Saturday, March 31, 2012

GA'd Awful: Global Adjustment Forecast For April is $74.68

My quick observations on yesterday's Update of the Global Adjustment figures:

  • 2nd estimate for March exceeds $60/MWh for the first time
  • 1st estimate for April exceeds $70/MWh, and that exceeds the average total price for 2011 (HOEP + Global Adjustment).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ensuring Resource Adequacy in Competitive Electricity Markets: POWER Magazine

Power Magazine has posted an article with an informative overview of the issues facing electricity markets.  The article is specific to the US, but the issues there are exemplary of the issues elsewhere:

  • capacity markets in PJM (threatened by protectionis in a couple of states)
  • the fragile state of the "energy only" market examplifies by ERCOT
  • the entrance of a type of 'strategic reserve' model for ERCOT (there is a model in the Nordpool market)
  • MISO is currently over capacity, but having introduced a voluntary capacity market approach (with predictably very low pricing) are attempting revising it to make it easier for "load-modifying resources to participate" (MISO having a high percentage of renewables), and take into account the location of generators.
  • -ISO-NE and NYISO both have capacity markets characterized by locational capacity requirements.

Ensuring Resource Adequacy in Competitive Electricity Markets: POWER Magazine:
"Planning for resource adequacy—something that was relatively simple in the context of vertically integrated utilities—continues to be a difficult issue in competitive electricity markets. Whereas state public utility commissions used to have exclusive authority to determine what generation needed to be built and when it was to be available, this responsibility has been assumed by RTO/ISOs in regions with competitive markets. Each region approaches resource planning differently, and each region faces unique problems."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tithing Pains: Religion And Ontario's Electricity Sector

I may not have a PhD in divinity, like some people who know all about generating electricity, but I saw the latest Surplus Generation Report, and I recognized 10% of 15000.
That is a tithe.
The Premier would know our grid can't feed Vatican City.
Wouldn't he?

Ontario's FIT program Credited with Incentivizing Freer Trade

For the Silver Lining Chasers, a story on the World Trade Organization proceedings regarding handful of jurisdictions (Japan, the EU, the USA) challenging Ontario's green energy policies.

An audience with the WTO: Canada responds to allegations from Japan and the EU | PV-Tech:
"Canada’s response to the accusations has now been heard. Ontario countered that because an FiT programme is a form of governmental procurement to ensure affordable clean energy generation, it is therefore exempt from international agreements. "
Skipping the details related to that, the rebuttal (also skipping most of the details is):
This discriminatory measure is designed to promote the production of renewable energy generation equipment in Ontario rather than to promote the generation of renewable energy
In working together in arguing for these proceeding, the EU and Japan re-discovered the precept that protectionism is bad and trade is good.  The article, about the complaint against Ontario's GEA, ends with:
Japan and the EU’s partnership has resulted in negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two nations... Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Italian counterpart Mario Monti told reporters on Wednesday that, “the two countries face very similar economic challenges and that carrying out fiscal reconstruction and generating growth are both vital.”
The full article is available at the PV-tech site

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Holding Hands with the Devil

It is permitted in time of grave danger to walk with the devil until you have crossed the bridge," 
-old Bulgarian proverb cited by FDR

The Ontario NDP is inviting opinions on what you think of the budget.
I haven't reviewed it in depth - but I know I don't like the government!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Markets treat Ontario bonds as riskier - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has an article on the relatively rising cost of debt to the Ontario government.

Markets treat Ontario bonds as riskier - The Globe and Mail:
"A decade ago, Ontario five-year bonds actually yielded less than five-year Government of Canada bonds, according to data from Bloomberg.
Even as recently as five years ago, investors demanded a yield premium of just 14 basis points (or 14 hundredths of a percentage point) to choose Ontario five-year bonds over federal government bonds.
By this time last year, the premium investors wanted to buy Ontario five-year bonds was 34 basis points. Now, the premium is 56 basis points. That means the gap has widened a further 22 basis points in the past 12 months after increasing by only 20 basis points in total over the preceding four years.
The trend is similar in 10-year bonds. In 2007, the premium was 27 basis points over Canada’s. Last year, it was 80 basis points. Now, it’s 100 basis points, having jumped another 20 basis points in the last year."
Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail Site

Renewables at risk in Queensland after Labor electoral rout

"Recharge: the global source for renewable energy news" reports on the ... well, the latest state government in Australia to fall to a Liberal/National coalition that is far less likely to gamble with energy policies.
The Australian Labor Party’s electoral trouncing in the country’s second largest state puts large-scale solar and wind energy deployment at risk, but residential solar is expected to survive the switch in administration with the likely retention of Labor’s feed-in tariff (FIT).

