Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alaskan Pineapple farmer exits the nuclear business

RWE's decision to exit the nuclear business, and go more significantly in renewables, received much press.  An interview in Der Spiegel with new RWE CEO Peter Terium, provides a more nuanced perspective.

RWE's New CEO Terium To Halt Nuclear Power and Invest in Renewables - SPIEGEL ONLINE:
"SPIEGEL: Now RWE wants to invest in solar. Your predecessor Grossmann still rails that generating solar electricity in Germany makes about as much sense as "growing pineapples in Alaska." Why are you entering the pineapple farming business?
Terium: Because the government subsidizes growing pineapples in Germany."


Friday, June 29, 2012

BLM 'Auctions' 720-Million-Ton North Porcupine Coal Tract To Single Bidder For $1.10 A Ton

I'm no fan of coal, but ... Climate Progress takes 3 paragraphs to communicate their ignorance here.

BLM 'Auctions' 720-Million-Ton North Porcupine Coal Tract To Single Bidder For $1.10 A Ton | ThinkProgress:

"The Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management auctioned a major tract of Wyoming coal to Peabody Energy at a bargain-basement price of $1.10 per ton yesterday.
The North Porcupine coal tract in the Powder River Basin went to the single bidder, Peabody subsidiary BPU Western Resources, for $793,270,310.80 for 721 million tons...
This sale, made under the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, represents a massive fossil-fuel subsidy  ...
It's possible the auction process is flawed, but unhelpful to state an auction price constituted a subsidy price based on the density of pink elephants in low income households ... or whatever metric is fashionable today.

Advanced reactors in UK spotlight - Including the EC6, and GE's PRISM

Some promising news from the UK.
Canada's western 'greens' are more likely to be selling nonsense to the east instead of advocating for Alberta and Saskatchewan to replace baseload coal units with EC6's ... or Prisms.

Advanced reactors in UK spotlight:
Candu's EC6 (Image: Candu)
"Advanced Candu reactor technology and GE-Hitachi's Prism concept have been shortlisted for further investigation to test their credibility as possible alternatives for managing the UK's plutonium stocks.
Reuse in mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is the preferred option for management of the UK's inventory of separated plutonium, but earlier this year the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) invited expressions of interest on potential alternative credible full lifecycle management options. Four responses were received by the 31 March deadline, and the NDA has now announced that two of them - from Candu Energy and GE-Hitachi - merit further consideration. The NDA has accordingly engaged the two companies to provide further information on their proposals."
Read the entire article at World Nuclear News:

GREEN VIDEOS: The Road to Hell is...

I think we've got a new video that bumps out last year's shocking 10:10 schlock for most repugnant 'green' campaign.

The latest from the thugs at Greenpeace:

The sign the torturers want read means "nuclear power stations will remain open ten years longer," with the message popping up on screen advising "Elio" not to be held hostage by the nuclear brigade, but to get out of nuclear.
Belgium's Prime Minister is Elio Di Rupo.
I'd be shocked by the latest Greenpeace effort, but ...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Health Spending Stopped Growing -- in Other Rich Countries

The New York Times article notes health care spending ceased growing in OECD countries, but not in the United States.  The implication is single payer systems have better control, and are cheaper.
Which is true looking at the per capita measures...
but Canada's growth was not only higher than US growth in 2010, it was also greater from 2000-2009.

Health Spending Stopped -- in Other Rich Countries -

Graph from source article
"In 2010, health care spending stopped growing altogether across the member coun Growing tries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to a report released Thursday.

From 2000 to 2009, total health spending grew by an average of about 5 percent each year in these developed countries, after adjusting for inflation. But in 2010, it ground to a halt, the organization said."

Read the full article at the NY Times Economix blog:

Pennsylvania Transit Authority Adds Battery to subway system

The New York Times' Green blog has a story on a relatively affordable ($90/MWh) use of battery technology recently added to a subway system in Pennsylvania.

