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How a Biden presidency may lead to increased supply in the oil market

  • A Biden presidency could bring 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil back into the market, but lead to lower demand in the long run because of environmental concerns, said David Fyfe of Argus Media.
  • On the flip side, the Democrat’s policies on climate change — including re-entering the Paris Climate Accord — could be “bearish” for demand over the long run, he said.
  • Fyfe also said that his base case is for a “steady recovery” in oil, and that prices could return to the $50 to $55 range by late 2021.

An off-shore oil platform off the coast in Huntington Beach on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

An off-shore oil platform off the coast in Huntington Beach on Sunday, April 5, 2020.
Leonard Ortiz | MediaNews Group | Orange County Register | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A Biden presidency could bring 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil back into the market, but lead to lower demand in the long run, an economist said this week.

That’s because Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is likely to reestablish relations with Tehran if he is elected, but introduce environmental policies that limit U.S. oil and gas, said David Fyfe of Argus Media.


“Arguably, a Biden presidency would move fairly rapidly toward some sort of rapprochement with Iran,” he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Friday.

“That of course could lead to maybe up to a million barrels a day of Iranian oil coming back onto the market,” he said. “It might not happen immediately, but you could see that happening within the sort of first six months of a Biden presidency.”

By contrast, the Trump administration has put maximum pressure on Iran, which has seen heavy economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, including on its oil exports.

OPEC has a ‘pretty bullish’ long-term oil demand forecast, says economist

Biden has been leading President Donald Trump in multiple polls, including one by NBC News, which shows that he is up more than 10 percentage points, 51.6% compared to 41%.

On the flip side, the Democrat’s policies on climate change could tighten the market over the long run.


“A Biden administration would try to get the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Accord,” Fyfe said. “Therefore, over the longer term, it might actually be relatively bearish in terms of restraining hydrocarbon demand in the U.S. going forward.”

Biden last year announced a climate plan that would see $1.7 trillion invested into clean energy research and changes in infrastructure. He could also impose restrictions that would further slow the growth in U.S. shale oil and gas production, said Fyfe.

$50 to $55 oil by late 2021

Separately, he said Argus Media’s base case scenario is for a “steady recovery” in the oil market, assuming Covid-19 cases do not surge and lead to widespread lockdowns.

Oil futures crashed when demand evaporated as the coronavirus crisis spread earlier this year and the market worried about an oversupply. If the virus situation doesn’t escalate, the oil market should continue to recover, Fyfe said.

“Gradually, the 1.3 billion barrels of surplus oil that has accumulated in storage, that can be drawn down by the end of 2021, and that suggests that prices could recover to something closer to $50 to $55 by late 2021,” he said.

“If we have a second spike in the virus and renewed shutdowns on a broad basis, then really, all bets are off and OPEC will be scrambling to try and stitch together a new deal on supply.”

OPEC in April agreed to cut 9.7 million barrels per day and gradually increase production until April 30, 2022. 

Brent crude was down 0.62% at $43.07 a barrel during Asia’s late-afternoon trading, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 0.68% at $40.91.

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“ Even if Canada were facing a “climate emergency” with increasing floods, wildfires and storms — as claimed by May, Trudeau and Singh — no Canadian “emergency” carbon policy, carbon tax, pipeline shutdowns can change the world climate trajectory. It would all be symbolism with no real impact. Sheer is right in noting that if China, India and other nations are increasing their use of fossil fuels, increasing their carbon emissions and raising global climate risks, it makes no sense to charge ahead as though the future of the world depended on Canada’s climate actions. The opposite is true: Canada’s climate future depends on how the rest of the world acts.”


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On 10/15/2020 at 12:19 AM, JDunkin said:

YouTube has taken down the controversial Michael Moore-produced documentary Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer.

Still available in Canada. Watching it now on YouTube 

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What you fail to see is that the real issue is that the Americans have already invented the solution, only their oil industry won't allow them to utilize it as has been done to great success elsewhere in the world.


Elon Musk's Battery Farm Is an Undeniable Success

It's the bet that saved Australia tens of millions of dollars.

More than two years after winning an electricity bet, Elon Musk’s resulting Australian solar and wind farm is an almost total success. The facility powers rural South Australia, whose population density falls between Wyoming and Alaska, the two least dense U.S. states.

In 2016, South Australia experienced a near total blackout after “an apocalyptic storm— involving 80,000 lightning strikes and at least two tornadoes,” Vox explains. In the aftermath, a Conservative politician blamed the push for renewable energy for the extent of the blackouts.

