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CAE Alliance

Latest news from the CAEA about the Energy Crisis in Ontario

University of Waterloo Study of the Effects on Air Quality of Electricity Generation

MIT Study .... The Future of Coal

Energy Probe in the News: Monday, March 20, 2006

Energy policy in Ontario

Energy Probe's Tom Adams' presentation to the Ontario Energy Association Breakfast Series' "Energy Policy in Ontario: Some Perspectives on the Road Ahead," on March 8, showcased a debate between Tom Adams and Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. Tom's presentation advanced the case for "clean coal" and state of the art coal technologies and appears in full below:

"Jack delivers a simple message and he does it so well, 'All coal is bad.'

My message is 'Clean coal is as good as it gets.' Clean coal is so good, that instead of fooling around with yesterday's gas and nuclear technologies, Ontario should start building new coal-fired generators, starting at the Lakeview site in Mississauga.

I am going to present the case for coal in five parts:

1. The public has been mislead about coal;
2. Pollution control technologies work;
3. Exciting new technologies are rapidly developing;
4. Consequences of not moving forward with clean coal;
5. We will develop a graceful exit for the
Ontario government from its rash anti-coal promise.

#1 What has the public been told about coal?

The public has been spun on coal. They have been told:

- Air pollution control scrubbers only cut pollution by of 1%;
- Lambton is
Ontario’s #2 polluter;
- Investing in scrubbers would be a waste of money; and
- It is a myth that the best Lambton generators are comparable to gas.

These statements are all misleading as I will make clear.

#2 Do pollution control technologies work?

Our cleanest coal power – L3/ 4 – have new scrubbers that slash acid gases and toxic mercury emissions by about 80%. I could tell you that they are in the cleanest 2 percentile of all the coal plants in NAFTA but who would care. More importantly, our best coal is cleaner than many gas-fired power plants in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York – all key power suppliers to Ontario who also share our air. Closing L3/4 will increase air pollution in Ontario.

As to the allegation that scrubbers only cut emissions by of 1%, the spin there is to treat toxic emissions like mercury with CO2.

#3 How are state of the art coal technologies doing?

Just great.

With technology in hand to virtually eliminate acid gases, and with progress on mercury, the next emission challenge is CO2. The Europeans currently have the lead with cogeneration, fuel blending with biofuels and high efficiency boilers all being used there today, with success. The Japanese and Americans are channeling staggering resources into coal R&D.

Geologic sequestration of CO2 is further out on the horizon but also looks promising. South western Ontario appears to enjoy geology suitable for massive, longterm CO2 storage.

#4 What are our prospects if we don’t go ahead with clean coal?

Gloomy.

Solar is popular, but how many people know that in Germany the price paid for solar last year was $1.15/kWh? Lambton power costs about 4 cents. New water power in Ontario is also popular but the potential is limited and many remaining sites are sensitive.

The Ontario Power Authority has set out its vision of the consequences of not building a clean coal future in Ontario. What we will get is a perverse and hideously expensive two-for-one deal. The OPA's plan calls for a lot of gas plants to be built ASAP to cover the supply gap while nuclear plants are being constructed.

In effect, to take out one unit of coal, Ontario finds itself in a position where it has to build one unit of gas plus one unit of new nuclear.

#5 How can the Ontario government make a graceful exit from a promise that it must now understand was rash?

At the time its policy was developed, the outlook for gas prices appeared moderate, security issues only interested fringe groups, and the technologies for clean coal were less advanced. Getting rid of dirty coal was a great idea. It still is.

The government should follow the IESO's lead in focusing on reliability. The government should be credited for demonstrating flexibility in staying the execution on some units by over a year.

Obviously, the government must rescind its closure order on Ontario's cleanest coal power. Closing Lambton 3 and 4 will increase mercury, NOX, and SOX pollution in Ontario. The scrubbed power from Lambton 3 and 4 is environmentally beneficial and must be preserved.

Sliding the schedule for killing the other existing coal units we need is not good enough: the government should order scrubbers for several existing coal units immediately.