At Saturday’s state election, a 16% swing to the LNP – an amalgamation of the Liberal and National parties – saw Labor lose 43 seats to retain just seven, while the LNP swept up 74 seats for a massive majority of 65.

The LNP – led by the charismatic former Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman – has done some serious thinking on renewable energy, according to a November strategy document.

In a press release announcing the document, the party committed to “developing clean energy, alternative and renewable technologies and fuels, while ensuring coal fired electricity can remain competitive and viable.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Energy Industry Speech Emphasizes Public Concerns on Pricing are Well-founded

Jim Burpee, the President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association, delivered a speech on March 20th, 2012.  I was browsing through it when I read they had commissioned reports from the Conference Board of Canada - and it occurred to me in my extensive critique of the first of those reports I had failed to notice who paid for it.  Now I understand why that post is among the most read on my original content blog.

Some quotes from the speech - that support my position that there was no value proposition made in the CBC reporting:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Double energy research, end subsidies | The Tennessean

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has an article in the Tennessean which articulates the view of many economists.  The route to cleaner energy is through funding the development of cleaner energy - not by subsidizing production.
Double energy research, end subsidies | The Tennessean |
"This week, the U.S. Senate is likely to vote on President Obama’s plan to end oil subsidies and extend wind-power subsidies.
If we really want to lower fuel prices, we should instead double energy research. To pay for it without adding to the federal debt, we should stop wasteful, long-term subsidies to both “Big Oil” and “Big Wind.”
Look at shale gas, now being produced thanks to energy research. The U.S. suddenly has a 100-year supply of natural gas at one fourth the prices in Europe and Asia. This will lure manufacturing jobs and provide cheap fuel for cars and trucks."
The full article can be read at the Tennessean

Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 Information Updates - CNSC allows Point Lepreau fuel reload

Point Lepreau is behind schedule and over budget, but the timing worked out well as the deep recession during the outage made replacement power cheap.  If the next 25-30 see reactor performance as efficient as the first 25 were, it will work out well for New Brunswick.
This the the 3d recent CANDU refurbishment project, in Canada, to get the OK for refueling;  the most advanced project is Bruce Unit 2, which is out of the guaranteed shutdown state and proceeding towards joining the grid in Ontario.  In South Korea, a refurbished CANDU re-entered service last year (Wolsong 1)

2012 Information Updates - CNSC allows Point Lepreau fuel reload:
"March 22, 2012
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to authorize NB Power Nuclear (NBPN) to proceed with reloading fuel in the newly refurbished Point Lepreau reactor. NBPN will also require CNSC's approval prior to restarting the reactor, which will remain in a guaranteed shutdown state until that point."
More information at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Site

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inching Toward Energy Independence in America: NY Times Now

This is a great, long, but great, article in the NY Times
If you get through it, go to 1974 and read the Economist's "The Coming Glut of Energy" -- and if you still have it in you, here's a link from 14 months after that, which is on the arriving glut. 
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Inching Toward Energy Independence in America -

"Across the country, the oil and gas industry is vastly increasing production, reversing two decades of decline. Using new technology and spurred by rising oil prices since the mid-2000s, the industry is extracting millions of barrels more a week, from the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the prairies of North Dakota.

At the same time, Americans are pumping significantly less gasoline. While that is partly a result of the recession and higher gasoline prices, people are also driving fewer miles and replacing older cars with more fuel-efficient vehicles at a greater clip, federal data show."

Bravo Hydro-Québec: The company is smarter than the meters

Hydro-Québec is right ... the Gazette is wrong.
Time-of-use is political, and not the least bit rational.  Peak demand is usually in off-peak hours in Ontario (except in summer).
Now ... peak pricing that is set infrequently during exception demand spikes (very cold days in Quebec, and very hot days throughout Quebec's export markets) could be a well utilized tool.  Smart meters can be smart without breaking up family dinners.