For those even passingly familiar with Musk and Tesla’s online presence, the rest won’t be surprising. The head of batteries at Tesla said he was sure the company could do better, an Australian billionaire asked if he was serious, and Musk jumped in to promise his team was.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017

The rest is history. Musk reached his goal 40 days early, and the Australian billionaire funded the project as promised. We can argue about whether or not private citizens should have to rely on a billionaire angel investor to get a steady supply of power or make the shift to renewable energy, but in this case, the bet benefited a shortchanged rural population beginning almost immediately.

What’s the secret? Well, there truly isn’t one. The Neoen-owned Hornsdale Power Reserve is literally a facility full of Tesla PowerPacks that receives and stores energy from nearby wind and solar farms. By storing power up to its capacity of 100 MW, this “battery” can absorb brief blips in the grid surrounding it, reducing outages for residents and easing the burden on businesses or facilities that lose money, product, and more during those outages. It could also reduce the amount of fossil fuel burned to power backup generators.

The dedicated battery farm can power 30,000 homes for up to an hour, which relieves the burden on the grid during hot summer days when failure is most likely. “Hornsdale and other grid-scale batteries offer a way to tackle the variability of wind and solar power, and South Australia is seen as a global testbed in the transition away from fossil fuels, with the state getting more than half its power from renewable sources last year,” Bloomberg reports.

Just 1.7 million people live in South Australia, which is a nice size to consider a test market for technology like this. Rural grids tend to be left behind, because the ratio of required hardware and infrastructure is still so high per consumer—much more-so than in a big city, where the same short length of wiring could power thousands of homes. And building a facility that acts as a battery can help smooth out the natural ebbs and flows that come both from renewable energy technology and from the spread out, failure-prone nature of more rural grid sections.

This smoothing has saved South Australians a ton of money, already much more than the $50 million cost that Tesla passed on to its Australian investor. The battery facility “reduced network costs by about A$116 million ($76 million) in 2019,” Bloomberg explains, “savings [Garth] Heron, [Neoen’s head of development in Australia] said would be passed on to businesses and households in the state. The battery’s introduction also slashed the cost to regulate South Australia’s grid by 91 [percent], bringing it in line with other regions in the nation."


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JDunkin said:

Don't be fooled by the stupid people. They seem incapable of reasoned analysis and will lead you to economic ruin. I said this years ago when they were stupid enough to vote out Mike Harris and the intelligent government he headed years ago in Ontario along with Harper. Now, we are saddled with massive debts for you and your kids to pay off for their entire lives. And much of it was just wasted. And the Stupid People want to waste a lot more.

Then maybe the stupid people who are staying tethered to fossil fuels need to learn from the smart people.  It appears that the rest of the world is figuring it out.  But who am I to tell you...


European Renewables Just Crushed Fossil Fuels. Here’s How It Happened

It’s official: in the first half of 2020, and for the first time, Europe generated more electricity from renewable sources than from fossil fuels. Not only that, but electricity is proving cheaper in countries that have more renewables.

From January to June, wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy generated 40% of the electricity across the EU’s 27 member states, while fossil fuels generated 34%. In the United States, by way of contrast, fossil fuels generated more than 62% of electricity last year, while renewables accounted for less than 18%.

The EU figures, gathered and analyzed by U.K. climate think-tank Ember, represent a rapid acceleration in the decarbonization of the bloc’s electricity supply. Just five years ago, Europe generated twice as much electricity from coal as it did from wind and solar. Now, coal makes up just 12% of the EU-27’s electricity generation, while wind and solar alone provide 21%.

he rosy results for green energy are in part a result of unique conditions: a reduction in activity caused by the coronavirus crisis caused a 7% drop in energy demand, while plenty of sunny and windy weather in the first half of the year benefited solar and wind generation. 

Windmills rotate behind a bucket wheel excavator at a German opencast lignite mine.

Wind turbines rotate behind an excavator at an opencast lignite mine in Germany. The German ... [+]

dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

More broadly, the figures reflect the results of national energy policies, resulting in a 32% drop in electricity generated from coal across the EU. Austria and Sweden closed their last remaining coal-fired power plants in March, while Spain closed its coal fleet in June. Portugal’s coal generation fell a whopping 95%, and Greece’s dropped by a half. In Germany, Europe’s most populous country, electricity from coal dropped 39%—the largest fall in absolute terms, representing 31 terawatt hours—more than the entire electricity production of some EU countries. 

Electricity production from natural gas also dropped across the bloc, by 6%.