Cutting the Electric Bill with a Giant Battery -
The battery system, which I wrote about last year, is allowing the trains to run a bit like Prius hybrids. When they slow down at a station, their motors turn into generators, converting torque into current. Before the battery bank was installed, some of that current was returned to the third rail; but if the voltage got too high, it was shunted instead into a giant electric heater under the train, which simply dissipated the energy as heat.
Now the battery captures excess current, about 3.5 to 4 kilowatt-hours per train that stops, and puts it back on the line when a train is accelerating.
Continue Reading at the New York Times' Green blog

Deal in Germany sets 52GW cap on PV support

 The news from Germany puts an interesting cap on PV levels eligible for feed-in tariffs: first the news, then the math:

Germany sets 52GW cap on PV support as FIT deal is reached -Recharge
Picture from source article
German legislators have hammered out a compromise deal over cuts to the nation’s support regime for PV installations – which will now end altogether once 52GW of capacity is in place.

As well as setting the 52GW "absolute upper limit" for support – roughly twice the figure currently in place in Germany – the agreement maintains an annual growth target corridor of 2.5GW-3.5GW. The country installed 7.5GW in 2011 alone.
The entire article can be read at Recharge: The Global Source for Renewable Energy News

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bruce Power price cut could help consumers - or could not occur

The Toronto Star's John Spears reports on the hit Bruce Power is about to take.

Bruce Power price cut could help consumers -
"The statement TransCanada issued with its first quarter results reads:
“In accordance with the terms of the Bruce Power Refurbishment Implementation Agreement (BPRIA), Bruce A receives Contingent Support Payments (CSP) from the OPA equal to the difference between the fixed
prices under the BPRIA and spot market prices through July 1, 2012 after which all of the output from Bruce A will be subject to spot market prices until both Units 1 and 2 have achieved commercial operations.”"
The entire article can be read at

Bruce Power issued a  statement responding to the Star story indicating actions it has taken to avoid the rate cut:

MOX-E: The Enhanced CANDU 6

Candu Energy Inc., formerly Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) is looking at another entry point into the UK ... via their EC6 designs ability to use a range of fuels, including mixed oxide (MOX) fuel

CANDU Energy Inc. | Candu works with UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to study deployment of EC6 reactors:
"MISSISSAUGA, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Candu Energy Inc. (Candu) is pleased to announce it has engaged with the United Kingdom's (UK) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to assist in providing alternative full lifecycle approaches for managing that country's fissile material stocks. The UK's preferred method is to re-use the material as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel.
"This is a great opportunity to build on the neutron efficient fundamentals of CANDU® technology which easily allows the use of alternate fuels without changing its core design," said Ala Alizadeh, Candu's Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development. "CANDU technology is well-suited to deliver a timely and cost effective disposition of UK fissile material stocks based on proven design.""
Read the full news release:

Large fast reactor approved for Beloyarsk

Russia has advanced plans for a fast reactor at the Beloyarsk.

Large fast reactor approved for Beloyarsk:
"The government of the Sverdlovsk region of Russia has approved the construction of the country's first BN-1200 fast reactor at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant."
The technical design of the BN-1200 is scheduled for completion by 2013, while the manufacture of equipment will start in 2014. Construction of the Beloyarsk unit is set to begin in 2015.
Fast reactors offer the prospect of vastly more efficient use of uranium resources and the ability to burn actinides which are otherwise the long-lived component of high-level nuclear wastes.
The entire article can be read at the World Nuclear News site:
Related (from July 2011): Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor grid connected

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Fresh Look at Oil's Long Goodbye

An interesting article, and video, at Andrew Revkin's Dot Earth blog today on a new report indicating increasing oil supply may well lead to decreased oil pricing.
The look may not be as fresh as it's presented - this blog covered an earlier NY Times article, "Inching Toward Energy Independence" with references to a 1974 article in the Economist, 

The price elasticity of supply, of energy, is greater than the price elasticity of demand