Hydro's new meters aren't as smart as they could be:
"Hydro-Québec says it looked at the possibility of time-of-use pricing and came to the conclusion that Quebecers aren't sufficiently interested in the concept. As a result, the meters that Hydro is now proposing to install in 3.8 million residential and non-residential locations will not have their time-of-use functionality activated.
Hydro says its rejection of the time-of-use option was based on a pilot study that it conducted in 2,200 homes in Trois Rivières, Val d'Or, Sept Îles and St. Jean sur Richelieu from December 2008 to March 2010.
That pilot project was carried out only after the Régie de l'énergie, the provincial oversight body that is hosting the public hearings that opened this week, ordered Hydro to test time-of-use consumption billing before deciding how to proceed with new metering across Quebec.
The 2,200 customers were charged a variable rate for their electricity consumption, according to time of day and season of use. Based on the results, Hydro concluded there is "no real interest" in time-of-use pricing in Quebec."

NextEra executive: Florida isn't right for a wind farm

News from Florida, that the rebranded Florida Power and Light - the big winners in the last FIT contract award in Ontario, thinks Florida is a bad location for wind farms (they have none).
I recently posted (here) links detailing Nextera's lobbying efforts, and the projects 'earned' through those efforts.

NextEra executive: Florida isn't right for a wind farm:
JUNO BEACH — With the county commission poised to decide today whether to allow Florida's first wind farm, an executive at the nation's largest wind energy producer is questioning whether the project is viable.
Wind farms don't make economic sense in Florida because the wind is too weak, and it's cheaper to produce electricity from natural gas, nuclear power and coal, Mike O'Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, said Wednesday.
In case you were wondering what pricing the holders of 13.5 cent/kWh FIT contracts, in Ontario, think make sense:
"We can deliver electricity in a windy spot in the center of the country for 3 cents a kilowatt hour," O'Sullivan said. "In Florida, we think that is anywhere from 8 to 12 cents, depending on the wind regiment and the cost of construction."
 The full article these quotes are taken from is at the Palm Beach Post

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A FIT Bust: the bloom is off of the renewables rose

Recharge magazine notes Norway's Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has closed it's second to last wafer plant, in Europe, with it's final European plant likely to follow within months.

The same site reports Germany's Solarhybrid has "entered insolvency proceedings, falling victim to looming changes to Germany's feed-in tariff (FIT)."

The UK's first 'Green' MP, Caroline Lucas, writing in the Guardian, chastises newish climate secretary Ed Davey for putting his hopes in gas.  After cocooning with anybody who opposes nuclear for years, some of the renewables advocates are just catching up to an Admiral Ackbar'ish understanding of the relationship with the gas industry.
Pathetically, Lucas' column includes a lament that the gas generation is unlikely to get CCS.

Gas it is: Renewables Take A Back Seat

OK, this is not a new position - but when it's the title of an article on a site "Covering the Business of Renewable and Sustainable Energy," it's worth noting.

Gas it is | RenewablesBiz:
"The shine is off renewable energy and shale gas is the new disruptive technology in power generation.
Harnessing Disruption is the theme of this year’s EnergyBiz Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. this week, and that means gas-fired generation from unconventional sources is jumpin’.
Recession, rising energy costs and competing interests that could hamstring the power sector all play a role. And renewables are sometimes seen as a stress point as utilities seek to meet state mandates for their renewable portfolio standards. The dim prospects for any carbon legislation for the foreseeable future are responsible, combined with downward price pressures from the gas glut."
Read the full article at

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The wheels on the bus_

Apparently there is a hue and cry about the Wildrose party's campaign bus.

The top comment on an article in the Globe and Mail comes from JJuares:
The wheels on the bust go round and round.

German consumers may take on risk of offshore wind links

Escalating government subsidies, and pressure to cap liabilities at a level that can be insured ... it reminds me of claims about a generation source that isn't wind...

German consumers may take on risk of offshore wind links - Finance - Renewable energy news - Recharge - wind, solar, biomass, wave/tidal/hydro and geothermal:
"The German government appears willing to put electricity consumers on the hook for damaged or delayed offshore-grid connections, making it easier for TenneT or other transmission system operators (TSOs) to finance the links."
A new system would have the effect of shifting legal liability for unavailable transmission lines away from TSOs and onto German bill-payers.
Last month TenneT said the government should limit the liability a grid operator faces due to connection delays to “an amount that can actually be serviced by the insurance market”.

