Electricity policy in Ontario: meets the definition of insanity

Einstein's definition of insanity: Ontario's electricity policy fits
Einstein’s definition of insanity: Ontario’s electricity policy fits

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!
©Parker Gallant,
June 30, 2015
1.  One terawatt is equal to 1 million megawatts which is equal to 1 billion kilowatts.

What's your reaction?


  • Pat Cusack
    Posted July 1, 2015 5:55 pm 0Likes

    If the current Ont Govt makes the changes they want to the education system they could wind up with a whole generation of people using the same math they are using.

  • Greg Latiak
    Posted July 1, 2015 6:04 pm 0Likes

    They are just demonstrating that an ‘honest’ politician stays bought. Someone is benefiting hugely from all of this… Follow the money.

  • Roy Merkley
    Posted July 1, 2015 7:16 pm 0Likes

    History will tell you that the world as we know it has evolved primarily based on blunders by political leaders. The Ontario Liberal’s energy policies are yet another example of bad decisions that were poorly implemented..

  • Barbara
    Posted July 1, 2015 8:24 pm 0Likes

    The Register ,UK, June 26, 2015
    ‘Gates: Renewable energy can’t do the job. Gov. should switch green subsidies into R&D’
    Gates said the cost of using current renewables such as solar and wind to power all or most power would be “beyond astronomical”.

  • Inderjit Soni
    Posted July 1, 2015 8:37 pm 0Likes

    Looks like this politician needs simple lessons of accounting and common sense. It is also possible he is getting kick backs from the contractors.

  • Tracy
    Posted July 1, 2015 9:31 pm 0Likes

    Energy policies “appear” to be poorly implemented. It depends in whose perspective you take.
    Yes “follow the money.” the subsidies are going directly into the pockets of wind companies who are also politicians. Google “Mike Crawley” CEO Aim Powergen/president of the Federal Liberal party…
    Ontario will be broke. Look who will have the money, the power, the means to scoop up prime agricultural waterfront properties at bankruptcy rates.
    Result-the rural Ontario populace is in the process of being duped by a handful of crooked politicians, performing illegal, unconstitutional acts. These guys should be in jail. They won’t be; but a good arse whooping might serve some justice!

    • Barbara
      Posted July 2, 2015 2:45 pm 0Likes

      Law enforcement can investigate and lay charges but if the Crown prosecutors won’t prosecute then nothing can be done.
      Ontario needs elected prosecutors accountable to the electorate?
      The Attorney General of Ontario should be electable position.

  • Parker Gallant
    Posted July 1, 2015 11:06 pm 0Likes

    From the Committee Transcripts in respect to the GEA:
    Standing Committee on General Government – 2009-Apr-06 – Bill 150, Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009
    From the Sierra Club: Mr. Dan McDermott: “I’m Dan McDermott, director of Sierra Club Ontario. With me today is Sarah Giles, who is a researcher with Sierra Club Ontario.”
    Some of what he had to say about the wonders of the GEA and insanity on that date: “Bill 150, the Green Energy Act, represents a substantial advancement in Ontario’s commitment to renewable energy. When enacted, Bill 150 will transform the reality of renewable energy in Ontario from its current boutique status to that of a significant and expanding component of the province’s electricity mix. The Green Energy Act will transform Ontario from non-player to the role of sustainable energy rising star of North American jurisdictions.” Or the laughing stock of North American juristrictions?”
    And he also had this to say
    “The counterbalance to Sierra Club’s Green Energy Act enthusiasm remains the Ontario government’s slavish addiction to nuclear expansion. Insanity has been defined as engaging in the same activity repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. By this measure, Ontario’s continuing love affair with nuclear power clearly qualifies as insane. Years of meaningless construction schedules, outrageous cost overruns and unexpected reactor breakdowns were ignored by the Ontario Power Authority and continue to be ignored by the government. The McGuinty government blithely repeats the assurances of nuclear agents that the future will be problem free and the past should be forgotten.
    And he summed up his presentation with this:
    “Sierra Club’s overarching concern is that the Ontario government’s new-found support for green energy is on a collision course with its commitment to nuclear power. The reality is that nuclear expansion and green energy growth are incompatible cohabitants. The day will come when the government of Ontario will need to choose between these competing priorities. Sierra Club strongly urges the McGuinty government to make the choice now to stop throwing good money after bad and invest in the green energy future that must quickly become our present.
    It would appear this was the Liberal’s cost benefit study and they have kept throwing our money to those “green” entities like NextEra and others that simply take our money!
    Link to Legislative Committee is here: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/committee-proceedings/committee_transcripts_details.do?locale=en&BillID=2145&ParlCommID=8856&Date=2009-04-06&Business=&DocumentID=23758.

  • Sommer
    Posted July 2, 2015 12:18 pm 0Likes

    Is it true that the Sierra Club received money from Trillium then and that one of the members of the Green Energy Act Alliance was a director of Trillium?

  • Grant
    Posted July 2, 2015 12:43 pm 0Likes

    This an exchange I had with Laurel Broten, a Liberal MPP at the time, at the hearing for the Green Energy Act on April 20,2009.
    Ms. Laurel C. Broten: Thank you very much for your comments and thank you for being here today. I think that you were in the audience earlier today when the Blue Green Alliance Canada-good jobs, a clean environment and a safer world-came forward and we heard deputations from the United Steelworkers with respect to the importance of the initiatives being brought forward by the Green Energy Act: to help us move into sustainable jobs for the future, opportunities for those who worked in shut-down factories in the province to be able to participate in a strengthened and refreshed economy, as we seek to construct new, sustainable technologies. I wondered if you had any comment with respect to how that might affect the community near you, in the steel manufacturing sector.
    Mr. Grant Church: If you continue with your plan, I believe it will cause the collapse of this province. The price of industrial electricity in this province is the second highest, if not the highest, in the country. We have mills that are very much in danger of shutting down. There are so many that are so close, and I’m hearing reports of them. The most recent one that’s in danger is AbitibiBowater. They have a mill in Thunder Bay. Last fall, at the finance committee, they asked, “Why is the commodity portion of our electricity higher than the total price in neighbouring jurisdictions?” Weyerhaeuser said, three years before, that of all the places they operate, Ontario has the highest-priced electricity. To make paper, 30% of the cost is electricity. Those companies will make a decision-like that-to move it. Thousands of jobs have left the paper sector and moved to Quebec or elsewhere. AbitibiBowater is in bankruptcy proceedings now. That mill in Thunder Bay may be closing.

  • Grant
    Posted July 2, 2015 5:32 pm 0Likes

    The first estimate for the July Global Adjustment is on a roll at $88.88/MWh.

  • Tye
    Posted July 2, 2015 7:44 pm 0Likes

    Here is a summary I did of Hydro one’s pension plan for 2014 on my blog:
    Let me know what you think!

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