Category Archives: Cost Benefit

Ontario municipalities ‘ecstatic’ future green energy contracts are on hold

wind-turbine-cbc

By Kate Porter, CBC News Posted: Sep 28, 2016

Municipalities across Ontario are cheering the government’s decision to suspend its competition for 1,000 megawatts’ worth of big, new renewable energy projects.

But one industry association representing companies that were preparing to try to snag a contract is shocked at the sudden shift in the winds at Queen’s Park.

Ontario’s energy minister  said Tuesday there simply isn’t the demand for power to go ahead with its second round of procurement.

Instead, it can save $3.8 billion in costs related to the electricity system and save residents $2.45 a month on their electricity bills, Thibeault said.

Mayors rejoice

In the rural township of North Frontenac, Mayor Ron Higgins’s phone was ringing off the hook after the surprise announcement.

His township’s council was the first to pass a motion earlier this year demanding that any new project receive municipal approval in order to get the province’s green light.

A one-time wind farm proposed for an area along the highway to Bon Echo Provincial Park had caused his residents much angst in recent years, said Higgins.

After North Frontenac passed its resolution motion in March, more than 100 other municipalities followed with resolutions of their own, and pressure mounted this summer at a meeting of Ontario municipalities.

Still, Higgins only expected to have more input in the next request for proposals.

“But it caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting them to cancel it outright at this point,” said Higgins.

“I’m thrilled.”

Wind association ‘shocked’ by decision

But not everyone was thrilled.

“We were extremely disappointed and shocked by the decision,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, which represents project developers, wind turbine owners, manufacturers and others in the industry.

READ MORE: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/green-energy-contracts-reaction-1.3781378

Ontario Suspends Large Renewable Procurement

NEWS
Ministry of Energy

 Ontario Suspends Large Renewable Energy Procurement

Decision Will Reduce Electricity Costs for Consumers

September 27, 2016 9:00 A.M.

Ontario will immediately suspend the second round of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process and the Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program, halting procurement of over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and energy from waste projects.

This decision is expected to save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to Ontario’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) forecast. This would save the typical residential electricity consumer an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts. No additional greenhouse gas emissions are being added to the electricity grid.

On September 1, 2016, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) provided the Minister of Energy with the Ontario Planning Outlook, an independent report analyzing a variety of planning scenarios for the future of Ontario’s energy system. The IESO has advised that Ontario will benefit from a robust supply of electricity over the coming decade to meet projected demand.

Informed by the Ontario Planning Outlook, consultations and engagements will begin this fall with consumers, businesses, energy stakeholders and Indigenous partners regarding the development of a new Long-Term Energy Plan, which is scheduled to be released in 2017. As part of this plan, Ontario remains committed to an affordable, clean and reliable electricity system, including renewables.

Ontario has established itself as a North American leader in clean energy development, attracting billions of dollars in private sector investment and generating over 42,000 jobs in the clean technology sector. The province has about 18,000 MW of wind, solar, bioenergy and hydroelectric energy contracted or online and the electricity supply is now over 90 per cent emissions-free.

Responsible management of Ontario’s electricity system is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

QUOTES

” Over the course of the last decade, Ontario has rebuilt our electricity system and secured a strong supply of clean power. Our decision to suspend these procurements is not one we take lightly. This decision will both maintain system reliability and save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to the 2013 LTEP forecast. The typical residential electricity consumer would save an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts. As we prepare for a renewed LTEP, we will continue to plan for our future and ensure Ontario benefits from clean, reliable and affordable power for decades to come.” – Glenn Thibeault Minister of Energy

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario’s new LTEP will be guided by a number of strategic themes including greenhouse gas reductions, innovation, grid modernization, conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed energy and continued focus on energy affordability for homes and businesses.
  • At the end of 2015, Ontario’s installed wind capacity represented almost 40 per cent of all installed wind capacity in Canada.
  • Ontario is home to more than 99 per cent of all installed solar photovoltaic capacity in Canada.
  • Ontario successfully eliminated coal-fired electricity generation in 2014, the single largest greenhouse gas emissions reduction action in North America.

LEARN MORE

Katrina Xavier Minister’s Office Katrina.xavier@ontario.ca 416-325-2690

Aslan Hart Communications Branch aslan.hart@ontario.ca 416-326-5452

 

Available Online

Disponible en Français

 

Scrap Green Energy Act

field-and-turbinesTORONTO – If the Ontario government wants to make a dent in soaring hydro rates it should scrap its controversial Green Energy Act.

That according to Christine Van Geyn, the Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. She says Premier Kathleen Wynne’s acknowledgement Wednesday that her government needs to move to address the high cost of electricity is coming far too late for many Ontarians.