Only the unreasonable could criticize the government for expanding the scope of the OPA to survey all option, including clean coal technologies and to present to the public the best options. Ontario could so easily be taking advantage of the advancements being paid for by others.

What is the bottom line?

Ontario has only one power generation option that can stand on its own. It needs no government subsidies. Its technology is modern and moving forward rapidly. Its cost is low. Its supply is secure. It's not interesting to terrorists. Its environmental outlook is responsible. Its production is reliable enough to support intermittent generators like wind power or to fill in when nuclear generators shut down for years at a time.

Ontario needs clean coal, it is as good as it gets."

"Ontario's Energy Crisis, New Report finds major flaw in governmnets cost benefit analysis."

Re: Pleas made for Coal Power. Observer 1 February, 2006

 

I attended the Provincial Government’s recent Finance Committee hearings held in Sarnia and would like to respond to comments made at the hearing by our local MPP concerning the Coal Fired Generating Stations.

 

First of all, I would like to point out that this hearing was supposed to be for the purposes of gathering input for the provinces 2006 budget. Following a submission by Carol Chudy of the Clean Affordable Energy Alliance, rather than asking questions for clarification and understanding like the opposition parties did, Ms DiCocco chose to use her time to restate “the party line”. Having done this, there was no time left to re-butt the gaps in her knowledge base on this subject. Politics at it’s best! (or worst?)

 

“The mess we are in today”. Sure previous governments should have been planning ahead but who in their right minds would remove 25% of the existing generating capacity when it was recognized that more capacity is needed. The 25% reduction in capacity is the reason for the “artificial crisis” created by the government to “justify” their own political agenda. Without this 25% reduction there would be time to bring on sources of renewable energy, implement demand side management programs and conduct an unbiased review of Ontario’s electricity supply mix, including clean coal.

 

“The government wants an affordable supply”. This is simply not true!! Closing the Coal Fired generating stations will result in massive increases in electricity prices, directly and indirectly through subsidies and guarantees, and cause irreparable harm to Ontario’s economy. These are not just my opinion, but those of industry leaders and citizens groups across Ontario. Each time you look into deeper into this issue, it’s worse than you thought before.

 

I recently conducted a review of the government’s cost-benefit analysis report used to justify closing down the coal-fired generating stations. The analysis omitted any economic impact resulting from higher electricity prices but included the usual exaggerated health impacts so what answer would you expect!  However simply extracting the data for LGS units 3&4 from the analysis; replacing these units with natural gas fired generation will cost consumers up to $400 million more per year, even after including the exaggerated health costs. So it’s definitely not about affordable supply! (A copy of my review can requested by logging on to www.caealliance.com)

 

Ms. DiCocco in her party line speech commented that the new gas fired generating plants will only be used for “peak requirements”. Since these are replacing LGS whose capacity is used to cover intermediate and peaking demand how can this be? The recent OPA supply mix report confirms that these gas plants will in fact be used for intermediate and peak demand. Has Ms. DiCocco even looked at the report?

 

As a coincidence, CBC TV news had segment today about the fact that Canada is spending a lot of money on Clean Coal Technology and we need to take a lead role. Not in Ontario, obviously!

 

Tom Hughes

Corunna

Re: Pleas made for Coal Power. Observer 1 February, 2006

 

I attended the Provincial Government’s recent Finance Committee hearings held in Sarnia and would like to respond to comments made at the hearing by our local MPP concerning the Coal Fired Generating Stations.

 

First of all, I would like to point out that this hearing was supposed to be for the purposes of gathering input for the provinces 2006 budget. Following a submission by Carol Chudy of the Clean Affordable Energy Alliance, rather than asking questions for clarification and understanding like the opposition parties did, Ms DiCocco chose to use her time to restate “the party line”. Having done this, there was no time left to re-butt the gaps in her knowledge base on this subject. Politics at it’s best! (or worst?)

 

“The mess we are in today”. Sure previous governments should have been planning ahead but who in their right minds would remove 25% of the existing generating capacity when it was recognized that more capacity is needed. The 25% reduction in capacity is the reason for the “artificial crisis” created by the government to “justify” their own political agenda. Without this 25% reduction there would be time to bring on sources of renewable energy, implement demand side management programs and conduct an unbiased review of Ontario’s electricity supply mix, including clean coal.

 

“The government wants an affordable supply”. This is simply not true!! Closing the Coal Fired generating stations will result in massive increases in electricity prices, directly and indirectly through subsidies and guarantees, and cause irreparable harm to Ontario’s economy. These are not just my opinion, but those of industry leaders and citizens groups across Ontario. Each time you look into deeper into this issue, it’s worse than you thought before.

 

I recently conducted a review of the government’s cost-benefit analysis report used to justify closing down the coal-fired generating stations. The analysis omitted any economic impact resulting from higher electricity prices but included the usual exaggerated health impacts so what answer would you expect!  However simply extracting the data for LGS units 3&4 from the analysis; replacing these units with natural gas fired generation will cost consumers up to $400 million more per year, even after including the exaggerated health costs. So it’s definitely not about affordable supply! (A copy of my review can requested by logging on to www.caealliance.com)

 

Ms. DiCocco in her party line speech commented that the new gas fired generating plants will only be used for “peak requirements”. Since these are replacing LGS whose capacity is used to cover intermediate and peaking demand how can this be? The recent OPA supply mix report confirms that these gas plants will in fact be used for intermediate and peak demand. Has Ms. DiCocco even looked at the report?

 

As a coincidence, CBC TV news had segment today about the fact that Canada is spending a lot of money on Clean Coal Technology and we need to take a lead role. Not in Ontario, obviously!

 

Tom Hughes

Corunna

click here to download file

click here to download file

 

Energy Probe in the News: Monday, March 20, 2006

Energy policy in Ontario

Energy Probe's Tom Adams' presentation to the Ontario Energy Association Breakfast Series' "Energy Policy in Ontario: Some Perspectives on the Road Ahead," on March 8, showcased a debate between Tom Adams and Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. Tom's presentation advanced the case for "clean coal" and state of the art coal technologies and appears in full below:

"Jack delivers a simple message and he does it so well, 'All coal is bad.'

My message is 'Clean coal is as good as it gets.' Clean coal is so good, that instead of fooling around with yesterday's gas and nuclear technologies, Ontario should start building new coal-fired generators, starting at the Lakeview site in Mississauga.

I am going to present the case for coal in five parts:

1. The public has been mislead about coal;
2. Pollution control technologies work;
3. Exciting new technologies are rapidly developing;
4. Consequences of not moving forward with clean coal;
5. We will develop a graceful exit for the
Ontario government from its rash anti-coal promise.

#1 What has the public been told about coal?

The public has been spun on coal. They have been told:

- Air pollution control scrubbers only cut pollution by of 1%;
- Lambton is
Ontario’s #2 polluter;
- Investing in scrubbers would be a waste of money; and
- It is a myth that the best Lambton generators are comparable to gas.

These statements are all misleading as I will make clear.

#2 Do pollution control technologies work?

Our cleanest coal power – L3/ 4 – have new scrubbers that slash acid gases and toxic mercury emissions by about 80%. I could tell you that they are in the cleanest 2 percentile of all the coal plants in NAFTA but who would care. More importantly, our best coal is cleaner than many gas-fired power plants in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York – all key power suppliers to Ontario who also share our air. Closing L3/4 will increase air pollution in Ontario.

As to the allegation that scrubbers only cut emissions by of 1%, the spin there is to treat toxic emissions like mercury with CO2.

#3 How are state of the art coal technologies doing?

Just great.

With technology in hand to virtually eliminate acid gases, and with progress on mercury, the next emission challenge is CO2. The Europeans currently have the lead with cogeneration, fuel blending with biofuels and high efficiency boilers all being used there today, with success. The Japanese and Americans are channeling staggering resources into coal R&D.

Geologic sequestration of CO2 is further out on the horizon but also looks promising. South western Ontario appears to enjoy geology suitable for massive, longterm CO2 storage.

#4 What are our prospects if we don’t go ahead with clean coal?

Gloomy.

Solar is popular, but how many people know that in Germany the price paid for solar last year was $1.15/kWh? Lambton power costs about 4 cents. New water power in Ontario is also popular but the potential is limited and many remaining sites are sensitive.

The Ontario Power Authority has set out its vision of the consequences of not building a clean coal future in Ontario. What we will get is a perverse and hideously expensive two-for-one deal. The OPA's plan calls for a lot of gas plants to be built ASAP to cover the supply gap while nuclear plants are being constructed.

In effect, to take out one unit of coal, Ontario finds itself in a position where it has to build one unit of gas plus one unit of new nuclear.

#5 How can the Ontario government make a graceful exit from a promise that it must now understand was rash?

At the time its policy was developed, the outlook for gas prices appeared moderate, security issues only interested fringe groups, and the technologies for clean coal were less advanced. Getting rid of dirty coal was a great idea. It still is.

The government should follow the IESO's lead in focusing on reliability. The government should be credited for demonstrating flexibility in staying the execution on some units by over a year.

Obviously, the government must rescind its closure order on Ontario's cleanest coal power. Closing Lambton 3 and 4 will increase mercury, NOX, and SOX pollution in Ontario. The scrubbed power from Lambton 3 and 4 is environmentally beneficial and must be preserved.

Sliding the schedule for killing the other existing coal units we need is not good enough: the government should order scrubbers for several existing coal units immediately.

Only the unreasonable could criticize the government for expanding the scope of the OPA to survey all option, including clean coal technologies and to present to the public the best options. Ontario could so easily be taking advantage of the advancements being paid for by others.

What is the bottom line?

Ontario has only one power generation option that can stand on its own. It needs no government subsidies. Its technology is modern and moving forward rapidly. Its cost is low. Its supply is secure. It's not interesting to terrorists. Its environmental outlook is responsible. Its production is reliable enough to support intermittent generators like wind power or to fill in when nuclear generators shut down for years at a time.

Ontario needs clean coal, it is as good as it gets."

opg.jpg

Energy Probe in the News: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Our web site is www.energyprobe.org

Ontario offers to buy homemade electricity

In the country's first program of its type, Ontario is offering subsidies to homeowners and businesses that switch to renewable energy sources. But skeptics say the move is more about "spin" than it is about renewable energy at an affordable price.

by CBC News, March 21, 2006

Ontario is offering to subsidize homeowners and businesses that switch to renewable power sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

It's the first program of its type in the country and Premier Dalton McGuinty says he hopes the plan will see a quarter of a million homes powered by renewable energy within a decade.

While Canada is far behind European countries like Germany in providing renewable energy, McGuinty says the incentives are the most progressive in North America.

"We're taking a bold new step that will allow hundreds of small, local renewable energy producers to get into the energy market," he said.

The government will pay an inflated price for the energy for 20 years to help make the project attractive: 42 cents a kilowatt-hour for solar and 11 cents for wind, biomass, or small hydroelectric projects.

McGuinty expects entrepreneurs and many of the province's farmers will get involved. "You know what we're doing, we're creating a market for a new cash crop in Ontario."

Environmentalist David Suzuki praised the move, but there are skeptics, including Energy Probe's Tom Adams.

"I think it's really about spin and press releases," he said. "It's not really about serving consumers with renewable energy at a reasonable price."

Asparagus farmer Tim Berry, who's also a small shareholder in a solar energy company in Cambridge, Ont., says he' been thinking of putting solar panels on his barn for years. The new incentives announced, he says, may make it worth his while.

"It's changed the game tremendously, so we're looking at the economics of it. But where we were yesterday and where we are today, it's put Ontario at the forefront."

The program is also being pitched to homeowners, but the upfront costs – as much as $30,000 – are substantial. Experts say it could take 20 years before homeowners pay off their initial investment and turn a profit.