AND when you see the huge price of your electricity bill every month here in Ontario you fume and sputter and once in a while you call Hydro One to find out why you owe so much for using so little power!
OR you may picture our current Minister of Energy, Chiarelli in the back of your mind while you try and digest the caustic penalties of using electricity in Ontario with a distasteful and distinctly hateful attitude toward a human being that could care less what Ontarians think let alone having the ability to pay for a 5 year old FOLLY involving Green Energy.
Sly and the Family Stone‘s big hit might just apply to the success the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) and other lobby groups have had in getting our present and past Energy Ministers to dance to their music.
This “dance” in Ontario affects ratepayers in the electricity sector who unavoidably wind up dancing to the music of the environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGO) like Pembina, Greenpeace and OSEA. We know the first two influenced our current Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli because he recently Tweeted that they were in favour of not building new nuclear in Ontario, implying they endorsed his decision.
Now OSEA shares that view! A posting on their website as part of OSEA’s submission
on the revision of the Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) has the following (non-musical) notes about the nuclear builds:
“There is no reason to have a target for any type of fuel source without a full economic analysis of its costs and benefits including health and environmental externalities. The Ontario government commissioned such a study to justify (rightly) closing the coal plants, but has never done so for nuclear. Blind attachment to any one fuel is not good policy especially when a portfolio of sustainable energy deployed in a modular way carries less risk environmentally and economically with potentially greater distributed benefits and a shorter timeline.”
The OSEA recommendations to the Ministry of Energy were presumably made
before the cutoff date of September 16, 2013 and before Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli made his October 25, 2013 Tweet
endorsement of the Pembina/Greenpeace report, and his October 10, 2013 announcement that OPG would not build new nuclear plants. What does it mean? Minister Chiarelli had three ENGOs firmly on his side when he made the announcement.
Planning without objective
Recent notification of an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) review of amendments
of regulations governing the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) in respect to their requirement to produce “a new integrated regional energy planning process” was intriguing! The Energy Minister in his (undated) letterNB:
to the CEOs of both the OPA and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) instructed them to develop that plan. Now the “plan” that the OPA/IESO were to develop was independent of the LTEP as it was to be “regional” (21 of them). Most people who “plan” even a simple trip, would know their objective! Logically the LTEP should have been released before fine tuning various aspects of the “plan,” or is that how Liberal planning works?NBB
It is also interesting that OSEA suggest “a full economic analysis” be completed for nuclear plants but when OSEA was behind creation of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA), they didn’t seem to need analysis behind the push for wind and solar power generation. That complete lack of a cost/benefit analysis was severely criticized in the Auditor General’s 2011 annual report.
The amendments to the OPA’s regulations, meant to set the rules related to those “regional energy plans,” invited intervenors to participate. In reviewing the October 21, 2013 document, the writer noted that OSEA qualified as an intervenor and that the OEB had blessed them for “cost awards.” I wrote a letter to the OEB objecting to the latter “cost award” consideration pointing out that OSEA claims it is principally supported by a combination of four provincial ministries or Crown owned corporations and one City of Toronto owned institution, and should not receive that benefit. The response received from the OEB on November 4, 2013 was this:
“The OPA licence amendment case dealt with matters that differ from most other cases that come before the Board. It addressed matters related to Integrated Regional Resource Planning which is intended to determine the appropriate mix of generation, CDM and infrastructure investments to meet a regional need. The licence amendments therefore had potential implications for generators. As a consequence, the Board panel determined that hearing OSEA’s views would be of benefit to the Board in making its decision and cost eligibility was therefore granted.”
The decision by the OEB to determine “that hearing OSEA’s views would be of benefit to the Board” on amendments to the OPA’s licence in this instance may be related to the claim by OSEA that they are community oriented and highly involved with co-op programs. Their relative success at moving projects forward since their founding early this century, however, is suspect. The writer is aware that OSEA were involved in the “Windshare” Exhibition Place iconic, non-producing wind turbine. They are also involved in the 4-MW “Mother Earth Renewable Energy (MERE) project on Manitoulin Island, which opened June 15, 2012 to much fanfare
including keynote speaker David Suzuki ( who paid his speaker fee?). No other successful projects come to mind.
