Bob Chiarelli’s Alternative Energy Reality

(Here is a summary of Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s speech to the Toronto Board of Trade today.)

Hockey is great. I’d rather talk about hockey.

The same team adding chaos to Ontario’s power system “for the future of our children and grandchildren” have turned their attention to carbon, again “for the future of our children and grandchildren.” Your government’s carbon initiative will “roll out a policy by the end of this calendar year”, so you can be sure to have a nice Christmas present.

About electricity costs, the most important thing to know deep in your soul is that Mike Harris is causing rates to rise. Under Mike Harris power was not “affordable”, so the Libs increased the average inflation-adjusted cost per kilowatt-hour by over 50% since 2004. Getting rid of dirty coal power cut health care costs by billions of dollars, which is why health care costs soared as coal disappeared. “Ontario is lauded (by foreign companies with juicy FIT contracts) for its reliable, clean and affordable system.”

“And, by the way, blaming price pressures on renewable wind and solar is simply incorrect. This represents less than 8% of our generation and less than 2% of electricity bills.” I know this is true because I found that information in the same comic books where I learned that Ontario’s power exports earned $6 billion in profit and that $7 billion in OPG’s profits pay for “schools, hospitals and colleges”. (Bob is so good with our money, its a wonder Kathleen already made him Finance Minister.)

(To cover up the extent of your government’s mismanagement,) “the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit is taking 10% off hydro bills” and adding to the deficit, again “for the future of our children and grandchildren.” “In our most recent budget we are taking the Debt Retirement Charge off residential bills” but we have yet to announce the new tax that will replace it. Your government provides lots of subsidies for nice industrial customers which are paid for by not nice industrials and all other customers.

On the subject of the Energy East pipeline proposal of TransCanada, the main thing your government wants you to ignore is how much extra natural gas customers will pay if the Energy East conversion project fails to go ahead. The Ontario Energy Board is conducting an unconstitutional kangaroo court on Energy East designed by the government to ensure that TransCanada’s proposal has no due process.

The IESO and OPA have been merged and this will cause rates to go down (or not).

Your government is doing secret deals with lot of special interest groups and wants to make sure that select aboriginal politicians can join the fun too.

Hydro pension liabilities are out of control, so your government is reviewing them to ensure that “our children and grandchildren” never again fall into the trap of enjoying affordable power.

With nuclear power, everything is great so there is no need to talk about it. By the end of the 1960s, Ontario will be exporting our success around the world.

Your government will sell a chunk of Hydro One, use all the proceeds to build subways in Toronto, and then slap on yet another electricity tax to make up for the earnings the government once got from Hydro One that today help service old Ontario Hydro debts.

Your government is making good progress on phasing out the use of electricity in Ontario. By shutting down industry and making power unaffordable for households, Ontario is able to give more free power to utilities and businesses in Michigan and New York. Please sign up with our 12 step program that can help you finally break your crippling addiction to electricity. Stop lighting your home and close any remaining businesses so we can give away even more free power. Michigan needs you.

“As we move to continue to make our electricity system reliable, clean and affordable for all Ontarians I look to all of you ““ the business leaders in our province ““ to ensure stakeholder participation as we work to meet the needs of families and businesses.”

(Minister Chiarelli’s original text is here: TBOT Remarks Feb 2 Final Media Copy.)



  1. With the nuclear refurbs, guaranteed we will be in surplus indefinitely…”Buy high, sell low” should be our new Ontario licence plate logo.

  2. Seems carbon taxes will be on the agenda at QP later this year.

    Carbon taxes will add to inflation no matter how this issue will be proposed and sold to the public.

      • Sustainable Prosperity

        ‘Enhancing Canadian Urban Sustainability through Big Data and Field Experiments’, Kahn, Preliminary Report, c.2014

        “Canada’s electric utilities have much lower carbon emissions factors than nearby U.S. electric utilities. If Canadian urban electricity consumers reduced their consumption then such power could be exported to the United States and U.S. reliance on coal fired electric utilities could be partially mitigated.”
        Open the file: Kahn_Canada

  3. when I saw this I thought at last the conservatives as rolling out their plan for the future of hydro in Ontario. Alas and alack that is not so. Just another whining piece about how bad it is. If you have no solutions don’t bother complaining

  4. “Flatline Demand Growth”
    flatline and growth- one of these can’t be right

    “And conservation further flattens our demand going forward”
    you call that flat?
    we can further flatten.
    Perhaps he meant further flatuate, as demand displeasingly seeps out of the province.

    “And Demand Response programs also flattens our demand curve going forward”

    an even flatter curve?

    I think we’ve gotten a line.

    • Last week, in a phone-in “Townhall” , D Hawthorne indicated that even after a year and a half of negotiating, they still don’t have any contracts to refurb any of the remaining 6 units at Bruce. People up here are getting awfully nervous. The quiet fear is that Libs will mothball those units.

  5. The Daily Gazette, Jan.20, 2015

    ‘GE to power down Schenectady battery plant’

    The Durathon, sodium-nickel battery, originally designed to power locomotives and passenger vehicles was later marketed to the telecommunications and electric grid industries as backup power sources for cellphone towers or to support the grid.

    Ge invested $170 M
    Fed. Gov. $25,5 M tax credits
    New York State $15 M
    Schenectady County $5 M

    Plant opened in June 2012.

    • Barbara, this story of GE’s battery burnout is a powerful counterfactual to the endless junk PR we get claiming breakthroughs in storage tech have already radically transforming our current power options. Turns out the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics hasn’t been repealed. Tom

  6. IPHE
    JRC Scientific and Technical Reports/ JRC European Commission
    Saville, Nov.15-16,

    P.12: Market Uncertainty
    “Storage development faces uncertainty surrounding the power sector evolution, such as the level of variable renewables ,the carbon price, the level of baseload technology deployment, e.g. nuclear power, and the level of demand side measures effectiveness in curbing and peak shaving energy consumption.”

    Also see: List of Participants which includes Canadians.
    View: Electricity Storage in the Power Sector

    There is much public confusion about how these issues fit together.

  7. We have our version of this in Ontario too funded by taxpayers and ratepayers: “Electrovaya is also announcing that it has received approval for a C$16.7 M grant from the government of Ontario to develop its patented Lithium Ion SuperPolymer® battery technology. An advanced payment of $3.3 M has already been received.”

    They also got $450K from the OPA. “Demonstration of Utility-Scale Advanced Battery Electricity Storage for Renewable and Clean Energy Applications
    Electrovaya’s “Demonstration of Utility-Scale Advanced Battery Electricity Storage for Renewable and Clean Energy Applications” project aims to demonstrate utility-scale electricity storage based on modular Li-ion polymer battery technology commonly used in electric vehicle applications.

    They have blown through $67 million dollars to the end of September 2014 and much of it was from us taxpayers. Still losing money after all we have done.

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