This is the fifth, and final, post in a series inspired by a UKStudy that concluded a “truism” for natural gas in the coming decades is ‘want wind, need gas.’”
My previous post noted that the need for variable generation capacity, presumably primarily natural gas-fired, does not decrease as wind capacity increases over the next decade, although the annual generation from ‘peaking’ type sources may drop from about 20TWh annually, to 17TWh annually.[i] The decline for gas producers may be more than offset by the removal of coal-fired generation. In Ontario, it is frequently noted the costs of the feed-in tariff programs for renewable (FIT and microFIT) have not yet impacted bills. I’ll demonstrate that isn’t entirely true. I’ll explore market mechanisms required in a system that includes intermittent generation that is provided with priority purchase status; and the alternate, non-competitive, mechanisms Ontario has substituted for market mechanisms. That will provide the basis to calculate a figure to add to the accounting for the cost of Ontario’s wind strategy.