My two most popular posts over the last year (here and here) both focused on my Twitter dust-up with then provincial ombudsman Andre Marin over his ignorant statements where he encouraged Hydro One customers to default on their bills. Among Marin’s comments, he nominated my “blog for the Pulitzer Price for Fiction” and claimed that I am a “Hydro apologist”. When APPrO’s president supported my analysis, Marin commented that I was “admired by @davebutters and butterscotch buddies”. Happily, Marin’s term was not renewed by the legislature.
#3 was a report on how the Wynne government has gutted the Ontario Energy Board as an element of the government’s Hydro One partial privatization plan.
Reporting on the next step in the loss of Bala Falls in Muskoka as a public park came in at #4. The government and its contractor, Swift River Energy, are about to confine Bala Falls to a concrete box to generate unaffordable and mostly useless green energy.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli determining that my analysis of his changes to Ontario’s energy laws “disgraces these pages (of the National Post)” with “paranoid hysteria” came in at #5. It’s long past time for Wynne to fire Bob.
In my Gas Buster’s series, my review of one of the OPP’s search warrants related to the gas plant scandal comes in at #6. In it, I cross-check the new information in the Search Warrant against the findings of the two gas scandal reports from the Information and Privacy Commissioner and testimony of various witnesses before the legislature’s Justice Policy Committee. An aspect of the search warrant story that seems significant in hindsight is that elements of the time line indicate the OPP taking prompt action as information became available.
#7 is an analysis of how consumers will get screwed by a key element of the coming “smart grid” — grid storage of electricity.
#8 is a short post looking at how various interconnected business threads within the family of Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, are harming consumers.
#9 reports on Toronto Hydro’s continuing efforts to drastically jack up distribution rates. The posting is an unusual entry in my annual top ten traffic report in that it was posted in September 2014. More than half of the reads for my overview of Toronto Hydro’s September 2014 application to the Ontario Energy Board for a five-year series of massive rate increases occurred in 2015.
#10 is yet another report on the gory details of the slush fund called the “Debt Retirement Charge”, including a shout out to Keith Leslie of Canadian Press for doing an outstanding reporting on the background of the Debt Retirement Charge. In that post, I make yet another plea for the Auditor General of Ontario to start paying attention to the coming insolvency of OEFC, a plea I make almost every time I appear before Legislative committees and often in other public comments.
(You can find previous traffic reports, including previous annual top ten surveys, using the “About Tom Adams” category on the right-hand side of your screen.)
Storage didn’t make the top 10 but another article on this issue is at:
IER, Jan.6, 2016
‘How Long Does It Take to Pay Off a Tesla Powerwall?’
Payback time and costs are included in this article.
The Economist, Jan .16, 2016
‘Amid a surge in demand for rechargeable batteries, companies are scrambling for supplies of lithium’
Utilities will use giant battery packs to provide short bursts of electricity at peak times as alternatives to building a fossil-fuel plant that will sit idle the rest of the time. “Peaker plant”.
Does the general public understand energy storage issues?
FD/Fox-Davies, Resource Specalist
‘The Lithium Market’, Sept. 2013
An overview of the world lithium market. Maybe a little out-dated now. Canada does not have much known lithium supplies.
ESA/Energy Storage Association, Sept 25, 2014
Lithium battery storage project in the Mojave Dessert near the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area.
Supply up to 32 MWh-8MW for four continuous hours or 200-300 homes. Cost $50 million USD.
GIZMODO, Nov.24, 2014
‘A California Power Plant Is Getting the World’s Biggest Lithium Battery’
At/near Long Beach, CA with 400 MW, 20 yr. PPA. Cost? A “peaking” plant.
More information on this topic on the internet.
Some indication of the cost of lithium “power”/storage plants/units.
According to internet sources, using lithium “peaker” plants avoids paying carbon taxes.