September 18, 2010

“Are you frying your eggs at 4 am yet?”

Lawrence Solomon, executive director at Energy Probe asks that question and a few more in his column today in The Financial Post. Noting that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is under fire for the smart meter program (which is supposed to cost $2 billion but is more like $ 10 billion) which, critics say, makes no economic sense for consumers. We can’t win in other words.

“Mr McGuinty isn’t in this for the money–if he was, he wouldn’t be closing economical coal plants while sinking cash into money-losing nuclear plants and money-losing long-distance transmission lines to carry power from money-losing industrial wind farms. These and his other money-losing initiatives will causeOntario’s power prices to double or triple should he get his way.”

Unfortunately, as Mr Solomon points out, the technologies are going against Mr McGuinty’s grand plans: “…power from wind turbines can’t be dispatched to customers when customers need it–the wind has a mind of its own. To make matters worse, the wind tends to blow best overnight when it’s least needed [Ed.: and when the turbines’ involuntary neighbours are trying to SLEEP].”

So, what he’s doing instead is using time-related power rates to “punish people and businesses,” says Solomon. But the punishment isn’t enough. “Too few people are frying their eggs before 7 a.m.–the time at which the punishment starts–and too many are cooking their dinners at 7 pm, smack dab during peak punishment period.”

Remember what ENRON stands for: Electricity Nightmare Ripoff Ontario Next.

Not added into this scenario at all is what the cost of declining property values will mean for communities throughout Ontario.

See the entire article here.

August 17, 2010

Province does a backflip on solar–and consumers lose again

The Ontario government announced a few weeks ago that its microFIT program for solar-powered energy contracts was “unsustainable” and as a result was scaling back payment rates to the also unsustainable 50.8 cents per kilowatt hour from the sky-high 80 cents it promised. Much boo-hoing from people who counted on making money from this (from their fellow Ontario citizens, by the way) and from the companies who jumped on the subsidy bandwagon to make hay while the sun shone.

Anyway, as a result of pressure from the estimable Ontario Sustainable Energy Association or OSEA, headed by Kris Stevenson, reputed to be the architect of the Green Energy Act, the province has now done another about-turn and restored the 80 cent rate. Unbelievable.

Here is a summary of the situation from Parker Gallant, writing in The Financial Post. Be sure to check the links to the right to other stories about the Ontario government and the slough that is our current power system.

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