A Fresh Look at Oil's Long Goodbye -
"...mind-bending report points to a prolonged period of rising oil production, particularly in the United States (for reasons laid out below), and a potential collapse in oil prices, with all kinds of implications for security, international politics, the economy and, without doubt, climate.
The report is written by Leonardo Maugeri, a top oil company executive from Italy who is currently a research fellow at the Geopolitics of Energy Project of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. "
Continue reading at Andrew Revkin's Dot Earth blog at the

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chilling statistics on air conditioning

Another topic indicating the rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions likely to be experienced as the poorer world catches up to the richer world.  The article notes the "potential cooling demands of upwardly mobile Mumbai, India, alone have been estimated to be a quarter of those of the United States."

In Rising Use of Air-Conditioning, Hard Choices -
"The oldest CFC coolants, which are highly damaging to the ozone layer, have been largely eliminated from use; and the newest ones, used widely in industrialized nations, have little or no effect on it.
But these gases have an impact the ozone treaty largely ignores. Pound for pound, they contribute to global warming thousands of times more than does carbon dioxide, the standard greenhouse gas.
The leading scientists in the field have just calculated that if all the equipment entering the world market uses the newest gases currently employed in air-conditioners, up to 27 percent of all global warming will be attributable to those gases by 2050."
In Rising Use of Air-Conditioning, Hard Choices -

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tepid move towards new nuclear units in Ontario

The news release from OPG indicates life in the plans for new nuclear in Ontario - plans to be drawn up to present for discussion in another year... but plans

OPG Signs Services Agreements for New Nuclear Services Agreements will help inform government decision on new nuclear

Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) has signed agreements with Westinghouse and  SNCLavalin/Candu Energy Inc. to prepare detailed construction plans, schedules and cost estimates for  two potential nuclear reactors at Darlington.

Rio+20 draft text is 283 paragraphs of fluff

The introductory paragraphs to Geroge Monbiot's latest ...

Rio+20 draft text is 283 paragraphs of fluff | George Monbiot | Environment |
"In 1992, world leaders signed up to something called "sustainability". Few of them were clear about what it meant; I suspect that many of them had no idea. Perhaps as a result, it did not take long for this concept to mutate into something subtly different: "sustainable development". Then it made a short jump to another term: "sustainable growth". And now, in the 2012 Rio+20 text that world leaders are about to adopt, it has subtly mutated once more: into "sustained growth".
This term crops up 16 times in the document, where it is used interchangeably with sustainability and sustainable development. But if sustainability means anything, it is surely the opposite of sustained growth. Sustained growth on a finite planet is the essence of unsustainability."
Read the entire column on the Guardian's Environment blog:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Electricity Costs and UWO: My What's the Mater meets My Alma Mater

Seeking ways to reduce electricity consumption:
"With a utility bill more than $25 million last year, Western’s Facilities Management staff is seeking new ways to reduce the university’s electricity consumption this summer.
Embedded within its utility bill lies Western’s government-applied Global Adjustment (GA) tax. Last year’s tax was more than $6.5 million (approximately 25 per cent of the entire utility bill). By reducing electricity consumption this summer, Western will not only lower its utility bill, but it can also significantly reduce its GA tax."
I have one comment that might help the old school be more new school in their facilities management.
The challenge is that it cannot be predicted when the peak hours are going to be. For this reason, Western needs to have good consumption practices during those hours when the peak demands in Ontario could potentially be measured.
It really isn't that hard to know when the hours will be - you pay somebody, such as Sygration, and they'll let you know when possible peak hours are pending.
And you run big generators at those times - don't worry about getting clean ones, you'll probably only need them to avoid GA charges anyway.

Energiewende: Go Big or Stay Home?