Despite that, they seem to be able to make the Liberals do their wishes.
May 13, 2011 OSEA submit letter to the Panel Secretariat on the Darlington New Build and
recommend that the Panel reject the application from OPG.
June 4, 2013 OSEA meet one on one with Energy Minister Chiarelli
June 7, 2013 OSEA send a “thank you” letter to Minister Chiarelli and attach a series of recommendations including one to use any “unfilled capacity” under the “Small FIT” Program review, and,
“ OSEA also recommend that the Ministry re-establish a “MicroFIT/FIT Advisory
“ Recommend that the Ministry re-establish a “Community Energy Advisory Panel
and suggest who the members of that panel should be.
June 14, 2013 OSEA, via their legal counsel, Willms & Shier submit an intervenor request under the OEB’s hearing (EB-2013-0192) calling for an amendment to the OPA’s
July 18, 2013 OSEA submits their views on the licence amendments for the OPA in respect to the regional planning the OPA will undertake as directed by the Minister.
Summer 2013 OSEA submits their recommendations by letter (undated) on the Energy Minister’s “Making Choices-Reviewing Ontario’s LTEP” under ERB Registry number 011-9490.
August 20, 2013 An article in the Ottawa Citizen states: “Wynne has asked the OSEA, a nonprofit organization, to raise awareness in communities slated for the turbine projects about the benefits of hosting, including the financial gains that can come from being power generators in a cash-strapped economy.”
October 21, 2013 Parker Gallant files objection to the OEB about “cost awards” for OSEA.
“ 24, 2013 OSEA files their “Application for Cost Awards” with the OEB.
While the results of the LTEP review and any changes will remain unknown until early in 2014, we can report that OSEA has already had great success at getting Minister Chiarelli to “dance to their music”!
The first obvious example is Minister Chiarelli’s announcement cancelling any new build for nuclear plants which, as noted above, was recommended by OSEA back in May 2011; perhaps notes from the recent June 4, 2013 meeting would tell us that it was also discussed at that time?
OSEA was granted one of their wishes from the June 4th
meeting as the OPA on November 4, 2013 announced the re-opening
of the FIT/MicroFIT programs, which will further burden ratepayers.
We will have to wait to see if OSEA get their wish for the re-establishment of those two panels but knowing how much Premier Wynne loves “panels” we should expect they will reappear.
OSEA got their Wynne appointment to “raise awareness in communities slated for the turbine projects” which presumably will cost the ratepayers. We may never find out how much without a Freedom of Information (FOI) request but at this point one expects OSEA, “a non-profit organization” won’t do it for free.
OSEA were chosen by the OEB to participate in the OPA licencing amendments for the nebulous reason that: “The OPA licence amendment case dealt with matters that differ from most other cases that come before the Board.” One wonders if OSEA were perhaps chosen because Minister Chiarelli or Premier Wynne told them to? Would another FOI request provide the answer?
While the OEB may eventually determine that that OSEA will not receive “cost awards” the impact of that on the ratepayers will be tiny in comparison to the other costs that will be heaped on all Ontarians caused by the dancing that OSEA, among others, have got our past and present Energy Ministers to do!
This isn’t about “climate change” it is about calamitous change!
November 5, 2013
NB: An Energy Ministry official confirmed the letter was issued May 6, 2013.
: An interesting sidenote on the Ministry’s engagement with the Ontario public relates to the biased survey/questions on the issue of “Reviewing Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan! The results are in and for question #3 which asked: “What guidelines should Ontario use for its future mix of energy sources?” 71% of the votes cast ranked renewables (wind and solar) either last or second last. Survey results are here: http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/ltep/
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy