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Discussion around 'Wind, solar power to lead to sky-high electricity rates for Ontario'

Ontarians can look forward to paying some of the highest electricity costs in the developed world, according to a new study. Predictions say the cost...

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Maury Markowitz wrote on 2011-10-17 14:43:48

I read what I could find on this report, and from what I could see it was essentially worthless.

The authors make the oft-repeated claim that every watt of renewables will have to be backed up by a watt of fossil power. Future development is expanded out at the current FIT rates, in spite of the fact that they're about to be reduced. So they use a very high FIT and very high non-FIT capex.

The paper apparently ignores the fact that there's enormous amounts of hydropower on either side of the provice ready at a moment's notice. Hydro is the *perfect* backup for renewables, as it is both storable and capable of almost instant-on service. These could be developed for the cost of running lines -- something we were planning on doing in 1989 but gave up on.

There's more undeveloped power in Manitoba, Quebec and Labrador than there is total non-renewable demand in Ontario (if I'm doing my sums correctly). We simply don't need the peakers we're putting in now, or at least wouldn't if we were taking a slightly longer-term view of our buildout. What remains is a political problem, not an engineering one.

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