It is easy being green - no thought required.

A juxtaposition today, with der Spiegel reporting on how easy it is to be green, however stupidly (Germany's Failing Environmental Projects), and a column from Kingston's Whig-Standard proving it is easy to sell Green, however stupidly.

It's not easy being green - The Whig Standard - Ontario, CA:
"As sensible, energy-wary Canadians, we know we have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. We know that renewable, sustainable energy sources are the way of the future."
Back in the dark ages they burned people who claimed to know the future.
That might be how the dark ages were ended.
So why isn’t there a wind turbine in every backyard or a solar panel on every roof?
Not too up on the inability of wind turbines and solar panels to displace fossil fuels?
“It’s a real challenge, but people have to remember if it’s not a solar farm or it’s not a wind farm, then it’s a nuclear plant,”
Not too up on uranium and how it isn't a fossil fuel?
“ … we can’t allow lies, repeated often enough that they become reality, to stop us.”
Not only are lies not stopping reporter Michael Lea and subject Paul McKay, they seem to be acting as fuel.

Poll: Alternative energy loses support -

Poll: Alternative energy loses support -
"WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- Support for development of fuel sources such as wind and solar power has diminished in the United States during the past year, a survey found.
The March 7-11 poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press, found 52 percent of those responding indicated support for alternative fuel was more important than increasing oil, coal and natural gas production, while 39 percent indicated expanding exploration of coal, oil and gas was the more important of the two choices.
Although a majority went for alternative fuels, support for solar, wind and hydrogen power was not as popular as it had been in March 2011, when 63 percent indicated that was their favorite choice, while 29 percent chose coal, oil and gas exploration.
Read the full article at 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fraser Forum Connects Ontario's FIT and Ontario's Deficit

The connection of Ontario's feed-in tariff (FIT) procurement policies for electricity generation to the deficit is:  The government introduced the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) to hide the costs of the the procurement policies, and the OCEB will add over $1 billion to the debt each year.

Scrapping the feed-in tari program will result in smaller increases in electricity prices than proceeding with another round of feed-in tari contracts.  The government of Ontario should immediately scrap the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, thus reducing the 2012/13 deficit by over $1.1 billion. Long term solutions are needed to address Ontario’s escalating electricity prices, such as walking away from the feed-in tariff program.

Germany’s $263 Billion Renewables Shift Biggest Since War - Bloomberg

Some statistics to introduce Bloomberg's latest article on the continuation of the renewables Ponzi scheme in Germany.
According to the monthly data I pulled off of, between 2000 and 2011 Germany's electricity consumption rose 2% while it's use of 'fossil fuels' in electricity production rose 12%.
In Ontario, consumption has dropped about 7% over that time, and the use of 'fossil fuels' has dropped by 50%.
Nuclear output here grew 43% over that time.
Bloomberg's article notes the outcomes real economists expected the German strategy would have, in energy markets, are occurring.

Germany’s $263 Billion Renewables Shift Biggest Since War - Bloomberg:
"Germany’s efforts in the industry are sending shocks through European power markets. When it’s windy and sunny, turbines and solar cells flood the grid with electricity, undermining the economics of natural-gas fired generators, since clean energy has supply priority over fossil fuels.
Utilities running gas generating plants in Germany lost 10.92 euros a megawatt-hour today at 12:16 p.m. local time, based on so-called clean-spark spreads for the next month that take account of gas, power and emissions prices. That compared with a profit of 20.95 euros in October 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. U.K. generators earned 2.06 pounds ($3.27), down from a profit of 7.02 pounds in October.
Statkraft SF, a Norwegian power generator, said last month it’s shutting a gas-fired plant in the German city of Emden near the Dutch border because prices are so low. A biomass plant at the same site will keep working, the Oslo-based utility said."
Maybe it isn't time to double, or triple, up on a strategy that has accomplished nothing so far, but alternatively, to get the 'f' out of this 'renewable shift'

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Federal renewable energy advisor told not to deal with NextEra -

An article in th Los Angeles Times notes concerns with the process appearing to be unseemly due to a relationship between a key decision-maker, and policy shaper, and a recently hired Nextera lobbyist.
Federal renewable energy advisor told not to deal with NextEra -
"The chief architect of the Obama administration's renewable energy policy has been instructed to refrain from any dealings with the country's largest renewable energy company because of a romantic relationship with the firm's Washington lobbyist."
In Ontario - Canada - Nextera was the big winner in the last feed-in tariff award lottery (468.5 MW out of 1018.4MW according to renewablenergyworld,com) ... and those awards reportedly followed Nextera's hiring, months earlier, of the law firm/lobby firm of Cassels, Brock and Blackwell - a firm with chairman David Peterson, the former Premier of Ontario - sometimes referenced as a mentor of Ontario's current Liberal Premier.

