Tuesday, February 11, 2014

News round-up: Stake wielding in Ontario

Today Ontario "Independent Electricity System Operator" (IESO) is holding a Stakeholder Summit, and perhaps that's why I find these two items worthy of comment.

The summary of last year's Summit included this summary of a comment by Judy Kirk (of Kirk & Co.) responding to a question from a "stakeholder": "by virtue of having a committee, insiders and outsiders are created. The insiders have the benefit of being able to develop depth, but they can also risk being co-opted."

The day's first item is about Europe's continued movement to integrating electricity markets.

Six European Power Exchanges agree on setting up European Cross-border Solution for Intraday Trading | German Energy Blog:
The six European power exchanges APX, Belpex, EPEX SPOT, Nord Pool Spot and OMIE confirmed the signing of a cooperation agreement for a common European cross border intraday solution. In addition, an early start agreement was signed with Deutsche Börse AG for the delivery of a technical system.
...The objective is to develop and set up a robust, efficient and reliable Intraday solution for all European power markets and their members.... The common technical system will be based on continuous cross-border trading where intraday adjustments to trades concluded in the day-ahead market can be made.
...Intraday trading plays an important complementary role in creating an efficient power market, as a variety of European counterparts trade, with variations in production and consumption close to delivery hour. In particular the fluctuations in renewable power generation in the course of the day have led to an increasing importance of intraday trading; in addition to that, intraday markets have partially been able to substitute demand for reserve and balancing power.
Very important stuff.
Ontario's imports and exports are scheduled by hour while the market within Ontario operates at 5 minute intervals.  The Ontario Energy Board's Market Surveillance Panel has been noting the room for improvement in market integration for years, but there is only minimal movement towards improvement.
Perhaps incumbent stakeholders have more of a provincial interest in avoiding integration than an interest in a broader, healthier market.

The second story that caught my eye is also about the privilege and is of interest to me as it shows how to separate the very icons of privilege, the "ivory towers" that are our largest universities, from the broader society.

The improvement in Quebec:

Hydro-Québec rectifies the content of a series of opinion pieces recently published ... | Press releases | Newsroom | Hydro-Québec:
Following a change to the Act respecting the Régie de l’énergie, as of April 1, 2014, Rate L will be reserved for large-power industrial customers, who will be exempt from the indexation of heritage pool electricity. All other Hydro-Québec customers, without exception, are subject to this indexation, in accordance with the Act, including the STM. The new Rate LG will be introduced for large-power customers not eligible for Rate L (commercial and institutional customers and municipal power systems). Rate L customers are therefore not “spared” by the rate adjustment currently under study at the Régie de l’énergie.
As rates escalated in Ontario, the largest power consumers in the province successfully lobbied the government to create a new pricing mechanism allowing them to avoid signicant electrcity costs (one of the pieces I've written on this topic is Demand Destruction: Economic Reality And Ontario's Electricity Policy).
Today at the IESO's Stakeholder Summer "Part I" is being moderated by Adam White, who is the "President, Association of Major Power Consumers."

I am fairly certain the "Class A" designation in Ontario, created to allow industry to compete, includes at least 3 universities, Ottawa, Toronto and the University of Western Ontario.   Our class A seems to equate with Hydro-Québec's "Rate L" - and of course there's no need to give these institutions a cost break.
The University of Toronto is not headed off to a "right to work" state.

That university is part of the edX MOOC organization (Massive Open Online Course).  Their offering for this year is "Library Advocacy Unshushed: Values, evidence, action"

Not sure stakeholder summits are vehicles to unshush anything - nor is giving ivory towers special status to protect them from the negative impacts on the society they should be a part of.

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