Monday, October 17, 2011

Green energy costs in the news again

Update below.

I don't have much time at the moment to pursue the study referenced here re Ontario's electricity costs as related to the province's green energy emphasis: "Cost of green energy 40 per cent higher than government estimates: study." However, one of the authors of the study, retired banker Parker Gallant, has been published quite frequently at the Financial Post site and seems to be an ongoing critic of the McGuinty government's energy policies. I would like to read this one at the FP site, for example, "Ontario's power trip: Priced out of the market" but it's no longer available there. There, in the blurb that is available, Gallant seems to think Ontario's power market should be comparably priced to Quebec's and Manitoba's: "Electricity is already priced 65% higher in Ontario when measured against neighbouring Quebec and Manitoba, and the gap is likely to get bigger." Both of those provinces get almost 100% of their power from hydro. Geography can be everything sometimes. Ontario is much more complex as an energy jurisdiction so why people continue to romanticize those provinces compared to ours...I really don't see the comparison as being apt. The NDP did this in the election as well in their platform.

Anyway, I don't think it's a stretch to say that energy prices are a sensitivity in Ontario and the McGuinty government is quite aware of that! Hence the 10% reduction on our hydro bills. I doubt this sensitivity will be going away any time soon...

Update (8:15 p.m.): I am informed by BCL that these guys, Fox & Gallant, authors of the study that is the subject of the CP story linked to above are both associated with Energy Probe and Lawrence Solomon, i.e., not the most independent sources on energy and environmental issues and of a right wing bent. The study should therefore be read with that in mind.