While fossil fuels produced less electricity, renewables produced a lot more. Wind and solar generated an astonishing 64% of Denmark’s total generation. In Ireland the wind and sun produced 49%  of electricity, and in Germany they accounted for 42%.

Meanwhile, contrary to the oft-raised contention of the fossil fuel lobby that renewable energy generation is intermittent and unreliable, ENTSOE, Europe’s association of energy producers, said there were no interruptions to supply, and that none are forecast.

Additionally, the figures reveal that countries with large renewable energy fleets typically enjoyed cheaper electricity than their fossil-fueled counterparts: in coal-dependent Poland, wholesale electricity prices came to €40 ($46) per megawatt hour, while in neighboring Germany, that price was just €23 ($26) per megawatt hour.

Speaking to Forbes.com, Dave Jones, the report’s lead author and Ember’s senior electricity analyst, said the results were exciting.

“Wind turbines and solar panels produced 22% of Europe’s electricity in the first half of this year, rising from 13% in 2016—quite a rise in just four years,” he said. “I'd say that’s pretty cool progress. It’s also exciting that they are replacing the dirtiest fuel, coal.”

A map chart showing the relative costs of electricity in EU countries.

European countries that have invested more in renewable energy generally pay less for their ... [+]


What did the countries that performed best on renewables have in common? Jones says the key is consistency.

“Denmark is by far the most advanced because it started building early, and continued building, and has a plan to 2030 to build more. The amount of investment needed is so big that companies need to know there is a market for the next half a decade or more, to transform themselves,” he said.

On the other hand, Jones explained, inconsistency can lead to high energy prices—as has happened in the Czech Republic. “There they built a lot of renewables in one to two years very expensively, because they didn't attract companies to invest for the long-term,” he said.

The second commonality among the best-performing countries is to play to your strengths. Jones pointed to the U.K. Conservative government’s commitment to build 40 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, to capitalize on Britain’s windy coasts (total peak winter demand in the UK is only 55 gigawatts). “In Spain, where it’s obviously sunny, they stepped up to be Europe’s biggest installer of solar last year, and have big plans to increase that by 2030,” he added.

Some European countries, however, are doing less well when it comes to decarbonizing electricity—most obviously Poland, which for the first time this year produced more electricity from coal than did Germany. Jones said Poland was “really lacking a plan of ambition … you need a route off coal, to be able to plan for the coal regions so that no-one is left behind, and work on that is just starting.”

While the overall figures will be encouraging for renewable energy proponents and environmentalists, they also reveal weaknesses that will need to be addressed as Europe’s energy grids decarbonize still further. 

Workers putting together a lithium-ion battery facility in Lausitz, Germany.

Workers building a lithium-ion battery facility in Lausitz, Germany. Increasing storage is a core ... [+]

dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

One of the major challenges is that of flexibility—most particularly when renewables are generating too much electricity at times of low demand. This creates negative energy prices, which are costly for operators engaged in trying to find ways to balance their grids. “Flexibilities are complicated to address,” Jones said. “You need more storage, to change market design, make power plants more flexible, and bring in incentives for customers to shape their demand. Perhaps the most underused flexibility in Europe is to find a way to simply turn off wind and solar when it’s not needed.”

As to the bigger picture, Jones said the figures show just how rapidly the transition to renewables is taking place, and that Europe is in essence acting as a large-scale laboratory to show the world what can be done.

“Europe gets over double the global average of its electricity from wind and solar, so it’s a great test bed, and so far the results are very good,” he said. “Countries shouldn't be afraid to step up investment to transition from coal into wind and solar.”

Looking ahead, the message that the EU energy data sends is clear: to achieve a low-carbon future, plan and invest now. That means using COVID stimulus and recovery packages to decarbonize infrastructure and build flexibility into the system by means of energy storage and smart grids. In the EU, the €40 billion ($46 billion) Just Transition Fund is intended to help achieve that. Britain, despite sailing away from the EU into uncharted waters, is kind of, sort of making the right noises about a green recovery.

But climate change is a global problem, and it won’t be solved by Europe alone. If the EU is to be the test bed for low-carbon economies, the international community needs to pay close attention.


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Fitch Wire

European Renewables Are Growing Despite Pandemic

Fri 07 Aug, 2020 - 11:13 a.m. ET


Fitch Ratings-London-07 August 2020: Renewables was the only energy source that grew in Europe during the pandemic, despite an overall reduction in energy consumption, Fitch Ratings says. This supported the earnings of renewables-focused utilities. Furthermore, various stimulus plans and regulatory initiatives – both by the EU and at national levels – favour decarbonisation and power infrastructure projects, benefiting companies that invest in renewable energy.

