Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rebuttal to conservation and demand management claims

Ontario's Environmental Commissioner produced yet another report and newspapers reported on it.
I won't waste any more of my life reading clerical bureaucratic irrelevance produced by the innumerate Mr. Miller (I've suffered through 2 in the past), but seeing reference to costs, and savings, from demand reduction programs, I did quickly flip through the 2011 Conservation report from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA released in December 2012) - enough to get the impression that the claims are that from 2006-2011 $2billion in spending on conservation and demand management (CDM), with a cost in 2011 of about $30/MWh, has resulted in $4 billion in savings for customers.

I don't want to repeat an eroneous implication I made two years ago that the OPA just makes these things up (I'm OK providing the link), but I do want to state most of the claims are probably nonsense.

The frequency where the HOEP exceeds $30 is decreasing
If you pay $30 to reduce a MWh of consumption, and the consumer generally pays over $60/MWh, the savings is not $30.
Most supply in Ontario is either publicly owned with the capital costs already incurred and the operation costs set regardless of production, contracted on a 'must take' basis, or subject to "net revenue requirement" guarantees that essentially guarantee recovery of capital costs regardless of production.  The separaton of capital and non-fuel operating costs from the market price means that reducing the total MWh consumed primarily increases the price of the remaining consumption, with very little overall savings to the consumer.

The Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) could be used to estimate the incremental cost of the next MW of generation - or of the value of not needing the next MW of generation.  Because we essentially pay the capital and non-fuel operating costs outside of the market pricing mechanism, the market price is the incremental price of the next MW of production (often this will be the cost of the generator's fuel consumption).

The HOEP averaged ~$24/MWh in 2012.

Which is less than $30/MWh

The awkward reality is that we are almost always net exporters, and those net exports usually yield a little over $20/MWh.  Ontarians should be viewed as spending ~$450 million, in 2012 alone, to subsidize exports (see note 1 from my initial review of 2012 stats) - which has an impact on most of our bills of approximately $5.25/MWh.  Funding the OPA's programming, primarily CDM activities, adds another ~$2/MWh.  Combining the costs of dumping exports with the cost of curtailing domestic consumption, the impact on the bill is now probably greater than the debt retirement charge.

And that is before accounting for the production we curtail.

Curtailment is difficult to quantify, or judge.  The programming I've done to estimate when non-utility generators are taken offline for a low-demand weekend; when Bruce's nuclear units reduce output via condenser steam discharge procedures for a couple of hours; and when hydro turbine output is diverted overnight to feed directly into Quebec's grid, totals ~843GWh, which is again greater than the OPA's claimed 717 GWh reduction (for 2011).  The hydro redirection may not be as damaging as it appears, as there may be returned benefits from Quebec; however, neither the amount of production redirected nor the agreements under which it is done are known.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) often writes about the issue of Surplus Baseload Generation, but does not provide firm numbers on curtailment.  A Recent submission by the IESO to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC):
With the forecast increase in SBG, an increase in out‐of‐market control actions is foreseen such as minimum hydro dispatch and nuclear maneuvers, to be required in order to manage the surplus, extending beyond the typical market actions which include exports. With wind and solar becoming more prominent resources on the electricity system, the need for maximum flexibility from all resources has become integral for the reliable and efficient operation of the grid.
Translated, that says with the additional generation we are contracting we will more frequently curtail other no/low carbon sources.
We are still contracting more supply while curtailing existing contracted generators and spending heavily on demand management.

Searching for evidence on the impacts of "minimum hydro dispatch" lead me to Statistics Canada CANSIM database treasure.  While there I also picked up enough information to estimate Ontario's domestic consumption back to 1977.
Chart data comes from CANSIM table 127-0001 for 1979-2005, then demand is calculated from ieso hourlydemand.csv file: hydro form 127-0001 until 2007, CANSIM 127-0002 for 2008-11, and IESO hourly production data for 2012 adjusted up to estimate CANSIM equivalence based on 2011 comparison of two data sets (IESO data does not include all generators)

One year ago, in reviewing the electricity statistics for 2011, I was somewhat surprised to find evidence that total generation from all renewable sources had been low by the historical standards of the past two decades.  This year my initial review again showed hydro production dropping - by approximately the increase in wind and solar production (~900GWh).  The data indicates 2012's hydro production is the second lowest annual output in 35 years - the past 3 years ignobly occupying 3 of the 4 lowest positions.

