This is a great roundup and critique of recent Ontario energy news. The comments on conservation are of particular importance as the MSM’s profound ignorance of the Ontario electricity sector and inability to research or think critically means it never questions the Government spin on the subject.
In an electricity sector which has a 30+% surplus generating capacity and mostly fixed costs, conservation can only produce increased unit and system costs – especially when you throw increasing amounts of variable and unpredictable energy sources into the mix.
But then we have come to recognize that the Minister of Energy has never let real numbers colour his pronouncements.
Let’s start with Ontario’s grandfatherly (if your grandfather is extraordinarily dishonest), Minister of Energy:
Ontario’s green energy strategy has attracted private sector investment that has helped create over 31,000 jobs and attracted over $24 billion in investment. The strategy has also fostered a culture of energy conservation, which has resulted in $4 billion in avoided system costs.
Bob Chiarelli | Ontario’s bright energy future.
This statement is false – if you don’t believe me and you are in Ontario, just wait for your September billing. Most of Ontario’s electricity sector costs are now fixed – using less electricity usually saves nothing; occasionally it saves merely a small fraction (the fuel cost) of the rate Ontarians would pay for the avoided consumption.
A professional organization may finally be noting the ‘conservation’ debacle. This, from OSPE, impressed me last week:
Our current conservation programs are too focused on reducing demand regardless of the impact on the grid utilization factor. Reducing demand during a period when we have excess supply, as we have now, drives up electricity rates faster. The rising rates discourage badly needed investments in Ontario.
OSPE recommends conservation programs be modified to place greater emphasis on improving the grid utilization factor by focusing on reducing daily peak loads and critical peak loads (the hottest and coldest days in the year). We should reduce the emphasis on lowering night time load until there is a deficiency of base load supply. Once there is an outcomes focus and opt-in revised base/peak price plan as recommended …then the market will respond with integrated solutions offerings to better meet customer needs and specific situations….
Ontario Society Of Professional Engineers Re: EBR 011-9614 – Policy Proposal Notice: Conservation First: A Renewed Vision for Conservation in Ontario
Responsible professionals have a tough fight on their hands in stopping the enormous cost increases Ontario’s wholesale electricity market has been experiencing since last winter.
Minister Chiarelli shares the media insert in the Toronto Star with a piece in which the solar lobby’s CanSIA recommend the ministry pick solar as a winner, give it a guaranteed share of energy consumed, and feed-in tariffs, and net metering (based on “consumer demand” – which is nil based on how many people are willing to pay 5 times more for their electricity to ensure it comes from some doctor’s roof instead of a public generator) … and, of course, including solar in conservation programming.
Continue reading at Cold Air Currents