We’re too ‘engaged’ in power issues – cramping industry style

“Part of that has to do with the fact Ontarians, in general, are becoming much more engaged in energy production — how energy is produced — and many issues have been raised recently.” Shawn Cronkwright Director, Renewables Procurement, Ontario Power Authority

Ontario teaches world how not to run a FIT program
Tyler Hamilton, Toronto Star
The opening of a smart grid research and development centre in Markham on Tuesday was good news for the Dalton McGuinty government.

It’s never a bad thing when a global industrial titan such as General Electric decides to make an Ontario municipality the epicentre of its worldwide efforts in a particular technological growth area.

In this case, the $40-million facility will be a global centre of excellence for grid automation. It’s an opportunity for the Liberal government to tout the 146 highly-skilled jobs that will be created, and how General Electric is placing its faith in the skilled workforce and business-friendly tax regime that Ontario offers.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that the government supported construction of the centre with a $7.9 million grant.

I was originally going to explore GE’s smart grid ambitions in this column, but something else happened last week that was too frustrating to ignore. The province’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy (as distinguished from the microFIT program for very small projects) was supposed to re-launch on Monday.

After 11 months of waiting, the date came and went, another setback for the hundreds of manufacturers, developers and installers whose business plans have been placed on ice for nearly a year. Read article

21 thoughts on “We’re too ‘engaged’ in power issues – cramping industry style

  1. Years ago we all started to question why these Wind Turbines were coming to our rural neighbourhoods. That’s when the ugly and seamy side of political interference in our daily lives started to be exposed!
    The deeper one got into this political “gaming” of our rural lives the worse it got. Greed, power, anti-democratic decrees and worse, exposing the players behind these political mandarins who have nothing to gain but billions of hard earned citizen’s $$$$ through a giant Ponzi Scheme!
    THAT’s why the FIT program has been stalled Tyler, not because of your “lofty ideas” that the Government is faulty.
    It’s because the so-called “pockets of wind resisters” (all of Rural Ontario) has taken you along with all the other “wee little greenies” to task on why and how you have ruined our Province!

  2. GE could go out of business if they lose their wind turbine business so they need to keep the scam going through scams like smart grids. The only way some think this will work, is if the government can turn on and off people’s electricity at will to reduce the demand for power when there is little power being produced by renewable energy. Ontario energy policy is not about increasing the supply of electricity but about controlling the demand for electricity.
    Not sure if even the PC MPPs understand this or know that the hicks in the stix know who the well connected fat-cats are that are getting rich off from renewable enrgy schemes in Ontario at the expense of rural Ontarians.
    Tyer Hamiliton is an editor for Corporate Knights which is distributed quarterly by the Globe And Mail and in the Washington Post. His connections to those promoting renewable energy are also known.

    • G.E. bought the Wind Scam from Enron after it got caught and the executives were jailed!
      So in essence G.E., seeing a great SCAM couldn’t let it go………………………………

    • Just in case – you missed it
      it’s not a ‘jobs thing’

      DOE: Solyndra loan program isn’t designed to create jobs
      July 12, 2012 | 2:20 pm
      ‘[excerpt] David Frantz, who runs the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, contradicted President Obama today by telling Congress that the program is not designed to create jobs.

      “The predominance of our portfolio — and the objective, really, of the act — is to be creating large infrastructure, utility-scale projects; and, by definition, they are not a multiplier for job creation,” Frantz told a Joint Hearing on the No More Solyndras Act that would ban the loan guarantee program.

      Frantz’ comment may come as a revelation to Americans who heard President Obama’s speech at thenow-bankrupt Solyndra, Inc. facility two years ago.

      “When it’s completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world,” Obama said in 2010. “And this in turn will generate business for companies throughout our country who will create jobs supplying this factory with parts and materials. So there’s a ripple effect. It’s not just localized to this area.”’

      I’m thinking!
      Oh –
      …………………….McGuinty Liberal – ‘Green Economy’.

    • Tyler’s – Important – ‘business message’…………..

      Tyler has ‘hissy fit – over
      Business world – and, self destruction.

      ‘[excerpt] Does the government not understand how the business world operates? That you can’t put a market on hold for a year and have investors sit idly by, waiting like Pavlov’s dogs to pounce when given permission? That in a competitive global marketplace such behaviour is self-destructive?’

      Stay tuned – sounds serious

  3. Markham:
    stimulates one’s – emotional buttons
    Grab a snack,
    and jump in your – ‘Glam Gelato’

    Experience the magic!

    ‘[excerpt] The opening of a smart grid research and development centre in Markham on Tuesday was good news for the Dalton McGuinty government.’

    • If Ontario was such a great place for GE to set up business then a $7.9 M grant wouldn’t be needed. More of the people’s money given away.

    • Pumped storage is unrealistict to accomplish just as smart grids will prove to be but they do furnish politicians with glib phrases to repeat just like a lot of parrots.
      Even very minor disruptions in power supply can shut down industrial operations and ruin sensitive equipment.

  4. In July of 2011, Toyota which owns a 2.9% stake in Tesla signed a $100 M 3 year agreement with Tesla Motors to supply the batteries and power train for the RAV4 EV
    In Early Aug. 2011, Toyota got $71 M federal and ~ $71 M Ontario loans and grants for upgrades to its Woodstock & Cambridge plants.
    Late Sept.2012, Toyota announced it will stop making EVs
    There are supposed to be 2600 RAV4 EVs made in Ontario over the next three years but none will be sold here. All to be sold in the U.S.
    Toyota will not offer any EVs for sale in Canada.
    Seems this didn’t last long? More money gone?