A pair of articles at the RECHARGE website point to the current confusion in the planning of the Energiewende.  Keeping in mind the inertia for the Energiewende was built up by local ownership of distributed generation - not high quality reliable generation, but broadly, and locally, owned.
First signs that the biggest energy companies have essentially secured subsidy for massive, and expensive, off-shore transmission.  
The second article indicates the same is also being implemented in the south too, with the DII proposals now being sold as super affordable - by the collection of large companies selling it.
These appear to make perfect sense - building generation where the resource is strongest - but it seems that a consequence of the Energiewende is shifting the power in the electricity sector back to the big companies.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Renewable energy in the EU: Why?

The Guardian has yet another article about renewable energy targets in Europe.

Renewable energy in the EU: which countries are set to reach their targets? | News |
• all member states increased their share of renewable energy in total consumption between 2006-2010. The EU has increased from 9% in 2006 to 12.4% in 2010
So I checked Ontario's figures (page 42 of part 3 of the 2012 National Inventory Report), and was shocked - I say, I say, I say, shocked - to see Ontario's share of renewable energy in total consumption had fallen between 2006 and 2010.

Oh ... the international humility!
In search of some speck of accomplishment I looked at our emissions performance from 2006-2010.

Ontario's Greenhouse Gas emissions in the sector declined ~34% over that time.

How did the EU do on that metric?
Bonus question:
What does the discrepancy indicate?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tyler Hamilton's "Gambling"

Heading to the casino with a pocketful of fairy tales should not be akin to designing energy policy, but it is in Ontario.

Tyler Hamilton's international wind day column is titled: Time to double down on clean energy investments -

The gambling reference is accompanied by an offshore wind turbine image, ignoring that again and again jurisdictions with substantial wind capacity fail to lower emissions much.

We know reducing consumption works
We know nuclear energy does too.

Curious Announcement of Japanese solar companies Building in Ontario

Interesting because:
NHK WORLD English:
"Three Japanese companies will join hands to build large- scale solar power plants in Canada.
Sources say trading house Mitsubishi Corporation will team up with Osaka Gas and electronics maker Sharp to build 9 solar farms in the province of Ontario. Their combined output is expected to be 100,000 kilowatts."
Read the rest at NHK WORLD English:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spears Spins the SE-91 Topic

The Toronto Star's John Spears goes to Jason Chee-Aloy for the inside scope on the SE-91 committee tasked with structuring a system to operate despite the expected avalanche of surplus baseload generation events predicted for the near future
Mr. Chee-Aloy is a consultant for the Korean consortium.
Fine choice on their part.
Prior to becoming a professional 'consultant' Mr. Chee-Aloy's jobs included "short and long-term resource adequacy mechanisms" with the IESO. "Mr. Chee-Aloy was the Chair of the IESO’s Long Term Resource Adequacy Working Group."
Following that, Mr. Chee-Aloy moved to the Ontario Power Authority where a current bio notes his history:
Director of Generation Procurement at the Ontario Power Authority where he was responsible for procuring over 13,000 MW of generation through direct negotiations, standard offer programs and competitive processes. Jason lead the development, consultation and implementation of North America’s first comprehensive Renewable Feed-in Tariff Program.
The IESO SE-91 issues are complex, but in my recent column on the issue, I noted the IESO defers any talk on payments to the contractor, which is the OPA.

In Samsung's case, their contract negotiations were with their new consultant - which is who Spears went to in order to provide you the crooked goods on the story.

BP Provides A Quick Review of World Energy in 2011

BP's statistical review is out for 2011, and it is as expected by some of us - but not too many.
Coal consumption grew by 5.4% in 2011, the only fossil fuel to record aboveaverage growth and the fastest-growing form of energy outside renewables. Coal now accounts for 30.3% of global energy consumption, the highest share since 1969. Consumption outside the OECD rose by an above-average 8.4%, led by Chinese consumption growth of 9.7%. OECD consumption declined by 1.1% with losses in the US and Japan offsetting growth in Europe.  Global coal production
grew by 6.1%, with non-OECD countries accounting for virtually all of the growth
and China (+8.8%) accounting for 69% of global growth.