“Call me a cynic, but if it takes losing a byelection of a Liberal stronghold for this to become an urgent issue maybe you don’t actually care about it,” she said of last week’s vote in Scarborough-Rouge River.

Progressive Conservative candidate Raymond Cho beat Liberal Piragal Thiru by 2,000 votes, snatching the long-held riding from the government.

“It’s been an issue for people in this province for years,” Van Geyn said of the soaring rates. “It takes losing for her to listen.”

Wynne said Wednesday that her newly minted energy minister, Glenn Thibeault, will look into the problem. But the message sent by Scarborough voters — and people around the province — hasn’t been lost on her.

“It’s not something that is isolated in one riding in Toronto,” Wynne said. “This is a concern across the province and I recognize that.”

Van Geyn said that if the government were to dismantle the Green Energy Act that would help rein in rates.

“It’s the whole reason we’re in this mess,” she said of the act. “The auditor general found that as a result of these Green Energy Act contracts for wind and solar power, where we pay between two and three and a half times above market rate, we overpaid for power by about $37 billion.”

READ MORE:  http://www.torontosun.com/2016/09/08/scrap-green-energy-act-to-help-hydro-mess-tax-watchdog-says?token=60776aed1cc5e2dd0f1293b7b3451832

Green Energy & Energy Poverty

heat or eat

“Going green is fine. But not at any price! And right now Ontario is in the midst of a growing electricity crisis. We have the power, that’s not the issue. The problem is the soaring cost of delivering electricity to customers, especially those who are unfortunate enough to live in lightly populated, rural areas.”

Soaring hydro costs driving families into poverty

Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette

When people ask if you are “into green energy” it is nice to be able to hold up your hand.

I have no issues with working to eliminate coal-fired electrical generation or reducing our dependency on nuclear energy which, despite a record of success, still scares many of us.

Going green is fine. But not at any price! And right now Ontario is in the midst of a growing electricity crisis. We have the power, that’s not the issue. The problem is the soaring cost of delivering electricity to customers, especially those who are unfortunate enough to live in lightly populated, rural areas.

The Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne refuses to term the current situation “a crisis.” But for thousands of rural Ontarians who are struggling to pay their electricity bills it is a catastrophe.

Some of the tales of woe we’re hearing on a daily basis are truly pitiable.

Three weeks ago I read about a man in Bruce County, near Lake Huron, who after suffering a serious heart attack told family and friends it would be better if he died instead of surviving.

His reasoning is that the medical equipment he is now required to use regularly runs on electricity. It is driving up his family’s already ridiculous hydro bill.

READ MORE: http://www.insideottawavalley.com/opinion-story/6844567-soaring-hydro-costs-driving-families-into-poverty/

 

Rural Ontario “in Crisis”

“If we had 30 kids in Ontario with the measles, we’d have a health crisis. With 60,000 households in Ontario who were disconnected from hydro, that’s a crisis. And in rural Ontario, when that disconnection means you can’t use your well, that’s a public health crisis”

Rural Ontario ‘in crisis’ due to high hydro rates, local United Way head says

By Denis Langlois, Sun Times, Owen Sound

Soaring hydro costs have created a crisis situation in Ontario that is especially concerning in rural areas like Grey-Bruce, says the head of one of the local agencies that is helping people to keep their lights on.hydro meter 1

Francesca Dobbyn, executive director of the United Way of Bruce Grey, which has released a report on utility assistance provided to households in the region over the past year, pointed to national news reports that quote the Ontario Energy Board as saying nearly 60,000 residential customers were disconnected in 2015 from hydro services due to non-payment.

That number was confirmed by The Sun Times Friday.

“If we had 30 kids in Ontario with the measles, we’d have a health crisis. With 60,000 households in Ontario who were disconnected from hydro, that’s a crisis. And in rural Ontario, when that disconnection means you can’t use your well, that’s a public health crisis,” she said in an interview.

The local United Way’s report found that from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, the United Way, along with Bruce and Grey counties, Y Housing and the Salvation Army in Wiarton distributed nearly $750,000 to help people with hydro or natural gas arrears or to purchase wood, oil or propane to heat their homes.

That figure rises to more than $1 million, the report says, when factoring in the staff time and resources provided by the agencies.

Dobbyn said while that number alone is startling and points to a “crisis brewing in our region,” it doesn’t include the financial assistance provided to people by other sources, such as churches or other organizations or by family members or friends.

The report says electricity costs have climbed by 100 per cent in the past decade.

Rural residents have been hardest hit, Dobbyn said, because they are charged higher delivery costs by utility companies.

