Thursday, September 29, 2011

Florida FPL customers Complain About Only $196 Million

FPL customers to prepay for nuclear plants?:

Hilarious - if you've got a quirky enough sense of humour.

FPL is asking the commission to approve an additional 23 cents a month that would begin with January's bills for improvements and increased capacity at the two nuclear plants that are already operating.
FPL is seeking approval for nuclear planning costs that would add $1.76 to the typical bill. Along with increased energy conservation and environmental costs, the typical customer bill could increase by $2.81, to $99.35 from $96.54.
'via Blog this'
In Ontario, FPL is behind Nextera, which is behind a couple of companies that wisely hired the firm of former Liberal Premier David Peterson and were, months later, offered 468.5MW of FIT contracts for industrial wind turbine generation (some info is here).
Only accounting for the FIT rate, those contacts are likely to bump bills by over 1.5%.
Accounting for the other costs of wind generation in Ontario (as I did here), the Ontario wind deals with FPL's companies are likely, over the course of the contracts, to add closer to $6 billion to Ontario bills.

MW Capacity Capacity Factor Rate ($/MWh) Annual Costs (M's) 20-year Fit Costs ($Ms) % of $10 Billion Current Market
468.5 0.3

FIT 135 $166.21 $3,324.29 1.66%
Rate Including Other Factors 232 $285.64 $5,712.85 2.86%

Europe Continues to Debate Market Mechanisms To Cope with Changing Supply Mix

EFET Demands Strengthening of Market-Related Mechanisms Instead of Capacity Markets « German Energy Blog:

EFET, however, speaks out against expanding the EEG mechanisms to the generation of conventional energy, warning of an increasingly planned energy market with rising costs and decreasing efficiency. Free markets were best suited to ensure that the necessary investments were made with the lowest costs to the overall economy, EFET says. The association therefore proposes to strengthen the liberal market design, not only in Germany, but also on the European level. This included a centralised organisation of the market for operating reserve and an improved market integration of renewable energy sources, EFET says. In addition the organisation demands that electricity grids are speedily expanded.
In its recent report “Competition in the Gas and Electricity Markets”, the Monopolies Commission (Monopolkommission) advised to use the opportunity the nuclear exit provided for a comprehensive change of the German energy landscape. This might include capacity markets, the commission said.
2 points here:
- the data doesn't support that a broader geographic area will compensate for weak, and strong, wind and solar periods. The EFET argument is helpful in terms of a broader market allowing for lower overall operating reserves, but that improvement would just, temporarily, mask the need for capacity payments in a world where renewables are provided preferential access to markets while remaining intermittently available.

- similarly, the elimination of baseload, via the nuclear exit in Germany, just masks the very same issue a little longer.

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Prentice Opines on Lower Churchill Project's Benefits - Prentice calls project 'transformational' | Quentin Casey - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada:

"It is a transformational project for Atlantic Canada that will take the region and the country to a new level of industrial development," the former Harper government cabinet minister said in a noontime speech at a downtown Halifax hotel.
"It is, in effect, part of the unfolding of a vision that I share with many Canadians - to see this country become a clean energy superpower."
'via Blog this'

Not Strangely, other CIBC folks (Prentice moved to CIBC after leaving (?) politics, are in the Montreal press trumpeting the wisdom of energy spending - especially, it would seem, vary large projects.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York Power Authority Pulls the Plug on Offshore wind Project

Wind gets knocked out of energy farm plan - Business - The Buffalo News:
"The proposal for a wind energy farm off the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario is officially dead.

The New York Power Authority on Tuesday pulled the plug on the project, citing the high costs of the subsidies that would be needed to make the wind farm economically feasible."

'via Blog this'

Oettinger: German EEG Surcharge Moving towards 6 ct/kWh « German Energy Blog

Oettinger: German EEG Surcharge Moving towards 6 ct/kWh « German Energy Blog:
"German EU Energy Commissionar Günther Oettinger sees the EEG reallocation charge moving towards 6 ct/kWh, the news agency Reuters reports. With the EEG surcharge, end consumers pay for the difference between the guaranteed feed-in tariffs and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange.

The current EEG surcharge for 2011 amounts to 3.53 Cent/kWh, a rise of 72% compared with the 2010 surcharge of 2.047 ct/kWh."

