Well attended nuclear conference kicks off interesting, productive year

March 5, 2014

When you look at packed audience halls at a nuclear industry convention, you know there is activity in the industry. Last week’s Canadian Nuclear Association annual conference and trade show was very well attended, and not just by the Ontario nuclear utilities, Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power, whose billion dollar annual revenues make them…

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Ontario’s roadmap to fast quantum-leap carbon reductions: Mate in Three meets Apollo 13

February 21, 2014
Ontario’s roadmap to fast quantum-leap carbon reductions: Mate in Three meets Apollo 13

Road transportation, mainly cars and trucks running on gasoline and diesel, is the single biggest source category of man-made carbon pollution in Ontario. In 2009, cars and trucks put more than 45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into our air. That was well more than double the output from the province’s electric power…

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What is the true value of reliable electricity? Ask someone who is about to be reconnected after a blackout

February 12, 2014

I have been part of a very interesting listserv discussion lately, on the value of reliable electricity. As I pointed out last article, in Ontario we have a topsy-turvy system for pricing electricity: we pay the least efficient and least-reliable generators the highest per-kWh price. The ones that have literally for decades provided affordable power…

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The low price of reliable electricity

February 11, 2014

Power prices in Ontario are on a steady upward climb, and if you think they’re bad now just wait. You’ll soon look back at February 2014 as the good old days. Ontario continues to add wind farms to the grid—the latest one began reporting to the system operator on January 30, bringing the total to…

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Disbelief, disarray in Ontario anti-nuclear circles as pension fund announces intention to increase share in nuclear power plant

February 5, 2014

Less than a week ago, the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System (OMERS), a pension plan, announced it will increase its share in Bruce Power. Bruce Power is a partnership that runs the Bruce nuclear plant, the biggest clean energy producer in the Western Hemisphere. OMERS’s representation in the partnership is by way of Borealis Infrastructure,…

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Can the Bruce nuclear partnership keep Ontario in Quadrant IV of the Carbon-Price Matrix?

February 3, 2014
Can the Bruce nuclear partnership keep Ontario in Quadrant IV of the Carbon-Price Matrix?

My most recent posts on this blog have played on the theme of clean, cheap electricity as an environmental and societal benefit. Using the Electric Power Carbon-Price Matrix, I have compared electricity systems using the criteria of carbon emissions and price. I have proposed the C-P Matrix as the way for jurisdictions to plan electricity…

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How much does it cost to reduce carbon emissions? A primer on electricity infrastructure planning in the Age of Climate Change

January 29, 2014

If you are a sentient and literate human being, there is no way you have been unaffected by the news about climate change. Some people might disbelieve the claim that there is a link between emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and climate change. But most believe it. They therefore agree that we should do everything…

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Two carbon-reduction paths diverge in the European policy wood: United Kingdom takes less traveled, more interesting one

January 27, 2014
Two carbon-reduction paths diverge in the European policy wood: United Kingdom takes less traveled, more interesting one

Germany’s much-touted and -admired route to carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions has, predictably, proved to be an embarrassing and expensive failure. The bubble chart represents electricity data from 2010. As you can see, German electricity was, kilowatt-hour for kilowatt-hour, the second-dirtiest of the 10 jurisdictions shown on the chart. Only British electricity contained more carbon (two…

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EU refocuses on climate: carbon reductions take precedence over renewable targets

January 22, 2014
EU refocuses on climate: carbon reductions take precedence over renewable targets

Reducing emissions of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is the Number One environmental priority facing the human race. Fitting this priority into the daily business of government has, in the sheer pressure of that business, taken some policymakers’ eyes off the ball. In those cases—and I will put Germany’s efforts to address CO2 emissions from electricity…

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Item 1: if Ontario did not have its nuclear generating fleet, last hour’s CO2 emissions would have been AT LEAST:

6,127 metric tons, and the CIPK would have been 361.0 grams

Item 2: Since prorogation of the Ontario legislature on October 15, 2012, provincial gas-fired generating plants have dumped this much CO2 into our air:

14,442,672 metric tons. This is a running total. Every hour, the total increases by the amount of Gas CO2 given in Table 1.

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