The video is short and informative.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coal's resurgence undermines fight against global warming

More evidence the reason for building more renewables is to brag about building more renewables, while the reason for building nuclear is to reduce emissions.

Coal's resurgence undermines fight against global warming | Environment |
"Coal has carved itself a 30% share of the global energy market - its highest level in over 40 years - undermining attempts by governments to reduce their carbon emissions, new figures show.
China and India both increased their use of carbon-heavy coal by over 9% but Europe, where political consensus against global warming is strongest, also saw a 4% increase, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
Christof Ruhl, BP's chief economist presenting the figures in London on Wednesday said industrialisation of developing countries and cheap prices were driving coal demand which had "profound implications" for CO2 output.
The increased use of coal and a continued heavy use of other fossil fuels such as oil and gas led to a 3% increase in world carbon emissions from energy in 2011"
The entire article can be read at the Guardian:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ontario offers lower hydro rates to industry

The Toronto Star has access to the government that allows it to come out with stories concurrent with the press release from the government

Ontario offers lower hydro rates to industry for job creation -
"New businesses entering the province will be able to get contracts of up to 20 years for power at $55 a megawatt hour, or 5.5 cents a kilowatt hour. That price, which includes transmission and delivery costs, would normally be about $75 a megawatt hour or 7.5 cents a kilowatt hour..."
The Star article will simply frame the news at the government's direction, but this is the type of action I think is justifiable due to the reasons I covered on my original content blog in "Demand Destruction: Economic Reality And Ontario's Electricity Policy."

When a Plan is not a Plan-The truth behind the Integrated Power System Plan

Parker Gallant on the Ontario government's apparent abandonment of professional electricity system planning - buried in Bill 75

Wind Concerns Ontario Blog: When a Plan is not a Plan-The truth behind the Integrated Power System Plan:
"The Liberal “planning tools” that they believe will “keep pace for the short, medium and long-term” will ensure that Ontario remains a have-not province (perhaps alluded to in the response from the Ministry spokesperson above when he mentions “Ontario's fiscal reality”) and will never recapture the jobs lost as a result of their continued interference with the electricity sector in this province. Ontario is now in its ninth year of a Liberal government that promised a “plan” but have yet to deliver on that promise.
It is time the Liberals paid attention to the real experts and drop their plan!"
Read the entire article at Wind Concerns Ontario

My original content contains some of my thoughts on the abandonment of public planning by a responsible civil service: Manning Up: A Weak Week for Ontario in the Electricity Sector, et al.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Document Takes Stock of Germany's Energy Policy Shift and Lists Pending Issues

A document produced by Germany's Federal Minister of Economic an Technology list 4 issues with the 'Energiewende' - I particularly noticed the section on encouraging the construction of new coal and natural gas facilities, where capacity markets seem increasingly viewed as an attractive option.

New BMWi Brochure Takes Stock of Energy Policy Shift and Lists Pending Issues « German Energy Blog:
"The discussion how to provide incentives for new efficient fossil power plants that can replace the nuclear power plants that go offline until 2022 and balance the growing amount of renewable energy continues to run high. Different proposals like capacity markets, in which providers of secure energy are in some way or other remunerated, have been made, and their potential to distort the market and/or render the market design even more complex is pointed out.
In the section on conventional power plants, BMWi mentions the study carried out by the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) on the best market design to secure sufficient power plant capacity and says that is was carefully examining the topic of capacities markets together with the federal states and the trade associations. Besides BMWi states that the state-owned KfW development bank will launch a new credit programme as of 1 June 2012. The program me shall support investments by municipal enterprises in gas and steam power plants and combined heat and power plants by giving long-term loans at discounted interest rates."
Read the entire article at the German Energy Blog:

I did not cite the section on the grid/grids - a situation described in more detail in an earlier German Energy Blog post.   Discussion there notes the need for high voltage direct current power lines (HVDC) for long distances, and very different local a/c lines.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wind Energy Money Drying up: REC better for consumers than FIT

A report from a West Texas television station was broadly circulated this week;  Wind Energy Is Booming, But Where's The Money? (video segment viewable at link).  The gist of the piece is that in West Texas, turbines are producing energy, but money hasn't been circulating.
Nextera, formerly known as Florida Power and Light, owns the turbines and electricity. Beaird believes Nextera might be selling contracts to Gexa, a subsidary of theirs. Not just selling, but over selling.

