One more key reason Ontario hydro rates keep soaring

安省电费之高在加国所有省份乃至北美各州中为首屈一指。天价电费账单不仅触怒了安省各地居民,亦导致自由党饱受反对党的攻击。Bob Mok在本系列最后一篇文章中揭示了导致安省电费持续飙涨的另一个主要罪魁——由于产能过剩所生产的剩余电力不得不以远远低于生产成本的价格售出。
Ontario's electricity cost is the most expensive one in all of provinces and states in North America. The sky-high hydro bills have enraged Ontarians across the province, leaving the Liberals facing daily attacks from oppositions. Bob Mok’s final article on the series reveals another key reason why hydro rates keep soaring – surplus energies created by excessive capacity have to be sold at a price significantly lower than the cost to produce them.

The early articles on this series can be found here: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/654135


Now that we understand how the "Green Energy Act" is costing the taxpayers by allowing for expensive compensations to build solar panels and windmills for 20 years contracts to feed the electricity grid, let us examine why we are also selling electricity to other utilities outside of Ontario at a fraction of the costs.


Electricity generated at power stations, as well as those from solar panels and windmills cannot be stored and must be consumed almost the moment it is produced. There is only one exception at Niagara Falls – water can be pumped back into reservoirs at night at a time of low demand to be used again in the day time.


Therefore, electricity must be generated at a rate equal to the consumption rate at any given moment. Control stations and equipment ensure that power generation is very closely matched to the demand. When the demand for power exceeds supply, the imbalance will cause generation plants to disconnect and/or shutdown to prevent damage. The interconnecting transmission networks in North America reduce the risks of such failures by providing multiple, redundant, alternate routes for power to flow should such shutdown occur. With its excessive capacity in power generation, Ontario becomes the "bank" for other connected utilities to withdraw power when needed and sell them at "Market Prices".


It is therefore logical to ask: Why not shutdown some of the Nuclear Plants when demand is low? Nuclear plants will take anywhere from 2 to 4 days to come back on line when they are starting up from a shutdown condition! What if we have more demands when other generating plants need to be shutdown during that same time for emergency repairs or routine maintenance? Since we cannot take on a risk of not having enough reliable power when needed, we ended up selling this steady surplus at the market price of 2 cents per Kwh to the transmission grid to others.


To put this whole discussion into a summary:

  — 安省希望淘汰燃煤发电厂以减少碳气排放量。

— Ontario wants to get rid of coal-firing stations to reduce carbon gases into the atmosphere.

— 为了实现这一目标,“绿色能源法”应运而生,该法致力于推进太阳能、风能和补充性天然气发电站项目。

— To accomplish this goal, the “Green Energy Act” was born. It is focused on acquiring solar panels, windmills, and supplementary gas-firing generating stations

— 由于资本成本高昂,实施“绿色能源法”代价不菲。这主要是因为当局为此提供了高额补贴,从而导致发电成本变得非常高昂。

— The “Green Energy Act” systems are expensive due to capital costs. These are factored into the compensations and creating very expensive electricity generation costs.

— 与此同时,由于一些制造厂关门并且有很多节能措施生效,安省的电力需求出现下降。

— At the same time, the demand for electricity in Ontario has dropped due to the disappearance of the manufacturing factories and conservation efforts.

— 过剩产能而产生的剩余电力不得不以远低于生产成本的价格在公开市场出售。

— The excess capacity creates surplus energies that have to be sold on the open market at a cost way lower than production costs.


The latest cancellation of future windmills and solar panel projects is a step in the right direction but they are too little and too late.


Throughout this fiasco, the Ontario Liberal Government pushed their ideology on a reduction of smog and savings in $4.4billion in health care and other costs which are not proven today. Many jobs were supposedly created by the "Green Energy Act" when actually very few were produced.  Elimination of Carbon emissions gases of 30 megatons per year is achieved at an expensive cost of $250 per tonne, well above the proposed carbon cap and trade system figures of $17 per tonne. The Auditor General also stated that it will cost the taxpayers $170 billion over 30 years for Ontario's green energy campaign.


Ontario's electricity cost is the most expensive one in all of North America. It has been the focus of the opposition party as well as Ontarians in the last little while. The Provincial Government must wake up and take action to undo the damages but it has not done so. Recently, they signed contracts to purchase electricity from Quebec as a cheap energy source but without considerations to mothball some of our own Nuclear Plants.


For their lack of directions and planning to alleviate the electricity costs for Ontario consumers, they will pay a price for their current majority in Parliament when the next provincial election comes around in less than 20 months or so.

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