Renewables generation grew by 8.4% yoy in the EU and the UK in 2Q20, while total energy generation reduced by 9.7%, according to Wartsila. As a result, the portion of renewables, including hydroelectricity, in the total energy generated increased by 6.8pp to 44%. The renewables’ priority of dispatch and low generation costs supported this resilience.

The renewables divisions of European utilities proved to be resilient as a result. Iberdrola’s renewables segment’s EBITDA grew by around 5% yoy, while Enel posted a stable EBITDA contribution. EDF reported a small reduction of around 2% on an organic basis, mainly due to low power prices for hydroelectricity in France. However, the financial performance of renewable businesses with production outside of Europe was adversely affected by foreign exchange rates movements.

The largest European utilities have reiterated their commitments to develop their renewables businesses. We expect even faster growth than outlined in the current business plans due to an increasing corporate focus on ESG, favourable governmental policies in many countries and good performance visibility of renewables. This leads to increasing competition in the sector, with oil and gas majors also announcing significant investments in renewables. Small utilities may face challenges as a result. However, the power purchase agreements framework has not been developed in Europe, and therefore merchant exposure of the renewables sector could increase in the medium term, especially if governments fail to arrange large capacity auctions.

Renewables will receive a further boost in the long term from new financing earmarked for the low-carbon transition in various EU and national stimulus packages that aim to counter the pandemic-induced economic pressures. Climate-protection initiatives have been allocated 30% of the EU's new recovery deal, which includes the EUR1.074 trillion EU budget for 2021-2027 and a EUR750 billion Next Generation EU fund for 2021-2024.

Furthermore, the economic crisis has accelerated both EU and national regulators’ programmes that are aimed at streamlining and enhancing the legislation for renewables and power infrastructure – which should encourage further renewable energy growth. The EU is planning to ban legacy “double charging” of electric grid fees on energy storage. In many European countries, storage systems pay fees both to draw electricity from the grids and to inject power back. This is a significant barrier to developing energy storage, which, in turn, impedes renewables growth. Both solar and wind generation is inherently intermittent, but sufficient energy storage capacity could help solve this.

The UK government is also amending planning legislation to encourage the construction of large batteries to store renewable energy. Spain has streamlined regulation for capacity auctions and access and connection to the energy-transmission networks, which will benefit installation of about 60GW of renewables in the next decade and improve earnings predictability for investors in new renewable plants.

Various environmental projects focused on renewables have been fast-tracked during the pandemic, although some other green initiatives, such as a wider adoption of electric vehicles or initiatives focused on aviation fuel, could experience delays.

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With record new solar and wind installed, Australia's clean energy is booming – for now

The numbers make a clear case that renewable energy is booming in Australia. Data released last week by the government’s Clean Energy Regulator suggests 6.3 gigawatts of new solar and wind energy – roughly equivalent in capacity to four large coal plants – will be installed across the country this year.

It would equal the record set last year, and is about five times greater than what was installed in 2016.

The Victorian, Queensland and NSW governments are setting up renewable energy zones in regional areas, aiming to give developers confidence they can get connected to the grid, something that has not recently been guaranteed.

Labor governments in Victoria and Queensland also have schemes to buy power from a set amount of large-scale clean energy farms at a fixed price, giving developers a revenue guarantee that helps them secure finance in a troubled investment market.

Read more

The Andrews government last week said it would look to sign up another 600 megawatts through its renewable energy target auction program. It follows the 927 megawatts it backed in 2017. Together, the two rounds will support clean energy roughly equivalent in capacity to the giant Hazelwood coal plant that shut nearly four years ago.

Victoria’s energy and climate change minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the auction should be seen as part of the global push for what are often called “green recovery” programs.

“It will help drive our economic recovery from coronavirus,” she said. “It’s not only good for our economy, it will deliver more reliable, affordable energy to households across Victoria.”

Though still in their relative infancy, large-scale lithium batteries that will provide part of the flexible supply needed to underpin variable solar and wind are winning support at a largely unheralded rate.

The owner of the country’s first giant battery farm at Hornsdale, in South Australia, last week announced it had completed a 50% expansion. There are battery projects promised or in development in Queensland, Victoria and NSW.

A growing band of major companies, some of them facing escalating pressure from shareholders to act on the climate crisis, are also increasingly backing clean energy.

