Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ontario's Electricity Secret Isn't Clean

The Toronto Sun had an editorial this morning on “Clean electricity’s dirty secret”.  It must have generated a buzz about the negative pricing, and dumping of hydro supply, because it was followed this afternoon with an article, by Antonella Artuso, which told us of the Premier’s responses to reporters’ questions regarding exporting power cheaply;  “McGuinty said he appreciates that many Ontarians struggle with his energy program — including the requirement that municipalities take wind turbines — but the goal is to bring green manufacturing jobs to the province and supply greenhouse gas-free electricity.”
If that is the goal, perhaps our Premier isn't getting great information from his underlings regarding his programs success. I've heard he's a real detail guy, so I've assembled some details to help out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 19th: Electricity Stupidity Day in Ontario ... Again

Yesterday price hikes were announced by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). You'll likely average about 7.28 cents/kWh after May 1st.

Yesterday the Ontario government issued a press release beginning “Ontario families can expect stable electricity bills this summer and fall due to the new Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB), which is taking 10 per cent off monthly bills for families, farms and small businesses.”

Yesterday, the IESO posted it's daily Surplus Baseload Generation Report.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wind Gluttony and Hydro Greed

Forbes has a report today on The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), being forced to abandon plans to limit wind output in periods of extreme oversupply. 

I noted in a previous post a New York Times Blog entry that explained the BPA can't spill water to avoid generating power; “Water that goes over a spillway as opposed to through a turbine picks up bubbles of nitrogen gas from the atmosphere. When baby salmon absorb the bubbles, they experience something resembling the bends in a human diver.” In a display of sanity, the BPA stepped up monitoring and planning, including the regular display of balancing load, wind, hydro and thermal generation. The current snapshot is instructive; it shows huge exports made possible by enormous hydro supply, with a production trend that matches the load profile. Wind is used too, but the wind trend is balanced by thermal – as is the case everywhere wind has significant penetration.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Conference Board of Canada Fails To Make a Case for Investment in Canada's Electrcitiy Infrastructure

Building a Case For Investment, is a report prepared by the Conference Board of Canada. The report, (which I'll refer to as simply The Case) contains some some questionable assumptions, but a lot of research was put into the document, and it's worth the second look for some relevance. The written text is far less meaningful than the subtext included with the figures for generation. That subtext shows the Conference Board picking Canada's traditional sources as winners (large hydro and natural gas), and throttling the wind monster.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Power Polititcs: "Events Dear Boy, Events"

Electricity generation made a surprise appearance in our federal election campaign last Friday, when Prime Minister Harper ventured to Newfoundland and announced a new Conservative government would provide loan support for a lower Churchill hydro project.   Sunday brought the reintroduction of cap-and-trade as the Liberals dropped their policy book, and this morning's top news story on the CBC was that we need to spend all kinds of cash on new capacity – their source being the companies selling all types of new generation and grid technology.  All this interest will vanish shortly because the politics behind the Lower Churchill project won't be talked about honestly (Quebec can't admit they've been thugs on Churchill Falls for 4 decades and intend on remaining thugs for another 3 decades - and Newfoundland can't admit the project is to free them from the shackles of Quebec).  There is time for provincial politicians to take advantage of the situation.