Production from renewable resources is essentially unchanged in 2012, while apparently more demand is eliminated by demand reduction programs as more electricity is exported at lesser rates.

Ignoring the current reality, Ontario not only continues to commit to more generation, we evict rare eagles and sacrifice important bird areas to attain more and more.

If only there were an Environmental Commissioner to stick up for the natural environment against actions that threaten it.

Link ot the Google spreadsheet containing the data for the graphs in this post


  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your
    presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    My blog post; at porn star

  2. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I have been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered shiny clear concept

    my website; the Campus Orgies

  3. I got this web site from my pal who informed me about this site and at
    the moment this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative content at this time.

    My web blog -

  4. hey there and thank you for your information – I've definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this website, as I experienced to reload the site lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I'm complaining, but sluggish loading
    instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google
    and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing
    with Adwords. Anyway I'm adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot More of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again soon.

  5. Link exchange is nothing else but it is only placing the other person's webpage link on your page at proper place and other person will also do same in support of you.

    Have a look at my site diets that work fast

  6. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
    sites really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. Cheers

    Here is my blog post: anticommercialistic

  7. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favourite reason seemed to be on the web the
    easiest thing to consider of. I say to you,
    I certainly get irked whilst people consider concerns that they plainly do not understand about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined
    out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other folks can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

    Feel free to visit my blog:

  8. This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you!
    Where are your contact details though?

    Also visit my web-site; additional hints

  9. whoah this weblog is wonderful i love reading your posts.
    Stay up the good work! You recognize, a lot of individuals
    are searching around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

    Visit my webpage - online graduate certificates

  10. What's up it's me, I am also visiting this web page regularly, this website is truly fastidious and the people are truly sharing fastidious thoughts.

    Visit my web site ::

  11. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts
    and I am waiting for your next post thank you once again.

    Review my web page :: see More

  12. Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice day!

    Here is my web-site; at porn movies

  13. Excellent way of describing, and nice piece of writing to get data about my presentation topic, which i am going to present in college.

    Here is my web site - See More

  14. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, terrific blog!

    My web blog - right here

  15. Hey there excellent blog! Does running a blog such as this take a large amount
    of work? I have very little expertise in programming
    however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog
    owners please share. I know this is off subject however I simply needed to ask.
    Appreciate it!

    Also visit my weblog ...

  16. you are in point of fact a good webmaster. The website loading pace is
    incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a fantastic process in this topic!

    Here is my site straight from the Source

  17. What's up, this weekend is fastidious designed for me, as this time i am reading this wonderful educational article here at my residence.

    Here is my blog post click this

  18. This is a topic that's near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    Feel free to surf to my weblog

  19. I'll right away grasp your rss feed as I can't to find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you've any? Please let me understand so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    Here is my page ... similar website

  20. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was once a
    enjoyment account it. Glance complex to more delivered agreeable from you!
    However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

    Here is my homepage:

  21. Hello are using Wordpress for your blog platform?

    I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Look into my website:

  22. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice
    from an established blog. Is it difficult to
    set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I'm thinking about setting up my own but I'm not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

    my blog ... Http://

  23. Howdy, There's no doubt that your web site might be having web browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, great website!

    Feel free to surf to my web page :: at photo

  24. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    say I really enjoy reading through your articles.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Many thanks!

    Also visit my web-site - :: 장현교회 >교회학교 >새벽이슬 ii - [사진] 2012. 새벽이슬 2 하계수련회

  25. I just couldn't depart your web site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info a person supply to your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to investigate cross-check new posts

    Here is my page - visit

  26. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking
    into your web page yet again.

    my weblog Highly recommended Resource site