The article in the LA Times is similar:  the relationship cited involving the powerful, 51 year-old, Steve Black, the Interior Secretary's alternative energy advisor, and a 28-year-old Nextera lobbyist.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ontario’s Power Trip: Wind wastes water — and your dollars

I am fortunate to again share writing credits with Parker Gallant in the Financial Post. 

Ontario’s Power Trip: Wind wastes water — and your dollars | FP Comment | Financial Post:
"If OPG is producing less electricity, somebody else is producing more. That would be wind power, produced by scores of wind operators that have popped up around the province under the McGuinty government’s green-energy plan. In fact, OPG’s production decline of 3.9 Twh for 2011 was offset by 3.9 Twh of wind production.
If OPG had lost that market share in a competitive market, so much the better. It would have been a sign that it did not deserve to be producing electricity if it could not match the prices and supply levels of alternative sources of power. But that is not the case."
Wind’s cost to ratepayers is $135-million per Twh, or about $526-million for the 3.9 Twh wind delivered to Ontario in 2011. According to OPG’s annual statement, it sells nuclear power into the market at $55-million per Twh and unregulated hydro power from places like Niagara Falls for $32-million per Twh. The math is simple: Had OPG used its hydro facilities to deliver the same amount of power supplied by wind, the cost savings to Ontario’s ratepayers would have been the difference between the $32-million per TWh hydro price and the $135-million paid for wind. The 3.9 Twh of wind power that cost Ontario ratepayers $526-million last year could have been bought from OPG for $125-million — a potential saving of $400-million and delivered $125 million in additional revenue for OPG. 
Read the full article at the Financial Post

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why I am urging David Cameron to act against Friends of the Earth

I don't know that Mr. Monbiot actually expects David Cameron to face up to the authors of the anti-nuclear letter, but ...

Why I am urging David Cameron to act against Friends of the Earth | George Monbiot | Environment |
"The signatories of both letters to Cameron – against and for nuclear power – want to see more investment in both energy efficiency and renewables. What divides us is the aim of this investment. Those who wrote the first letter want this investment deployed to replace nuclear generation, which is by far the greatest current source of low-carbon electricity. The signatories to the second letter (Mark Lynas, Fred Pearce, Stephen Tindale, Michael Hanlon and myself) want it used to replace fossil fuels.
It is plain that we cannot do both. Reducing carbon emissions to 10% or less of current levels in the rich nations, which is the minimum required to prevent two degrees of warming, is hard enough already. To do so while also abandoning our most reliable and widespread low-carbon technology is even harder. It's like putting on a pair of handcuffs before stepping into the boxing ring.
To suggest phasing out nuclear power when the world is faced with a climate change crisis is utter madness. It shows that some people have lost sight of which goal is more important."
Read the full column at George Monbiot's Blog, at the Guardian site

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Graham’s Bill Seeks to Rebate Nuclear Waste Funds :: POWER Magazine

Power magazine's site reports on a bill that calls for the US government to return the funds collected for a nuclear repository following the inability of the government to provide one.

Graham’s Bill Seeks to Rebate Nuclear Waste Funds :: POWER Magazine:
"“No one should be required to pay for an empty hole in the Nevada desert,” said Graham. “The decision by the Obama Administration to close Yucca Mountain was ill-advised and leaves our nation without a disposal plan for spent nuclear fuel or Cold War waste. It was a political, not scientific, decision. It is incumbent on the Administration to come up with a disposal plan for this real problem facing our nation.”
The Nuclear Waste Fund Relief and Rebate Act introduced by Graham on Monday would rebate the funds back to electric utilities and consumers. About 75% of the amount rebated to utilities would be returned to their customers, and the remaining portion will be used to make upgrades to on-site storage facilities.
Among major provisions in Graham’s bill are that within 30 days of the law’s passage,"the president “must certify that Yucca Mountain remains the preferred choice to serve as the federal repository for spent nuclear fuel and defense-related nuclear waste.” Graham said the DOE had spent “billions of dollars and decades” studying the suitability of Yucca Mountain as the nation’s repository for spent nuclear fuel and defense waste. “Consistently, the science has borne out that Yucca Mountain is the best site to dispose of nuclear waste.”
If the president failed to make that certification, all funds in the trust fund would be rebated back to utilities, it says. The legislation also includes waste confidence language that allows for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue to safeguard waste sites and license nuclear reactors in the event the presidential certification is not made, Graham said.
The full article is currently on the site