"They're selling contracts and they're not fulfilling them so they have to go back in and buy electricity at a higher price than they sold it," says Beaird.
 During the period of the wind money drought for West Texas landowners, energy reporting firm Platts introduced a monetary product to provide regular coverage on renewable energy certificates (fact sheet .pdf here).  Renewable portfolio standards are used in many states to demand utilities purchase a percentage of their power from selected 'renewable' generation sources, and the certificates are part of tracking that percentage.

ERCOT operates the grid in Texas, and has reports related to Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that indicate demand was down in 2012's first 4 months (here), while output from renewable was up (here).
Thus the price drop.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A green investment that turned hazardous

A green investment that turned hazardous | Money | The Guardian:
"Is this the latest big trap for investors? Every day, thousands of people are being cold-called to encourage them to invest in environmentally friendly carbon credit certificates offering "safe" returns of 10% to 15% a year.
But regulators are warning that many of these companies are "knowingly run scams", often conducted by the same people who misled investors through "boiler room" share-selling.
Carbon credits can seem like an attractive opportunity for investors or anyone who wants to offset their carbon footprint, but the Financial Services Authority says people should be wary, and it is concerned that an increasing number of firms are using "dubious, high-pressure sales tactics and targeting vulnerable consumers".
The Entire Article can be read at The Guardian

It's called snake oil y'all
it's been around for a long, long time.
    - Listening to Steve Earle's 'Snake Oil' could help explain the article.

Toronto Star's John Spears In Campaign to Discredit Ontario's Auditor General

John Spears' latest at The Toronto Star, Ontario auditor-general’s green energy report was flawed, critique says, begins:
A report by Ontario’s auditor-general that blamed renewable energy projects for pumping up electricity prices was flawed, according to a critique commissioned by two environmental groups.
Environmental groups is arguable: they are Environmental Defence and Pembina.

Pemina's Tim Weis tweeted this moring: "Auditing the Auditor's claims about Green Energy in Ontario [and provides a link to an Environmental Defense page that didn't function - I assume this]

Pembina's Weis links to ED entry quoting ED's Dr. Rick Smith (zoology). The entry at ED is titled "A Few Questions for Ontario's Auditor General...", but the single question implied is not even at a sophomoric level: "Did you look for all the facts"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Germany Looks to Removing Subsidies for Energy Projects

NASDAQ has an article on some of the latest events in Germany which are pulling it away from feed-in tariffs (FIT) in a push towards mechanisms with a market function (such as renewable energy certificates - REC).

Germany Rejects Subsidies for Energy Projects, Says Market Can Provide:
BERLIN--Germany's economy minister and environment minister Tuesday rejected demands for more state subsidies for the construction of new power plants and grid expansion in Germany.

"The market alone is best suited to handle a task of that size," Energy Minister Philipp Roesler said during an energy conference in Berlin.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Every Complete Neighborhood Needs a Good Local Bar

Every Complete Neighborhood Needs a Good Local Bar : TreeHugger:
"I thought of the Gem when I read Kaid Benfield in NRDC Switchboard, where he asked Does a sustainable community need a good drinking establishment? Kaid quotes Michael Hickey, who describes them as a form of "Third space" in his post In Praise of (Loud, Stinky) Bars
We shouldn’t romanticize third spaces as only being about brightly lit cafes, pedestrianized streets, and the local public library. Bars work in their scruffy way by offering a place to get away from an overcrowded apartment or a squalid loft or a grimy job. They are a place where someone with little to spare can go for a change of pace.
The full article can be read at

Washington Post Editorial Opposes Extension of PTC

An interesting editorial in the Washington Post challenges the largely unchallenged assumption that subsidizing chosen technologies is likely to accomplish anything.
Judith Curry's Climate Etc. blog had a related entry yesterday, "Conservative perspectives on climate change," which cited another call, from Professor Johnathan Adler, for a carbon tax - also calling from the right.

Wind power - The Washington Post:
"More clean energy is good. Achieving it with crude policy is not. Maybe wind power really is the future, or maybe it’s not. There are policies designed to allow consumers and utilities to decide, instead of Congress, and the best among them is a carbon tax. Instead, politics have led lawmakers to place hidden costs on taxpayers through subsidies such as the PTC, just one of scores of federal clean-technology programs.
It’s widely assumed that a carbon tax could not pass Congress, so green-minded policymakers are defending what they have. But if political reality demands that Congress stick with subsidies, there are better ways to approach them. A report in April from the Breakthrough Institute, the Brookings Institution and the World Resources Institute offered plenty of ways to design subsidies that encourage less expensive renewables. "
Read the entire editorial at the Washington Post Site
The report referenced in the quoted paragraphs is "Beyond Boom & Bust"

Speech by head of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario

"Ontario’s Electricity System: Headed in The Right Direction” Speech by Dave Butters to the BOT - Welcome to APPrO, the Association of Power Producers of Ontario:
"First, we need to set a schedule for nuclear refurbishment and new build and simply get on with it. Fact: last month nuclear supplied 61% of our energy. Ontario is not going to walk away from nuclear – nor should it. While I was encouraged to see the government proceed with planning on nuclear refurbishment, there needs to be a clear commitment to move forward from there. And each day that we delay the decision is another day that the rest of the system is left waiting. Let’s please just move forward.

Second, the issue of surplus baseload capacity simply must be tackled. It is, in our  view, the single greatest impediment to ongoing confidence in the system - the greatest obstacle to forward momentum.

As everyone here knows, electricity does not remain idle. It cannot be stored in a jar. Put away for later. Once generated, it must be moved along the grid and delivered to a destination. Or not generated at all."
Read the entire speech at APPrO's site

Energy meltdown looms large over Greece | EurActiv

Green games contribute to threat of blackout in Greece, as the gas company threatens to cut off electricity generators unless they bring current their account payments

Energy meltdown looms large over Greece | EurActiv:
"Power companies have failed to pay their bills to DEPA because they, in turn, have not been reimbursed by LAGHE, a state-run clearing account for the nation's energy transactions.
In recent months RAE has repeatedly urged the government to shore up the accounts of LAGHE, which is sitting on a deficit of more than €300 million.
The account went into deficit because its receipts have not matched the generous subsidies it pays out to renewable energy producers, particularly for solar panels.
LAGHE's deficit deteriorated earlier this year when two electricity retailers, PPC's biggest rivals, went bust without honoring their obligations to the account, leaving authorities scrambling to find cash.
The easiest way to do this would be to take out a loan of between €300 and €400 million from the state-run Loans and Consignment Fund, which has the cash sitting in a so-called "Green Fund" for environmental purposes.
But the so-called "troika" of Greece's international lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), refuse to approve this move, PPC Chief Executive Arthouros Zervos told Reuters in an interview."
Continue reading the full article:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bruce Power Completes Important Project with Reactor's Return to Production

The IESO's Output and Capability report shows Bruce 3 returning to production at 11 am Saturday June 2nd.  This project is likely very important for the next 1-2 decades of electricity generation in Ontario.
Update: News Release notes key milestone
Less glamorous than the full refurbishment projects at units 1 and 2, this is the project that will assure significant nuclear generation from the Bruce B units for over another decade.   The 'west shift' project seemed to demonstrate the move to engineering dealing with life limiting components independent of the massive refurbishment projects such as Bruce Power has been carrying out at units 1 and 2.