Thursday, December 20, 2012

WTO Ruling Against Ontario Renewables policy isn't about subsidizing renewables ... yet

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has issued it's rulings in disputes involving Ontario's renewable energy generation sector, finding, as previously reported, against the local content provisions of procurment programs, but not ruling against the feed-in tariff (FIT) program as a subsidy that violates WTO agreements.
In the press:
Richard Blackwell opened his article in the Globe with "Canada will appeal..."
The article quotes a Stuart Trew of some council of some Canadians to opine:
If there is no way to provide incentives for green energy in a free market system, “there is little hope of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the climate crisis...”
The ruling on local content has little relevance to the provision of renewable energy.  Japan's successful complaint was about procuring Ontario manufactured renewable energy - not about procuring renewable energy.

The European Commissions welcomed the ruling by stating it wants to export product to Ontario.

John Bennett, of a rumoured Sierra Club in Canada,  is interviewed:
... it is ironic that Japan and the EU were the source of the complaints, because they use subsidies and support for their solar and wind industries. He said he would advise the next premier of Ontario to ignore the ruling “like the Prime Minister is ignoring the Kyoto Protocol.
The Prime Minister that ignored the Kyoto Protocol is the one that initially signed it.  The current Prime Minister gave it all the attention required to withdraw from it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Whose Meter Is It: Dopey Ontario and Smart Meters

Another data management debacle in Ontario.
Smart technology refers to components that can communicate, the communication protocols and networks, the servers, the software, the security protocols, the network architecture controlling access.  Our governments seem to lack the technical expertise in information technology and the bureaucratic backbone to face down poor direction. 

I've just read through Access to Consumer Data: A Vignette from the Ontario Smart Grid Forum
Beyond the needs of TOU billing by utilities however, lie a wider range of products and services – many of which may be enabled by real‐time or near real‐time metering data. Access to real‐time smart metering data has been a topic of extensive examination and discussion by the Ontario Smart Grid Forum, particularly in the context of enabling the concept of the “smart home”.  Access to real‐time data is the focus of this informational ‘vignette’.
The Smart Grid forum considers smart homes desirable, spends some time noting competition for smart home services is desirable, and quotes a previous report noting:
"Unlicensed third‐party service providers, for example, want access to customer smart meter data so they can design and commercialize new energy products and services for residential, business and industrial consumers.”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Darlington Refurbishment is the best option.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is currently holding hearings on licensing related to the continued operation, and refurbishment, of the Darlington nuclear generating station.  There are many groups, and individuals opposing the extension on all sorts of grounds, but the main tactic of anti-nuclear campaigners is to argue that other options were not explored before choosing nuclear.
What might be considered to replace the Darlington nuclear generating station?

The Globe and Mail's Richard Blackwell wrote an article, as the hearings started, that told of a nuclear industry attacking a solar industry. "Solar industry urged to push back against nuclear 'attack'" accused the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) and the Ontario Power Workers Union (PWU) of "labelling renewables such as wind and solar as “intermittent” and expensive, and encouraging more investment in nuclear."  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Stats: Global Adjustment climbs to two-thirds of charge

The IESO's second estimates for November put the global adjustment rate at $55.68/MWh for November, which is more than double the weighted average HOEP rate of approximately $26.52.

November saw new rates for customers under the OEBs Regulated Pricing Plans (RPP) that should average $79.32/MWh, so November's charges, if not adjusted downwards, would reverse the summer's trend where customers with RPP rates paid more than customers without them - business exposed the the commodity charge (HOEP + GA) will see rates rise almost 14% from November 2011.

One month ago I wrote that the IESO's month-end global adjustment estimate looked low:
They'll need to revise upward their estimate of $542 million by close to 10% if the final ends close to my estimate of  $585 million.
They did not.  The October final was not changed significantly - but now November's $588.2 million estimate exceeds my $531 million estimate by a similar amount.  It looks to me like they've moves the costs forward.  The 12-month total for the global adjustment is now over $6.5 billion dollars as it increases at a quicker pace than anticipated by Ontario's Auditor General in his 2011 Annual Report (pg 94)