In the past 10 days, mining and emitting giant BHP announced an agreement to get half the electricity it needs to run coalmines in Queensland from wind and solar; supermarket chain Aldi promised it would be running on 100% renewable energy by next year; and tech giant Apple said it would invest in renewable energy in Australia as part of a worldwide push to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The Morrison government, which has primarily been promoting the need for a taxpayer-funded expansion of gas, a fossil fuel, to drive the economic recovery, said the Clean Energy Regulator data showed renewable energy was thriving.

In a statement, the energy and emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, said more renewables was good news for the economy, the environment and people hanging out for lower energy prices.


“Australia is a world leader in renewable energy,” he said. “This dispels the myths that some continue to spread around of a stall in investment.”

But does it? A case can also be made that investment in renewable energy has not only stalled but slumped in a way likely to be felt in the years ahead.

The data released by the regulator relates to delivery – how much renewable energy is being connected to the grid and rooftops. Because it can take a couple of years to get from an investment decision to a big energy project being in the ground, it means connections are a lagging indicator of what is happening in the market.

A more up-to-date picture comes from new investment decisions. Dylan McConnell, a researcher at the University of Melbourne’s climate and energy college, last week posted data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance that shows investment has plunged by about US$500m (AU$687m) in each of the past three quarters.

From a peak of nearly US$3bn (AU$4.12bn) in the final three months of 2018, new spending dropped to just US$400m (AU$549m) in the June quarter this year.


This is broadly consistent with research by Reserve Bank economists, who noted the economic impact. They found large-scale renewable energy made up nearly 5% of non-mining investment across the country in 2018 before falling away markedly.

McConnell says the data for installations and investment are both legitimate measures, but it is worth paying attention to the latter. “In a year or two we would expect new connections to be quite different because of it,” he said.

Analysts say investment has fallen for two reasons – the rising challenge of getting the growing number of new large-scale farms connected to the grid and the effective end of incentives from the national renewable energy target.

The target requires energy retailers to sell at least 33,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity, roughly 23% of all generation across the grid, from renewable sources by 2020. This level of generation was reached by mid-2019. As a result, the target has stopped being an incentive for new projects. It has not been replaced.

Without it, and without a policy to tell investors when the country’s fleet of ageing coal-fired power plants will close, there is no national policy to keep private investment at the record levels of recent years.

Read more

The federal government is content with this. While claiming credit for the record growth in solar and wind, its policies are designed to slow the increase in the years ahead. It says transmission links are needed and has promised to underwrite flexible energy sources that can be called on at any time.

These sources include pumped hydro and, though the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) has suggested it may not be the cheapest option for consumers, new gas-fired power.

Analysts say it has been slow to develop these programs – it is nearly 18 months since the underwriting scheme was promised – and that what it is planning is an unnecessary intervention that will scare off new investment from other companies.

A key question is whether the states – particularly the three big eastern states, which trail South Australia and Tasmania on renewable generation by some distance – can fill the relative void in new renewable energy investment that opened over the past year.


Victoria and Queensland both have schemes that underwrite a minimum energy price to ensure solar and wind farms are built. New South Wales has promised new renewable energy zones in the central west and New England, and promised $119m for the planning, coordination, transmission and storage needed to support them.


Tristan Edis, a director and analyst with Green Energy Markets, says the avalanche of projects already in development, assuming all are built, combined with the state programs, should lead to about 50% of supply coming from renewable sources by 2030. This is in line with government projections and up from about 25% today.

To put this into perspective, ClimateWorks, a respected not-for-profit, estimated Australia would need 79% clean energy by 2030 to be on track to play its part to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.

The extraordinary uptake of rooftop solar is likely to continue, building on what is expected to be about 45% growth in the number of panels going up this year. It is forcing regulators to look at ways to harness the massive surge in solar energy when the sun is high in the middle of the day, in part through support for household batteries that can save it to use at other times.

But the growth in large-scale generation has started to fall off. The Clean Energy Regulator forecasts accreditation of new projects will be down about 17% in 2020 compared with last year. Edis says there is a significant number of solar and wind projects already in development that will enter the market over the next two years, but it is then expected to drop.

Read more

Green Energy Market calculated Victoria should jump from 30% renewable energy by the end of this year to 65% by 2030, but Queensland and New South Wales would grow more slowly, up from 20% by the end of the year to 38% and 35% respectively.

Edis says governments are right to focus on upgrading the grid, improving connections between states and regions, and developing energy storage programs. But he says these steps could be taken while continuing to drive a rapid uptake of renewables in the lagging northern states.

“We have a genuine problem here with a lack of coordination,” he says. “The states are doing the best they can, but ideally if this was nationally coordinated we wouldn’t be building as many solar farms in north-west Victoria, you would be building them in northern NSW and central Queensland.”

While everyone, from the government down, agrees the transition underway in the electricity system is historic and complicated, McConnell says the current approach suffers from being piecemeal and ad-hoc.

“You need renewable energy incentives, growing demand, or a coal closure program,” he says. “If we don’t have those, you’re not going to get the investment we need to address our climate commitments.”

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JDunkin said:

Another example to show what a fraud de-icer is:


"Late last year, Ontario’s Auditor-General put out a report detailing the extent of the provincial government’s mismanagement of the electricity system. According to Bonnie Lysyk, thanks to a misguided government policy of artificially pumping up the cost of producing power in the province, Ontarians had overpaid for electricity to the tune of $37-billion between 2006 and 2014, and will continue to be overcharged by another $133-billion by 2032."


"A decade ago, the government of Ontario started driving up electricity costs with a simple objective in mind: It wanted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity. This was the right objective. But the way it went about it was all wrong. Instead of encouraging the electricity sector to be as efficient as possible, the government essentially ordered it to become costly, inefficient and irrational. Some of this was motivated by fantasies of industrial policy – look, Ma, we’re subsidizing the Green Jobs Of the Future! – and some of it was driven by an insistence on ignoring basic economic advice, much of it coming from the government’s own experts.

The result is that the cost of generating electricity in Ontario has exploded, even as power costs plummeted elsewhere. Between 2004 and 2014, power generation costs in Ontario increased by 74 per cent, according to the auditor. This benefits no one. The higher prices don’t come from carbon taxes; they come from higher electricity production costs. And that imposes a heavy cost on the economy.

However, because prices were rising, Ontarians started using less energy. Power use dropped by 7 per cent between 2006 and 2014. But at the same time, thanks to subsidies to encourage greater power production from green sources, the province’s generation capacity grew by 19 per cent. As a result, the province is now a major exporter of electricity – sold at prices far below the cost of production. The more power the province exports, the more taxpayers and ratepayers lose."

Once again, to make a personal attack, you present information out of context.

While I posted that the rest of the world has figured out how to make renewable energy work, you fight to show that the transition to renewables and an cleaner environment is doomed.

I prefer to move ahead.


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JDunkin said:

Lets see if De-icer can show us what is out of context in the article I posted. After all, you no doubt supported the green policy the liberals implemented in Ontario.

I don't have to and I'm not going to.  Do your own dirty work.  Once again, you speak out of context and slander when all I did was post that there was a better way.

Please stay on topic and stop being so toxic.


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Liberals’ plan to replace fossil fuel with wind and solar is technically impossible and economically disastrous

Trying to solve any problem with a fix that defies the laws of physics is bound to fail

The combination of wildfires along the U.S. Pacific Coast, two simultaneous hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, melting glaciers and peat bog fires in Canada and an unusually hot summer in Europe has raised global warming fears to frenzied proportions. Environmentalists are urging political leaders to legislate the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels. Curiously, the most extreme call for action came from the future King of England. Prince Charles urged a “warlike footing” that would require the implementation of a centralized global authority to save the planet from catastrophic climate change. Just how such an unelected regime would exert power over the Earth’s 7.8 billion inhabitants wasn’t clear.

If Canada were to disappear from the face of the Earth, new coal plants would replace our 1.6% of global emissions in just a few months

The California and Oregon wildfires turned into a U.S. election issue, with Joe Biden pointing to Donald Trump’s pro-oil industry policies as a cause — even though American greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by over 14 per cent since 2005. Meanwhile, led by China and India, Asian emissions have doubled over the past decade and continue to grow. Overall, less than a third of global emissions now come from Western developed countries. China, India, Vietnam, South Africa, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan, all signatories to the Paris Climate Accord, are in various stages of constructing a total of 1,800 coal-fired power plants. If Canada were to disappear from the face of the Earth, those new plants would replace our 1.6 per cent of global emissions in just a few months.


Despite that reality, the Trudeau government continues its ideologically driven crusade to replace fossil fuels with so-called green energy, mainly wind and solar. The government’s throne speech virtually ignored the economic destitution its anti-oil policies have wrought in Alberta. Even the potential market access of Trans Mountain Pipeline was couched in terms of providing a bridge to a fossil-fuel free paradise.

That green energy fixation was the focus of the Sept. 26 “Climate Issue” of the Globe and Mail. Columnist David Berman asserted that the cost of wind and solar power have “become attractive next to fossil fuels generating assets, particularly coal.” As evidence, he cited Tucson Electric Power’s phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation. U.S. Energy Administration data show that coal-fired plants are indeed being phased out, but they’re being replaced by natural gas. In fact, wind and solar provide less than one per cent of Arizona’s electricity requirements.

Fellow columnist Eric Reguly stated that Canada’s share of renewables — i.e., hydro, wind, biomass, solar and ethanol — is above the OECD average. But as is often the case with selective fact statements from green power advocates, he fails to mention that Natural Resources Canada data show wind and solar accounting for just 2.3 per cent per cent of Canada’s electricity supply in 2019.

The widely respected BP World Energy Outlook 2019 shows that, despite hundreds of billions of dollars invested, wind and solar contributed the same two per cent of world energy supplies, while the contribution of fossil fuels has actually increased to 84 per cent.

Germans know the hazards of pursuing a green power utopia all too well. Their country’s decade-long attempt to replace coal and nuclear with wind and solar sent electricity costs soaring to the second highest in the EU. Despite hundreds of billions of Euros invested, the unreliability of wind and solar necessitated rehabilitating coal-fired power plants. In an ironic twist, the coal is sourced from the U.S. and is available only because of the conversion of American power plants to natural gas.

Ontario’s McGuinty government also implemented a German-style green power and with equally disastrous results. Coal-fired power plants were shuttered and the planned expansion of nuclear plants cancelled. The government signed 25-year locked-in windmill and solar contracts at several times existing rates. Electricity prices more than doubled, taking Ontario from one of North America’s lowest-cost power jurisdictions to among the highest, with prices more than twice those in other provinces. As beleaguered homeowners struggled to pay their electricity bills, manufacturers decamped to low-cost states like Georgia and the Carolinas. Caterpillar, United Steel, Heinz, General Motors, Navistar, Kellogg’s, John Deere, Kraft Foods, Unilever and Bacardi closed some or all of their Ontario plants.

Then there’s the impact on the land. More than 8,000 wind turbines were built, requiring three acres each on average. Many are near bird habitats, causing locals to label them “bird blenders.” And that’s only part of the story. Because (surprise!) the wind blows irregularly and solar panels are useless during Ontario’s long, dark winter nights, several new natural gas-fired power plants were needed to back up those unreliable wind and solar facilities, pushing power prices even higher. The only winners from this made-in-Ontario fiasco were the so-called “green-preneurs,” who became very wealthy as a result of those locked-in power contracts.

The moral of this sad story is that the Liberals’ plan to replace fossil fuel with wind and solar is technically impossible and economically disastrous. Moreover, phasing out the oilsands would simply hand the market to such sterling global citizens as Russia and Iran, even as it threw more than a million Canadians out of work and destroyed the country’s largest source of wealth generation and export revenues — all at a time when that wealth generation is needed more than ever.

Trying to solve any problem with a fix that defies the laws of physics is bound to fail. What can Canada actually do to reduce global emissions and help the economy? That, dear readers, will be the subject of next month’s column.

Gwyn Morgan is a retired business leader who has been a director of five global corporations.


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How Alberta capitulated to Big Oil and left Albertans poorer

In the coming battle to shape Canada's post-pandemic economy, right-wing forces will likely be led by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, the closest thing we have to Donald Trump.

So it's worth examining the fiercely pro-corporate economic model endorsed by Kenney -- a self-styled populist who specializes in stirring up resentment and division -- and see why we should go to great lengths to avoid it in the future.

Of course, we're used to the mantra that the Alberta economy has been a roaring success. True, it's been a "have" province, lecturing the rest of us on how to live within our means -- a task that would have been easier if we'd all been born with abundant quantities of one of the world's most valuable commodities under our soil.

But the real measure of success is what one makes of the hand one is dealt. And, by that measure, Alberta has been a train wreck.

Its political leaders, by allowing corporate interests to design the economy to their own benefit, have squandered the province's vast natural wealth, leaving Alberta's citizens with a mere fraction of what they could be enjoying today, even with the downturn in world oil prices.

Over the past two decades, more than half a trillion dollars — $528 billion — has been siphoned off by foreign shareholders who have ended up owning every major development in the oilsands, with only two small enterprises under Canadian ownership, according to a new study by University of Alberta political economist Gordon Laxer and Calgary researcher Regan Boychuk.

While the usual narrative has it that oil companies invested billions of dollars of capital to develop the oilsands, in truth, they've done nothing of the sort. All the investment that has gone into the oilsands over the past 23 years has effectively been paid for by the people of Alberta.

"Industry didn't pay those costs. Albertans did," says the report, soon to be released by the University of Alberta's Parkland Institute and the Council of Canadians.

That's because the oil companies have been operating under an extraordinarily generous regime -- paying a mere one per cent royalty, and only after all costs have been deducted.

It's a royalty regime that the companies designed themselves, the report notes.

This exceptionally favourable arrangement, begun under Premier Ralph Klein in the 1990s, was inspired by the pro-corporate revolution launched by Britain's Margaret Thatcher and America's Ronald Reagan.

It was a sharp departure from how the province had been operating. In the 1980s, premier Peter Lougheed had been much tougher on the oil industry, forcing it to pay a royalty of 25 per cent and even creating an energy company owned in part by the public.

Klein's sweetheart deal for the oilsands, which remains in force today under Kenney, has amounted to a complete capitulation to Big Oil.

On the industry's behalf, the province has also resisted action on climate change, despite producing one of the world's dirtiest oils. And it's allowed Big Oil to destroy Alberta's environment, leaving a clean-up bill estimated at $260 billion, without clear evidence of who will pay for it. (Clue: so far, the province has collected only a paltry $1.6 billion from the companies to cover clean-up costs.)

Defenders of Alberta's oil establishment hate it when critics mention Norway -- understandably.

This annoying little country, also endowed with generous oil reserves and a small population, has shown how to throw a punch when it comes to dealing with Big Oil, ensuring the lion's share of the nation's oil wealth benefits its citizens.

By imposing a tough tax regime on oil companies (which always threaten to depart, but never actually leave the negotiating table) and setting up its own publicly owned oil company (now diversified into wind and solar power), Norway has ended up with a heritage fund worth about $1 trillion more than Alberta's fund.

Unless we're indifferent to money, Alberta's management of its economy should be seen as nothing short of a disaster -- something to keep in mind as Kenney and his followers push for maintaining the pro-corporate model in the post-pandemic order.

They'll make their case with a huge megaphone and a lot of swagger, but let's demand they explain why they left a trillion dollars on the table, and little Norway didn't.

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JDunkin said:

How Alberta pays Quebec’s bills: Four charts that show Alberta picks up the tab

"In just 11 years, Albertans have paid out almost $240 billion to the rest of Canada."

"The nearly $240B Albertans have paid out as part of net federal fiscal transfers is more than one-and-a-half times as much as B.C. and Ontario combined"

If Alberta ever leaves this confederation, it will be because the people like de-icer who take their money and then act like a bunch of ungrateful bastards blaming Alberta for everything.

240 billion dollars De-icer. In just over a decade. How about saying Thank You.

Nice deflection, but my post wasn't about that.  It was about how Alberta has given away it's future to corporations that have sucked them dry and left them with the cleanup costs.

So if you would like to talk about the 40 years of mismanagement, please do.




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I've been to Venezuela a few times, my limited conversational exchanges with the locals are reminiscent of the quotes I see from deicer.

Different thread, but I'm rooting for Biden. Canada and the US need a belly full of what they seem to be asking for. My guess is, that just like university jocks on Saturday night at the pub, they will cry when the handcuffs come out.... put another way, when the bill comes due.

Just name me one time when these creatures didn't fill their cake holes with bacon and run for the exit when the waiter demanded payment... when they had to actually pay for what they think they thought they might maybe want. 

Fix California.... then we can talk. Until then, I say your head is imbedded in a warm and comfortable place and you need to get out more.


Edited by Wolfhunter
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JDunkin said:

I don't see any more evidence of mismanagement in Alberta that Ontario or Quebec(which has survived with Alberta's money) or probably most other provinces including Newfoundland which appears to be teetering near bankruptcy.


The fact that the first thing Kenney did when getting back in power was to lower corporate taxes which led to Encana booking millions in savings prior to leaving the province isn't mismanagement?


The fact that fossil fuel subsidies in Canada are billions a year, yet corporations still cut jobs and leave the cleanup costs to Alberta and the Federal government isn't mismanagement?


Yet you ignore the post above about Alberta's mismanagement and choose to deflect to put the blame on Quebec.

I wouldn't want you running my company.


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1 hour ago, deicer said:

Yet you ignore the post above about Alberta's mismanagement and choose to deflect to put the blame on Quebec.

Who do you think is going to subsidize Trudeau's favourite province when Alberta goes tits up?

Edited by Jaydee
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