Monday, September 16, 2013

Submitted comment on long term energy planning.

The government of Ontario is doing a planning exercise regarding Ontario's energy sector - as they do.

The big changes since the last time they went through the process is more useless supply is now contracted, the planning agency responsible for producting a long-term plan (the Ontario Power Authority) has been scapegoated at gas plant hearings and targetted for termination (by all 3 parties in the legislature).
The current Minister of Energy responds indignantly to truth with lies, and the Premier's mouthed 7-months of platitudes about conversing seems far more likely to produce a record of hypocrisy than anything else; the implementation of pre-existing bad policy is occurring much quicker under cover of her "conversation" routine.

Most of the submission is copied from my submission on the supply mix directive in January 2011, although there are some updated sections and the submission ends with a quickly written outline of 3 themes I'd meant to get to at some point:
  1. Market design
  2. Carrbon taxation
  3. Promotion of trade/capitalizing on a low-emission electricity sector.
In keeping with Ontario's policy of technical excellence, submission are text only; my submission is posted here in the font choice provided.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ontario's Minister of Energy and 6 gazillion whatevers

Two days after I posted an array of estimates in Ways to estimate Ontario's losses on electricity exports, a Canadian Press article included a very different figure as coming from Ontario's Minister of Energy:
Chiarelli says Ontario is making a net profit of up to $6 billion a year on importing and exporting electricity
I was a little angered dishonesty might be the strategy to respond to fact, but recognized the possibility the minister may have been misquoted.

The next day a slightly different story was told by Bob Chiarelli on the CBC radio program "As It Happens" (3rd segment of 3rd clip here) as he claims, emphatically that the:
"province since 2006 has made between 5 and 6 billion dollars net profit on the sale of it's electricity"
Obviously I disagree, and the reader may not be interested in a prolonged "I said/liar said" exchange,  so I'll only briefly reiterate claims government entities have made on the issue:
Based on our analysis of net exports and pricing data from the IESO, we estimated that from 2005 to the end of our audit in 2011, Ontario received $1.8 billion less for its electricity exports than what it actually cost electricity ratepayers of Ontario
-Auditor General of Ontario annual report 

Friday, September 13, 2013

NENGO's target nuclear at expense of the environment

Greenpeace Canada and the Pembina Institute have put their names on; Renewable is Doable: Affordable and flexible options for Ontario's long-term energy plan (LTEP).  The document is primarily about criticizing nuclear generation in Ontario, and presenting, "good reasons for Ontario’s next LTEP to keep the province’s options open and not lock into nuclear."

Renewable is Doable basically presents 2 arguments: we don't need new nuclear, and it would be better to build a "cost-effective, low-carbon energy mix" instead of the new, not needed, nuclear units.

The argument questioning the need for nuclear isn't surprising to me, as 30 months ago I wrote in a submission on an aspect of another LTEP:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Value messages from data on an Extreme day for Ontario's grid

Warm humid weather moved into the southern Ontario yesterday and sent demand upwards.

The temperatures were very moderate in the earliest hours of the day, so demand was low - so low the pricing was negative for 4 hours and that meant nuclear units at Bruce reduced their output.   It took a while after the IESO banned negatively priced exports but there now seems to be, effectively, a minimum price just below $0/MWh (thus each of the 4 hours was ~$-4.50/MWh).
A unique feature of the day is not only did it experience some essentially minimum pricing levels, it also saw maximum pricing levels (for the 5 minute MCP - IESO report)

By the end of the day the average rate (HOEP) was the second highest daily price of the year, and the 7th highest of the past 5 years (not to worry - at $87.52 it's just about what you've been billed lately)

More unique than the pricing movement was the demand variance between the 12,458MW minimum in hour 3, and the 22,682 maximum in hour 20.  The 10,224MW difference is the most severe in over 3 years and the 9th highest since the market opened (including 2 days for the blackout of 2003).

I pulled some figures for the day as I was posting a report for the IESO week (Sept. 4-10).

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ways to estimate Ontario's losses on electricity exports

I've been crunching numbers related to Ontario's electricity exports again - again in a collaboration with the hopes of having another translate my bombardment of figures into a message that will be broadly communicated.

In working collaboratively, I/we work with a massive amount of data to extract a presentation supporting the point we wish to communicate.

In this data geeky post, I'm going to look at statements on exports over the years, and indicate 4 different methods of estimating the cost to Ontario ratepayers of exporting electricity at very low pricing.

The numbers vary widely between estimates.
The problem exposed by the various estimates does not: increasing exports are now contributing to much higher rates in Ontairo.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Taking the temperature to Ontario's Electricity metrics

A quick post on some data views I found interesting after linking my personal hydro one data to Ontario's system operator (IESO) data for Ontario's electricity sector.  My data has the average daily temperature (in Penetanguishene), so this post will look at the impact of temperature on the electricity sector.

Most will recognize that heating, and cooling, are drivers of electricity consumption.  In Ontario, heat more than cold drives electricity demand - thus Ontario is a summer peaking jurisdiction for electricity.

But not for energy: natural gas consumption in Ontario is far more variant, increasing roughly 300% in the coldest periods.

Getting the expected demand pattern, let's move to price.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Efficiency in the eye: IESO's latest 18-month outlook

Ontario's Electricity System Operator (IESO) announce it's latest 18-month outlook with a news release humbly titled, IESO Improvements Help Transition to More Sustainable Supply Mix: 18-Month Outlook:
"The IESO is constantly looking for ways to improve the efficient operation of the province's electricity market, while promoting continued reliable supply," said Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the IESO. 

A quick look at "efficiency" from the numbers within the forecast itself.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ontario Electricity Rate set to rise 30% in August

The total commodity charge for electricity is now estimated to be up 30% from August 2012 to August 2013.

The weighted average market rate (the HOEP) will be around $23.55/MWh and the freshly released 2nd stimate of the global adjustment rate is $68.99/MWh; the combined "Class B" commodity charge of $92.54 is 30% higher than 2012's $71.09.

August's 30% follows 3 months with inflation over 20% (as Parker Gallant and I noted here), so it does not come as a surprise to me, but it appears to come as a huge surprise to the market operator (the IESO).