Sunday, March 11, 2012

UK wants 2030 renewable energy target scrapped

UK wants 2030 renewable energy target scrapped | Environment | The Guardian:
"The UK government wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe, in a move that would significantly boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation, according to a leaked document seen by the Guardian.
The move would in effect remove the most important prop from the beleaguered renewable energy sector – the Europe-wide targets stipulating that a proportion of each member state's energy must come from renewable sources.
That target should be scrapped when its current phase – requiring member states to generate 20% of energy from renewables – runs out in 2020, according to a secret submission to the European commission.
"The UK envisages multiple low-carbon technologies: renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, all competing freely against each other in the years to come … For this reason, we cannot support a 2030 renewables target," it reads."
Read the full article at the Guardian

What is Happening to Ontario Electricity Prices

A new report from an organization called Sustainable Prosperity has put out a background report "intended to de-mystify and explain the drivers of electricity cost increases in Ontario, with a view to contributing to a full and informed public debate on the subject."

The report, written by Donald N. Dewees, is titled "What Is Happening to Ontario Electricity Prices?"
It's terrible.
Here's why.

U.S. News - Great Lakes ice coverage falls 71 percent over 40 years, researcher says

U.S. News - Great Lakes ice coverage falls 71 percent over 40 years, researcher says:
"The study doesn’t include the current winter, but satellite photos show that only about 5 percent of Great Lakes surface froze over this winter, the Detroit Free Press said. That’s down from years such as 1979, when there was as much as 94 percent ice coverage. On average, about 40 percent of the surfaces freeze over, the newspaper said.
Wang told WBEZ-FM in Chicago that diminished ice coverage speeds wintertime evaporation, reducing the lakes’ water levels, which can spur increased and early algae blooms, damage water quality, and accelerate erosion as more shoreline is exposed to waves."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tyler Hamilton's Bizarre Lessons For Alberta

I'm consistently amazed at how hard 'green' advocates work to avoid reducing emissions.  Tyler Hamilton's latest article in The Toronto Star is illustrative of how even with a strong start, there is an innate inability to complete a coherent argument.

Coal an easier target than oil sands in Alberta -

Ontario doesn’t talk enough about how much it has reduced emissions from its electricity sector over the past decade.
It’s a view shared by Michael Ivanco, a nuclear scientist at Candu Energy and lecturer at the University of Toronto. In January, while preparing for one of his university talks, Ivanco was surprised to learn that since Premier Dalton McGuinty came to power, greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity generation have dropped by two thirds.
He knew emissions were going down, but not by that much.
In 2003, the province generated 145.2 terawatt-hours of electricity that produced 39.9 megatonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases, according to data from Environment Canada. By 2009 those emissions had dropped to 15 megatonnes.

These figures are from Canada's Inventory reporting for 2009 - figures which I dispute, but let's use the one data set to evaluate Mr. Hamilton's conclusions.
That same data shows coal dropping by 19,700 GWh while nuclear increased by 19,000 GWh, and production dropped 800 GWh(pg 50 of part 3 of Canada's 2011 UNFCCC Submission).
So .. between 2003 and 2009, the drop in coal-fired generation equated to the increase in nuclear generation and the drop in overall production.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mitt Romney: U.S. can be energy superpower

Interesting article by a US politician, by the name of Mitt Romney.
I try not to judge the neighbour's activities, but ... the latest I heard of their President he was touting a copy of Ontario's rebate on electric vehicles, and from the bits of the State of the Union address, he is copying Ontario Premier McGuinty's policies, with full knowledge they are both proven winners in elections, and losers in economies.

Mr. Romney better be careful - if he was in Ontario, being right wouldn't help his cause.