Rural residents, on average, pay almost double the delivery rates compared to households in “urban high density” areas, according to the United Way report.

An average household in a low-density area is charged about $84.46 for delivery, distribution, connection, network and other fees, the report says, while homes in high-density areas pay about $44.50. And that’s without using any energy at all, it says.

Homes that use baseboards for heat pay about $80 a month in hydro rates on top of the delivery fees.

“And that’s before turning on a light or using a microwave or any other source of electricity,” Dobbyn said.

The numbers, she said, show that even while conserving energy in the home, people in rural areas are still facing high monthly hydro bills.

“Our clients, our families are not wasteful. They do everything they can to reduce consumption, they unplug everything and we often advise them to turn breakers off in an effort to reduce their bill,” she said……….

READ ARTICLE: http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2016/07/29/rural-ontario-in-crisis-due-to-high-hydro-rates-local-united-way-head-says

Unmanageable

green windWhere does the money go? Global News has presented a series of stories over the past few weeks painting a troubling picture of rural Ontario residents struggling to pay soaring electricity bills. In a particularly telling interview, Ontario’s new Energy Minister, Glenn Thibault, was forced to admit he didn’t know how many residents have had their electricity disconnected because they couldn’t pay— nor was he aware if anyone in his department was keeping track of this information.

Thibault’s suggestion? Residents should conserve electricity. Besides, his government has a new support program designed specifically to help low-income Ontario residents pay their electricity bills. Relief of sorts perhaps, but more along the lines of putting one’s thumb in a dike, rather than addressing the bigger issue.

All it really does is transfer these costs to the taxpayer.

So where is the money going? Many millions, indeed billions, of dollars are being extracted from customers and taxpayers to fund rising electricity costs. Is it paying for research and development into electricity storage so that perhaps one day, intermittent generating sources (i.e. wind and solar) might serve a useful purpose? Is it being used to offset the hardship faced by low income Ontarians? Is it funding Ontario infrastructure development or green transit plans? No, no and no.

Maybe it is funding a network of charging stations across the province, including one planned for the King Street parking lot in Picton? No. Perhaps it is helping to pay the $14,000 subsidy Ontario pays purchasers of electric cars? No.

As it turns out, much of this money is going into the pockets of a few developers, investors, pension funds and corporations. It’s called profit—and a handful of companies are profiting handsomely from your electricity bills.

Scott Luft has been poring over the mounds of data produced by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and other sources for the past six years. Luft’s research and analysis, compiled on his website coldair.luftonline.net, is an important resource for anyone interested in understanding what has gone so terribly wrong with Ontario’s electricity market. Luft has methodically revealed, and laid bare, the destructive politically driven management of Ontario’s electricity system and shows why residents will be paying for these decisions for decades to come.

According to Luft’s analysis, Ontario electricity customers have subsidized wind and solar energy producers by $6.4 billion over the past decade. Worse, the rate of subsidization is climbing rapidly. We are on track in Ontario to subsidize wind and solar producers by more than $2 billion in 2016 alone.

This is money going directly from consumers into the bank accounts of producers. This doesn’t include the many millions of dollars Ontario spends, or forgoes, each year offloading excess electricity to New York or Michigan from intermittent wind and solar generators it can’t control. Or the amount we pay smelters and mineral processors to spare them the high cost of Ontario electricity.

How did we get here?

Through the 1990s, Ontario dabbled in renewable energy but couldn’t persuade investors and the capital markets to participate with them. They increased incentives and tax breaks but investors stayed on the sidelines.

Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals came to power in 2003 promising to close Ontario’s coal-fired generating facilities and replace this capacity with electricity generated from renewable sources, including wind and solar. While he successfully closed coal-fired plants, it was gas and nuclear-powered generation, not wind and solar, that filled the gap. (Luft’s charting, based on IESO data, illustrates this clearly).

Still, investors remained stubbornly on the sidelines. So McGuinty doubled down and doubled down again. Eventually, he would agree to pay wind and solar producers as much as 25 times the market price for electricity for up to 20 years—if it appeared to be green. That did the trick. Now, long queues form seeking to join the gravy train each time the wicket opens for the province to buy more power.

Despite a decade of rapid and ill-planned expansion of industrial wind and solar facilities across the province, these generators produce a paltry portion of the province’s electricity—at an extraordinarily high cost. They did, however, provide one important advantage for McGuinty and, later, Kathleen Wynne. The massive turbines and acres of solar panels have proved to be helpful political emblems signalling to urban voters their government is green.

It has won this praise at a very high cost. Sadly, it is Ontario’s rural poor who are paying it.

rick@wellingtontimes.ca

READ AT: http://wellingtontimes.ca/unmanageable/