'via Blog this'

US DOE Notes Transportation Energy As Most Important Challenge

Report Says Vehicle Fuel Should Be the Priority, Not Electricity -
"Research on solar and wind power is all well and good, but a self-assessment by the Department of Energy has found that in the great scheme of energy needs, the government is not investing enough in transportation energy, an area in which those renewable power sources do not play a role.

“Reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national security, and also contributes to the long-term threat of climate change,’’ its analysis, released on Tuesday morning, states."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Samsung's Project Management Contract

This article describes, unwittingly, how Samsung is simply outsourcing the job of buying existing wind projects - presumably utilizing it's preferential grid access, which nobody seems to be pricing as a subsidy specific to them. It's also outsourced the turbine construction.

180 MW Ontario Wind Farm Changes Hands | EarthTechling:
"Armow is one of four wind farms currently being developed by the two companies in Ontario. The other three projects are the 270-MW South Kent Wind project in Chatham-Kent, the 270-MW K2 Wind project in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh and 150 MW of wind from the Grand Renewable Energy Park, a wind and solar power project under development in Haldimand County. All of the projects will utilize Ontario-made wind turbine components manufactured at the the new Siemens factories"

'via Blog this'

Renewables and Coal, or gas ... a partnership

Coal dependence and the renewables paradox « BraveNewClimate:

"When the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining, the fuel consumption of the conventional plants will be reduced. But the need to ensure reliable supply ensures that fossil fuel plants cannot be turned off. As much as these innovative technologies seem to offer an intuitive appeal to energy supply for a large sun-drenched continent, a reliable electricity grid requires reliable dispatchable supply."

'via Blog this'

PS ... For a entertaining 'old fashioned lecture' on this, I recommend Professor Vaclav Smil's presentation at the Equinox Summit.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Good explanation of the Debt Retirement Charge

Ontario votes: Retiring Hydro’s debt a real numbers game:
"Although the stranded debt and the residual stranded debt were calculated separately in 1999, they’re really just one debt. The definition of the residual stranded debt is that it’s whatever’s left over after the revenues from the power system go into the big debt pit that we’re trying to fill up. If people use a lot of hydro one year and the system makes a lot of money, the residual debt goes down faster than expected. If there’s a mild winter and a cool summer and people don’t use much power, it goes more slowly.
The Tories say the residual debt was $7.8 billion in 1999, the province has collected $9.6 billion in debt retirement charges ..."

I will note, aside from the article being correct, that it didn't investigate why profits haven't been paying down debt, as I did, in a blog entry, previously.

Friday, September 23, 2011

AFP: Putin touts Arctic Northeast passage

AFP: Putin touts Arctic Northeast passage:

""Our plans include modernising river, automobile, and rail routes and communications, and northern airfields and airports as well as the renovation of Polar aviation," Putin said.
"The states and private companies which will choose Arctic shipping will no doubt receive hefty economic advantages and dividends," he said.
Russia's ambitious plans are part of the Kremlin's bid to mark out its stake over the energy-rich Arctic as climate change is beginning to open up at last as polar ice recedes."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jordan Stays On The Path to Nuclear Energy

... and clean water ... and secure supply

Jordan News Agency (Petra) |Jordan to produce Uranium by 2013, says minister:
"Speaking on Jordan's reserves of Uranium, the minister said the Kingdom has rich deposits of uranium ore in the central region estimated at 65,000 tons. He linked the success of major national projects in areas of energy and water to the proposed nuclear programme. Toukan stressed that Jordan's water problem can only solved through the desalination of sea water and that technique needs cheap sources of energy."

'via Blog this'

Ontario's Green Party In Ontario's Election Campaign

The Agenda - Broadcast - Your Vote 2011: Mike Schreiner | Parsing the Green Party Platform:

Mike Schreiner hasn't gotten a lot of press during the current Ontario election campaign, so I thought I'd point to an interview done last week with the Green Party leader.  I expect most who watched it found Mr. Schreiner a far more affable, and serious, candidate than they expected.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

US Solar Figures begin to make sense

Solar Installations Rise, but Manufacturing Declines -
"The report gives a detailed financial explanation for the trend. It is far cheaper, per watt of capacity, to put a solar panel on a commercial roof or out in the open desert than on a house.

In the second quarter, residential installations cost $6.42 per watt; nonresidential installations cost $5.20 per watt and installations done by the utilities themselves cost $3.75 per watt. "

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Calzada Refutes Green Jobs Claims - Again

Gabriel Calzada | Green Jobs | Promise from green jobs overstated, harms ignored | The Daily Caller:
"we found that each renewable job cost the Spanish taxpayer between $752,000 and $800,000. Even more troubling is the fact that diverting these critical resources cost the Spanish economy 2.2 jobs for every job created. Further, the jobs created in Spain were temporary — two-thirds of them were in installation."

'via Blog this'

New York State to Halt Plans for Great Lakes Wind Farm

Wind farm project runs out of air - David Robinson - The Buffalo News:

"...the project’s shaky economics ultimately proved its undoing. With natural gas supplies bursting at the seams because of the explosion in drilling in the Marcellus Shale, wholesale power prices across New York have dropped dramatically since the recession began.

The average wholesale cost of power generated in New York last year was less than 6 cents per kilowatt hour, and last week, the average wholesale price in Western New York was under 4 cents..."

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tom Adams' Meaningful Thoughts on Controlling Power Rates

Cutting Ontario’s Future Power Rates | Tom Adams Energy - ideas for a smarter grid:

"The main driver for escalating electricity rates in Ontario is the current government’s policy of using the sector to create a surge of short term employment, with no care for the long term impact on consumers. But electricity is one of the most capital intensive components of the economy. Artificial job creation in the power sector is burdening the economy with decades of unnecessarily inflated power costs. Consumers need an electricity sector requiring fewer, not more, employees.

Here are some ideas to address the underlying problems causing rates to increase. These remarks here build upon my previous posting of May 10, 2010 “Ontario Power Bill Rip-Off: Solutions”. My main focus in this post is on two basic changes in governance.

  • Repeal the Green Energy Act
  • Depoliticize decisionmaking

I have also framed eight particular policy issues that are so complex and multifaceted that they are best suited for consideration in focused policy review processes.

The approach recommended here is to reorient policy toward consumer value but to avoid revolutionary changes."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Study Says Replacing Coal with Gas Won't Counter AGW

Replacing Coal With Gas Is No Panacea, Study Says -

With a 50 percent cutback in the use of coal and a matching increase in the use of natural gas, worldwide warming would actually increase slightly (less than 0.1 degree Celsius) for the next 40 years as a result of the switch, according to the study’s estimates.

'via Blog this'

German Competition Commission Report Notes RPS Style Market for Renewables

2011 Monopolies Commission Report on Competition in Gas and Electricity Markets « German Energy Blog:

"Market distortions result to a considerable degree from the legal framework regulating renewable energy sources (the main law being the Renewable Energy Sources Act – EEG), the Commission remarks. With the expected increase of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (following Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power), market distortions are likely to further increase, having a negative impact for consumers, the Monopolies Commission predicts. It calls for a switch to a “long-overdue” more market-oriented system and suggests to introduce a quota scheme, in which energy traders would be obliged to purchase a certain share of renewable energy for their portfolio."
I did point out this was a possibility in yesterday's post citing a separate German Energy Blog entry.

'via Blog this'

Error Found in Calculating Carbon Saving for Biofuels

'Serious' Error Found in Carbon Savings for Biofuels -

“Clearing or cutting forests for bioenergy crops releases large stores of carbon into the atmosphere and may reduce ongoing carbon sequestration if the forest was otherwise still growing. Bioenergy crops will absorb carbon that offsets the emissions from their combustion, but it may take decades for this carbon absorption (which offsets emissions) to catch up to the lost carbon storage and forgone carbon sequestration of the forest.”

"The committee’s opinion backs up earlier criticism by environmental groups including Birdlife International and the European Environmental Bureau, which likened the carbon accounting error by European Union officials to a“subprime carbon mortgage that it may never be able to pay back.”"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Capacity Markets in a Intermittent Supply World

BNE Paper on Capacity Market Calls for New Flexible Gas-Fired Power Plants « German Energy Blog:
An energy market is needed which gives incentives for the best generating capacities from an energy policy point of view, as well as the economically most favourable ones, bne says. The paper from by Büro für Energiewirtschaft und technische Planung GmbH (BET) points out ways to achieve this goal. The concept involves an auctioning model with a market-coordinator who assesses whether there is the necessary capacity to ensure the security in supply.