Mitt Romney: U.S. can be energy superpower | The Columbus Dispatch:
"In place of real energy, Obama has focused on an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy. This vision has failed. His promise of 5 million green jobs vanished as fast as the $500 million he gave to his campaign donors at now-bankrupt Solyndra."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cutting the number of Ontario racetracks would be a bad bet -

The Star has printed an article by John Stapleton further educating Ontarians on gaming revenue at racetracks

Cutting the number of Ontario racetracks would be a bad bet -
"Is the money paid by the government to generate new business, electrical power or liquor sales a subsidy? If so, then let’s call every investment a subsidy and banish the concept of investment from the government dictionary."
The reality is that there is no right or wrong number of racetracks for Ontario. A number of armchair statisticians have weighed in with their assessment that 17 racetracks in Ontario (one for each 800,000 in population) are way too many. Let’s teach some of their racing expertise to New Zealand, where there are 61 tracks (one for each 72,000) and Australia, where there are 451 (one for each 50,000). These countries are sure to appreciate our new-found expertise in racetrack math.
I wrote ''The Myth of the Horse Racing Subsidy" last week on my original content blog

Monday, March 5, 2012

First Lawsuits Against Grid Fee Exemption for Privileged Grid Use « German Energy Blog

News of lawsuits in Germany are timely support for my recent blog entry on the threat to the industrial sector of high electricity prices, and the machinations governments not attempting to control overall system costs must undertake to combat industrial rate escalation.

First Lawsuits Against Grid Fee Exemption for Privileged Grid Use « German Energy Blog:
"Freiburg-based utility Badenova is reported to have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) against the Section 19 StromNEV surcharge due to grid fee exemptions for energy-intensive enterprises.

The surcharge which Badenova reportedly opposes is the result of Section 19 para. 2 sent. 2 Electricity Grid Charges Ordinance (StromNEV) as amended by the Act Amending Energy Law related Provisions last year. According to this provision, end consumers can apply for an exemption of grid charges if the electricity consumption at a delivery point (Abnahmestelle) exceeds 7,000 hours and 10 GW.
Based on a decision by BNetzA, the four transmission system operators (TSOs) published staggered surcharges, amounting from 0.151 ct/kWh to 0.025 ct for 2012. They are required by law to reimburse downstream network operators for lost revenue. Among themselves TSOs have to balance the reimbursements to downstream network operators as well as their own lost revenue. The surcharge covering the lost revenue is then passed on to end consumers "
The full article can be read at the German Energy Blog

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mark Lynas » UK moves a step closer to nuclear waste solution

Mark Lynas has a blog post dealing with what to do with nuclear waste -  the PRISM seems to have more going for it than MOXy

Mark Lynas » UK moves a step closer to nuclear waste solution:
"Areva’s submission to the NDA’s original plutonium consultation asserted that fast reactors are not an option until 2040 or later. However GE’s executives told me that they could get one up and running in 5 years – the PRISM is fully proven in engineering terms and basically ready to go. Nor will the UK taxpayer be asked to fund upfront capital costs – instead the proposal is for the NDA to pay a fixed price per kg of plutonium dealt with, whilst the PRISM plant will also generate a return by selling commercial electricity. (1 PRISM block has a rated capacity of 600 megawatts.) The risk of going over-budget – always a concern for first-of-a-kind projects – remains with GE."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Germany Cuts Solar Feed-In Tariff 20%

A draft bill is not yet officially available, but it looks as if the decision may be substantially identical with the agreement on solar feed-in tariffs reached last week between Minister Philipp Rösler (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology – BMWi) and Minister Norbert Röttgen (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety – BMU).
According to the press release, a one-time cut of over 20% shall become effective as of 9 March 2012. Furthermore, feed-in tariffs shall be reduced monthly by 0,15 ct/kWh starting 1 May 2012. In addition, plant operators shall only receive feed-in payments for a limited amount of electricity generated, the press release says.
According to the proposal by Ministers Rösler and Röttgen, small roof-top installations up to 10 kW shall receive feed-in tariff payments for 85% of the energy generated in one calendar year, while all other installations shall receive payments for 90% of the energy, starting 1 January 2013 for all plants commissioned after 9 March 2012. This shall create an incentive for self-consumption of the energy exceeding the limit or for direct marketing.
The full article can be read at the German Energy Blog site