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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

More Electrical Gas Plants Runnig More Often

In Ontario, three gas plants were supposed to be used only 2 percent of the time for backup to fill in demand that renewables could not cover.

Not too far back, Ontario took the lead in Canada on eliminating coal-fired electrical plants. The goal was to ultimately get to Net Zero, which the Liberal government has taken on as a new policy approach for Canada.

We certainly know that renewables have not been able to meet Ontario’s electrical demand, but the reason is hard to define. Again, as with most statements coming out of politicians’ mouths, we cannot tell the truth or facts from fiction. Let’s talk about this as it is the facts that matter.

The plants that were supposed to only operate during peak energy consumption periods, “two percent of the time,” have been operating an average of fifty percent of the time. Someone may have forgotten to factor into all the equations the increasing demand for “going electric.”

As a result, Ontario’s electrical generation is much dirtier than it is supposed to be, calling into question the ability of renewables to meet the significant growing demand. I am not suggesting they cannot; I am only suggesting we need the answers, as it is the facts that matter.

We need to know why renewables are not working as promised before understanding how to fix the problem. But that would require the truth from our politicians, something that is hard to expect.

Keith Stewart, an energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said, “I’m shocked how much these plants are running, as we were told they were supposed only to run around five percent of the time.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency, the Canadian Energy Regulator, the federal government and Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) have all said that achieving net zero emissions will require an all-but-complete phaseout of fossil fuel-generated electricity.

If we are to believe, based upon the results to date, Ontario and all of us have a significant problem on our hands. The Liberal government is pushing us all to Net Zero by 2030, and the Ontario experiment has not worked so far. The government will have to revise its target – which is not likely to happen – or pile more money into trying to solve the problem. The money we do not have unless we want to pile more onto our burgeoning debt, which stands at approximately 2.2 trillion, placing us ninth-worst on the world stage.

Is all this unsurmountable? Do we throw our hands up and give up? I don’t know. It is not hard emotionally to get angry, but knowing what to think or do is hard as we do not get the facts that matter. Politicians only tell us what they believe is politically correct or don’t tell us things to protect their friend’s interests. Remember Trudeau and the Chinese?

All we can do is to keep pursuing the facts that matter.

Best wishes from all of us ...

Vancouver, Canada

Facts that Matter is part of a boutique firm in Vancouver, Canada, working to do the world a world of good by promoting truth in government and by assisting businesses and First Nations to address their social, environmental, and economic interests through the lens of a Circular Economy. Give us a shout to discuss how we can help you honestly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

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