Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Environmental Defefence's Op-Ed: Green as ...

Nominally environmental, allegedly non-governmental, organization Environmental Defence has an op-ed on the Ottawa Citizen site - written by its executive, director Tim Gray.
The NGO associated with frac gas promises to correct the "dubious assumptions rather than facts" behind a claim that "green power" is responsible for rising electricity bills.
I saw an error starting the second paragraph and decided to note errors as I read through Stop making green power the scapegoat ... should just take a second ...
Subsidies for nuclear power pushed up our electricity generation costs by 43 per cent last year
Electricity rates didn't go up 43% last year.
I know what Gray probably meant - it's wrong too.
Today, wind and solar produce just four per cent of Ontario’s electricity, so blaming them for rising rates is like blaming the cookie you ate for all your weight gain.
Page 20 of "Calculating the RPP Supply Cost"
If you hadn't gained weight on your existing diet, and then you only added cookies to the diet, without changing your energy use, the weight gain would probably be because of the cookies.

Solar is expected to go from essentially 0% of costs to 11% before we ever get a report from the Ontario Power Authority on how little energy we are purchasing, and for how much.
I estimate the same 4% of generation coming from wind and solar as ED guy, but that's ~$1.2 billion of a ~$11.5 billion market - and it's grown by ~$1 billion since the recession hit at the end of 2008 when demand disappeared and we decided to see how much we could add to Ontario's bills by procuring ever more supply while exporting cheaply (it's up to about 1 cent/kWh)
The real reason electricity bills in Ontario are on the rise is our overbuilt and unreliable nuclear system
We haven't built a reactor since 1994 and yet output in 2013 will be the highest since then, and still it's priced around 6 cents/kWh, which is less than 1/2 ED guy's "not a problem" renewables (Bruce Units 1 and 2 has put some upward pressure on 2013's rates - but that's just one part of the rate story, and it's the least expensive, per kWh, supply of all that have been added in recent years )
Ontario’s new Long Term Energy Plan anticipates a lower demand future where less nuclear will be needed.
The plan expects demand to be relatively flat but not lower, and the plan has renewables and ED's methane instead of nuclear.
While some suggest that controlling the output of wind turbines is a problem, cutting off a windmill takes minutes.
On the contrary, if decisions were made by working dicks, instead of ED types, wind turbines would be first in the curtailment order - not following Bruce's reactors.
There’s also an erroneous assumption that costly gas plants were built to back up wind and solar power.
We have gas plants to provide a reliable supply of electricity.
from the Long Term Energy Plan
Wind and solar might displace some fuel use in the reliable supply chain, but peak energy use (including home heating) is on cold winter nights when the capacity value of both wind and solar is essentially nil.  The ability of these renewables to displace any capacity is minimal.
We have a climate crisis on our hands, folks, and it is long past time to start dealing with it.
According to the LTEP we are going to increase emissions.
Attacking the supply mix in low emission jurisdictions is a really strange way to communicate a climate crisis.

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