel the recent Chiarelli procurement directive, to save ratepayers the associated expense of over $200 million every year.

© Parker Gallant,

July 15, 2016

 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario Policy.

 

Comments

Pat Cusack
Reply

Excuse me?!

Lynda
Reply

canwea claims = lies

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Thibault does as he’s told by Ole Katty Wynnd!!! She does as she’s told by the PMO!!! Plain and simple kids!!! None of them want to hear our complaints…. remember folks that we work for the Government of Canada! !! It does not work for us anymore!!!

Barbara
Reply

If something works or not is not a requirement for the present government. Only the money that flows to the food chain from this is a requirement.

Barbara
Reply

Windsor Star, July 17, 2016, Essex County

Scroll down to: ‘Greenhouse grower calls for quick action on soaring hydro rates’

“We’d like to expand in Canada if the economics are right. If not, we’ll be looking at places in the U.S.”

http://www.windsorstar.com

This article might stay up through today. Or internet search maybe later.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Ya fer sure Barbara….. we have been sold out to the surrounding states and provinces…. something is definitely not right… when so many people are telling you stop…. no more!!! and you totally ignore even the people you control … (IESO… OEB… MOECC…etc…) I mean oversee….
It tells me that the big wind lobbiests are running our government!! ?

Barbara
Reply

NOW, June 21, 2016

https://nowtoronto.com/news/ecoholic

Scroll down to:
‘Liberals Climate Change-up Plan’

Town Halls across Canada

More information on the Town Hall held in Toronto in June.

Greg Vezina
Reply

Pissing away $Billions of dollars worth of energy is bad enough, but for a fraction of the cost of treating municipal liquid waste we could turn all of it into energy, fuel and fertilizer made from hydrocarbons today, with zero emissions tomorrow. It is done all over the world except here in Canada. In Washington DC, DC Water is turning what used to be classified as waste into a desirable product for landscapers. There are other such plants in the USA but not in Canada.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/07/17/pee-powered-phone-charger_n_11047686.html

Barbara
Reply

“Milorganite” a waste / sewage fertilizer sold in the U.S. has been available for years. Useful around shrubs and flowers but not so good for raising food crops. Lawn use as well.

Siemens just happens to be in the business of pushing IWTs.

You have to know a great deal about fertilizers and crop production to make any kind of decisions about them.

Barbara
Reply

The articles you cite are intended for mostly for urban audiences who know little about ferttilizers.

There are many online technical articles on the use of biosolids for fertilizer.

Having had plant physiology and soil microbiology, I can read these articles.

You can’t just dump biosolids onto fields.

Greg Vezina
Reply

My focus is on using under utilized and wasted resources to make ammonia for use as a fuel and for fertilizer including NH3 and urea. When a company as large as Siemens moves into commercial demonstration of wind to ammonia technologies with plans to build plants world wide, except in North America, that indicates there is a problem. There is a huge difference between turning sewer waste or excess electricity into ammonia and urea and making biosolids.
.

Barbara
Reply

Wouldn’t it be just as easy to have people save all their “pee” for ammonia and a lot cheaper? By the way this was done during the U.S. Civil War by the South to be used to make make explosives.

Using heat and high pressure to “cook” waste/sewage kills-off micro-organisms that cause disease.Botulism organism is a soil micro- organism and very dangerous even deadly.

Germany has had problems with botulism for a very long time. So not surprised that Siemens is involved in this technology.

Greg Vezina

Barbara: The technology to make ammonia from urine has been available for almost 100 years. There are pilot plants in Nigeria doing this today, while in other places in Africa people are given free toilets that separate urine form other excrement for use as a low cost locally available fertilizer. There are dozens of feedstocks that can be used to make ammonia. We studied 20 using 4 different methods in one of our recent joint UIOT research reports, a “Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Various Ammonia Production Methods.”
https://www.academia.edu/19786635/Comparative_Life_Cycle_Assessment_of_Various_Ammonia_Production_Methods

Barbara
Reply

Would be a great re-cycling program for the GTA. ENGOs should get a program going straight away.

Barbara
Reply

Dogs and spider plants are a good match. No need to buy fertilizer.

Barbara
Reply

One more note. I’ve worked with micro-organisms that live in manure.

Wise to be careful what you do with manure.

Maybe we should be thankful for our modern fertilizers.

Greg Vezina
Reply

Our renewable nightmare | Greg Vezina

Premier Kathleen Wynne is apparently having a problem deciding between the best and worst uses for natural gas.

That suggests the wider problem with her so-called green energy policies.

The Liberals tell us there’s good gas and bad gas, but their policies remind us of laughing gas and tear gas.
http://m.torontosun.com/2016/06/04/our-renewable-nightmare

Lynda
Reply

gasbags…all of them

Greg Vezina
Reply

Green Ammonia Made With Wind Is Future of Fertilizer at Siemens

The technology could solve three problems at once. It would reduce emissions from the fertilizer business, which is responsible for 1 percent of carbon pollution worldwide, according to a United Nations panel. The technology also could absorb excess output from wind and solar farms as well as store electricity in the form of a usable gas. Siemens estimates it could help cut emissions by 360 million tons a year, more than the annual carbon output of France.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-20/green-ammonia-made-with-wind-is-future-of-fertilizer-at-siemens

Barbara
Reply

GWEC/Global Wind Energy Council (Brussels)

Scroll down to: Policy development and advocacy

“We also publish comprehensive sector specific projections titles Global Wind Energy Outlook, in collaboration with Greenpeace international …”

More at: http://www.gwec.net/about-winds/policy-work

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