“Wonderful Asset”

Bob Delaney has been the Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Energy since February 11, 2013 and an MPP since 2003. His education includes a BSc in physics from Concordia. During the debate on Bill 135 (about which I will post further analysis) here were some of Mr. Delaney’s remarks:

On manufacturing junk

One of the advantages to Ontario’s wind power was explained to me during the summer when I paid a visit to the Independent Electricity System Operator. One of the things that the technicians in the control room told me is that one of the challenges for electricity is that at any given moment, supply has to exactly equal demand, because for all practical purposes, electricity is not a commodity that can be stored. They said one of the things that turned out to be a wonderful asset in Ontario’s adoption of wind power””but one that at the outset of the Green Energy Act was not foreseen””was the ability to take some of the wind farms and to adjust the pitch of the blades so that the energy coming out of wind farms could exactly follow the rise and fall of the peaks during the day or even during the season…I thought: How interesting that here we have a technology that’s enabling Ontario to meet the challenge of those differences in the demand for electricity at various hours during the day. It just gives you an idea of the flexibility that we have here in the province with our diversified sources of power generation.

Once upon a time, the people responsible for Ontario’s power system were embarrassed when power had to be wasted. Now, Ontario’s “culture of conservation” has morphed into official praise for power dumping.

Green Energy Act as a cost saving measure

The Green Energy Act, as I explained in my remarks, has helped Ontario contain costs and more efficiently manage energy supply and demand.

The Green Energy and Green Economy Act was passed in 2009. Check your power rates since then. You’ll notice that it hasn’t “helped Ontario contain costs”.

Rate Analysis

…the cost of electricity is rising everywhere in the world…

Here is a reality check. The following graph from the US EIA shows the trend in nominal US retail power rates for all classes since 2001. The bottom line is that overall rates have been almost static since 2008 and in inflation adjusted terms have declined.

US Residential Power Rate Trend

Post Script: November 17

In the debate November 16 over Bill 135, Bob Delaney repeated the mistake of Minister Chiarelli mistaking export gross revenues for export profits:

“Ontario earns an export surplus of at least a third of a billion dollars a year selling electricity.”


  1. Unfortunately, he has parliamentary immunity when he says these things. We have to get these people in court under oath.

  2. For now, I’ll skip opining at length on Delaney’s “…efficiently manage energy supply and demand” soundbyte.

    Besides, I bet you already know which form of government has proven itself the most efficient at managing everything (including supply and demand) throughout history? Suffice to say, I’m no more a fan of efficiency for its own [alleged] sake than I am of conservation for its own [alleged] sake – or government managing supply and demand.

    But that new-age “culture of conservation” Tom referenced might be better called a “cult of conservation”, since only a brainwashed believer wouldn’t see the inhumanity and self-destruction left in its dust as it steamrolls formerly free & prosperous societies?

    I recently found this concise explanation of why the “Double-Edged Sword of Conservation” slices & dices consumer budgets to death by a thousand cuts:
    “… While declining use is a desired goal, it also reduces revenues based on volumes consumed. This often necessitates further rate increases, or changes in rate structure to make up the shortfall.”
    – excerpt from pg 18, here: http://www.cwn-rce.ca/assets/resources/pdf/2014-Canadian-Municipal-Water-Priorities-Report_s.pdf

    Following government initiation of any such Demand Side Management (aka “conservation”) program aimed at altering consumer behaviour, the progressive harm that this vicious cycle would inflict on consumers seems highly predictable – inevitably hitting the poorest first and worst off. No rocket science is needed to figure that out.

    So I doubt it was consumers who decided that being locked into this self-perpetuating pattern, wherein their increasing financial punishment and “declining use” repeatedly follow each other successively, was a “desired goal”.

    Neither can I imagine any elected government solely deciding that cooking up and serving their constituents/ consumers this recipe for mutual economic self-devastation was a “desired goal”. Or not immediately pitching the whole batch once they caught first whiff of its stench.

    Ergo, from where and/or whom did this “cult of conservation” and its “desired goal” (du jour) come? Why do governments and their constituents remain locked in its clutches?

    Going beyond Tom’s delightful Crock of Conservation, were my 2014 comment’s links that pointed to the UN-led march of consumers to its sacrificial altar of “Sustainable Consumption & Production” (SCP):

    A less useful link to the UN’s new Post-2015 Agenda (brief summary of its old Agenda 21) can now be added to that heap.
    See the bit under Planet in the Preamble; item #28 in The Declaration; Goal #8.3 & Goal #12:

    Enlightenment into the background drivers of SCP can be gleaned through internet searches on related terms & words such as:
    degrowth, “The Conserver Society”, “ecological economics”, “Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity”, “Spaceship Earth”, “Intermediate Technology”, “Sacred Balance”, “desacrilization of the soil”, “Full Cost Accounting”, “Brown Economy”, “Steady State Economy (SSE)”, “the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic”, etc. (ad nauseum)
    The diligent should find many telltale treasures authored since and before the 1970’s.

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