    • Defour Group LLC
      Press Releases: Scroll down to page bottom for chart.
      66 mpg, 2.4M lost sales, 293,100 lost jobs
      56 mpg, 1.9M lost sales, 220,000 lost jobs
      The job loses will not be offset by “green” jobs as EVs will only make up a small part of the new vehicle fleet.

    • IER/Institute for Energy Research, Oct.5,2012
      “Wind Turbine Manufacturers Closing With or Without PTC Extension”
      The PTC is not the only factor affecting wind markets today.
      The wind manufacturing sector is over-supplied.
      Many U.S. utility companies have exceeded their RPS targets for the next few years.
      Wind is facing competition from inexpensive natural gas.
      Due to over-supply in turbines manufacturers are laying off workers despite the future of the PTC.

    • BUSINESS INSIDER, Oct. 9, 2012
      “ANALYST: Solar Power Will Never Work For The Vast Majority Of The World”
      “To reach 100% of electricity demand in 2025 about 10 M MWs would be needed or about enough solar panels to cover all of Vermont & New Hampshire.”

      Alliance Bernstein/ AB, Sept.26,2012
      “Will Solar Ever Reach ‘Grid Parity’ ?”
      “The coming of grid parity keeps receding into the distance like a distant mirage.”
      Same story with wind as it just keeps taking more time to reach grid parity so keep the subsidies going until this is all made possible sometime in the future.

      • Barbara:

        You may have uncovered some of the stupidest scientific analysis and scientific reporting ever…. Solar cells to cover where? Where is their mention of storage? It does not matter how many solar cells you put up — you need storage.. if you intend to replace convention electrical generation — watt for watt…

        Folks — remember “A Nation Sized Battery”?

        But solar and wind suffer a serious problem in that they are not always available. There are windless days, there are sunless nights, and worst of all, there are windless nights. Obviously, this calls for energy storage, allowing us to collect the energy when we can, and use it when we want.

        The National Battery

        Putting the pieces together, our national battery occupies a volume of 4.4 billion cubic meters, equivalent to a cube 1.6 km (one mile) on a side. The size in itself is not a problem: we’d naturally break up the battery and distribute it around the country. This battery would demand 5 trillion kg (5 billion tons) of lead.
        Get the Lead Out!

        A USGS report from 2011 reports 80 million tons (Mt) of lead in known reserves worldwide, with 7 Mt in the U.S. A note in the report indicates that the recent demonstration of lead associated with zinc, silver, and copper deposits places the estimated (undiscovered) lead resources of the world at 1.5 billion tons. That’s still not enough to build the battery for the U.S. alone. We could chose to be optimistic and assume that more lead will be identified over time. But let’s not ignore completely the fact that at this moment in time time, no one can point to a map of the world and tell you where even 2% of the necessary lead would come from to build a lead-acid battery big enough for the U.S. And even the undiscovered, but suspected lead falls short.

        What about cost? At today’s price for lead, $2.50/kg, the national battery would cost $13 trillion in lead alone, and perhaps double this to fashion the raw materials into a battery (today’s deep cycle batteries retail for four times the cost of the lead within them). But I guarantee that if we really want to use more lead than we presently estimate to exist in deposits, we’re not dealing with today’s prices. Leaving this caveat aside, the naïve $25 trillion price tag is more than the annual U.S. GDP. Recall that lead-acid is currently the cheapest battery technology. Even if we sacrificed 5% of our GDP to build this battery (would be viewed as a huge sacrifice; nearly a trillion bucks a year), the project would take decades to complete.

        But even then, we aren’t done: batteries are good for only so many cycles (roughly 1000, depending on depth of discharge), so the national battery would require a rotating service schedule to recycle each part once every 5 years or so. This servicing would be a massive, expensive, and never-ending undertaking.

        Please read the entire article folks — see how ludicrous it is to consider large scale deployment of wind and solar.

      • Agreed, but these articles were written from and for investment perspectives and wasn’t storage mentioned just briefly like in one sentence?
        This is advice for potential investors that solar is not a good investment and driven by subsidies. Subsidy driven investments are not good long term investments as subsidies are at the whim of governments.
        Grid parity should be understood from a scientific as well as from an investment in renewable energy strategy.
        Grid parity for renewables can be accomplished in different ways according to the “true” believers. The cost of conventional power can be raised to the point where it matches that of renewables for example by steeply increasing the price of fossil fuels or restricting/eliminating the use of certain fossil or nuclear fuels. This gets rid of competition from other fuels. Don’t consider hydro as “green” energy so how can pumped storage ever be used? Hydro power dosen’t count in this game.
        But now natural gas is about 1/4 of the price it was four years ago so causing problems for the “greenies” So their peek oil and gas arguments don’t hold together anymore.
        So the solution to this problem is to restrict the supply of natural gas and oil by making governments not allow gas and oil drilling.
        Grid parity for renewables can be accomplished by using the power of government.

      • The only way that renewables can gain general public acceptance is to make them appear to be about the same cost as power from conventional sources and this is called grid parity. Some of the means of doing this are pointed out above. This is a game being persued /played by those that have vested interests of one kind or another in renewable energy/ wind and solar not only here but around the world.

  5. So now they are Psychoanalyzing us?

    No sweat — here’s the procedure — we should enact this here…

    Walter Olson confirms that, in 1995, a bill passed one chamber of the New Mexico legislature that required that psychologists or psychiatrists testifying in a defendant’s competency hearing were to dress up as wizards:

    When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…

    Of course there are so many nutters in the Legislature that it is unlikely they would see the point…

  6. Too involved??? How can I not be involved when they are trying to destroy my beautiful province, my homes’ value and my community!

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