Samsung Purchases Yet Another Existing Wind Project In Ontario

In 2011, it has become less and less clear what it is Samsung is doing in Ontario to justify preferential access to the grid, and an additional stipend beyond what other suppliers offered.
"South Korea's Samsung and Pattern Energy Group have acquired a wind power project in Ontario for an undisclosed price. The companies, which bought the project from Spain's Acciona, will increase the planned capacity of the Armow project in Kincardine, Ontario, to 180 megawatts. Construction will begin in 2013 and finish the next year."
Samsung, Pattern buy Ontario wind project | Reuters:

Pattern, a San Francisco based company (funny coincidence there as much of the money backing the allegedly Canadian Pembina Foundation is from the Foundations of elite San Francisco families), has been contracted by the Korean syndicate to acquire almost half of the 2000MW they were entitled to, and the Armow project is not the first they have acquired from another applicant, following on acquisitions of other projects now comprising the South Kent wind project.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Would you donate space on your roof, or yard, to get Ontario Out of Debt?

Parker Gallant: The Forgotten Directive | Energy Probe:
The government directive would have allowed OPG to use the “Nuclear Fixed Asset removal and nuclear waste management funds” to invest in the solar sector.  If OPG had done that; earnings from the fund (based on the OPA’s calculations) would have easily doubled ...
Parker Gallant has presented a great idea.

Since it is claimed Ontario has a huge electricity debt from before the breakup of Ontario Hydro,
And because Ontario Power Generation has a large fund for handling of nuclear waste in perpetuity,
And as the microFIT program guarantees huge returns on solar panel investments for homes and farms
Just invest the decommissioning funds in solar microFIT projects.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Energy Probe's Lawrence Solomon has a new reason to opposes nuclear waste storage project

Lawrence Solomon: Just a (nuclear) waste | Energy Probe:

"Twenty years ago, the last time the industry made a concerted push to convince northern communities to accept the radioactive waste, the organization I work for, Energy Probe, helped community activists deep-six the plans. Today, some of those same activists of a generation ago again oppose plans to deposit the country’s nuclear waste somewhere in the vast Ontario wilderness. I am among them, but my reasoning has changed. Twenty years ago, I thought the wastes too risky to bury. Today, I think them too safe."

'via Blog this'

Another Study Claiming Natural Gas Replacing Coal Will have Little Impact on Global Climate Changes

Green Car Congress: Study findings suggest that switching from coal to natural gas would do little for global climate:
"Although the burning of natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, a new study by Tom Wigley, a senior research associate at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change. "

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ontario Marching in Lockstep with Germans

Speculation about Rising EEG Reallocation in 2012 « German Energy Blog:

Pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), German electricity consumers have to pay for the difference between the market price for electricity and the feed-in tariffs for renewable energy paid under the EEG by paying the EEG reallocation charge. From 2010 to 2011 the surcharge increased by 72% from EUR 2.047 Cent/kWh in 2010 to 3.53 Cent/kWh in 2011.
My fellow Ontario residents should make note of this. All our electricity supply costs go into one big ledger, and what is left after the market pricing is the Global Adjustment (GA).

The Global Adjustment has increased about 60% in Ontario. The first 8 months of 2009 had a GA charge averaging $24/MWh, and this year that figure moved up to $38.53.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oxford Study Provides a Powerful Warning for Ontario.

Most Ontarians have just ignored the growing role of traditional energy companies, including TransAlta, Enbridge, and Suncor,  in expanding industrial wind generation in Ontario. “The Impact of Import Dependency and Wind Generation on UK Gas Demand and Security of Supply to 2025,” from The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, starkly indicates the marriage between wind and natural gas in the electricity sector.

... what is clear from this paper is that a truism (though not a particularly elegant headline) for gas in the present decade is 'want wind, need gas.'

It would appear that the more ambitious targets for wind generation in the UK have been formulated without a full appreciation of the costs and complexities caused by intermittency of very substantial levels wind generation.”