Wind, Solar and Storage are cheap and will get us to net-zero emissions by 2050

Wind, Solar and Storage are cheap and will get us to net-zero emissions by 2050

Oh, and by the way, pigs can fly!

Should one visit CANREA’s (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) website you will be bedazzled by the braggadocio in their posts and the disasters that will befall us should we not heed their warnings.

Their latest post titled “Carpe Diem, Canada” concludes with this scary note: “We have a fleeting opportunity to avert a catastrophe for our children and grandchildren. We need to seize it. Today.” As one would expect averting the disaster is summed up in the secondary headline where the author, Robert Hornung, President & CEO of CANREA states we can do so: “only by putting wind, solar and energy storage at the centre of a comprehensive clean-energy transition, starting today.”  Reading the article is a bit like listening to Greta Thunberg speak as the article claims: 

Canada’s average temperature is increasing twice as fast as the global average and the signs of a changing climate are everywhere: our permafrost is melting, our coastal sea levels are rising, our snow-cover patterns are changing, and our weather is becoming more extreme, with floods, droughts, and intense storms on the rise.”   

and                                        

We are already seeing serious impacts on our ecosystems, communities, infrastructure and economies, and things are currently on track to get much worse.

What they are proclaiming is we need wind, solar and energy storage to achieve the “net-zero” 2050 emissions target. After having read the article and knowing wind capacity in Ontario is the highest in Canada enticed me to have a look at those IWT (industrial wind turbines) and their recent performance on a couple of IESO’s daily Generator Output and Capability Reports.

The first one I looked at was the March 27th report and in reviewing the hourly output I noted that hour 10 indicated the 4,786 MW of grid connected wind capacity generated only 18 MWh (0.4%) of their capacity and 12 hours later at hour 22 they generated 1,326 MWh (27.7%).  Deciding to look back to the same hours on March 26th IESO data indicated at hour 10 they generated 3,836 MWh (80.5%) of their rated capacity but by hour 22 they eked out only 360 MWh (7.5%) of rated capacity.                          

The foregoing bad habits of generation from IWT with their stop and start attitude serves to convolute grid management causing; water spillage at hydro plants, steam-off at Bruce Nuclear and ensuring gas plants are at the ready to supplement the on/off nature of their generation!  Often their generation is delivered when unneeded and causes them to be curtailed.  All of the foregoing are layered costs and ratepayers pay up to ensure grid stability.  Wind and solar, in particular, have been one of the principal reasons our rates in Ontario skyrocketed by over 100% since those IWT and solar panels have been sprinkled around our rural landscape. Now it appears the bright lights at CANREA want to add the costs of storage to the mix in order to keep the costs climbing and their members happy.  

The Ford led government have failed to stem the tide of climbing costs in the electricity sector and instead have saddled taxpayers with more than $6 billion in annual costs to keep electricity prices from doubling again!  Hopefully they ignore this latest misguided push by CANWEA or our rates will escalate further and drive away businesses who will move to provinces and U.S. states with lower cost electricity prices.

What the foregoing demonstrates is no one should believe a word coming from the mouth of CANREA and the claims that “wind, solar and storage” are cost competitive unless they can prove to all of us that  “pigs can fly”! 

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