Tuesday, April 25, 2017

-Alberta’s NDP government aims to phase out coal-fired power by 2030 with a mix of renewable power and natural gas, which would back up intermittent sources like wind and solar.----------Others question its economics. A University of British Columbia study released this month said the province is likely to have a power surplus when Site C starts generating in 2024, forcing BC Hydro to sell power at a loss. It also suggests the cost of power will be much higher than Alberta market rates and unattractive for electricity-hungry consumers like the oilsands. ----------Julie Ali · University of Alberta The cost of electricity will go up and if we don't have the back up power from BC I guess the price will go up tremendously. I am curious how this will impact the oil and gas industry. Apparently they use their own free natural gas to run their businesses-won't using BC electricity make the costs of producing oil too high? The coal fired electricity plants were being phased out slowly. The only reason I can think of why the NDP folks sped up this process was to help Mr. Trudeau; in return they got pipeline approval. If the BC NDP are hired, we are in a lose-lose situation with coal fired plants phased out, a possible decrease in BC power available and pipeline conflict. Well at least life hasn't been boring with the NDP in power. Like · Reply ·

 
Lose-lose situation. No one had a back up plan when the politics in BC changes. So the Alberta NDP act before thinking and phase out the coal fired electricity plants using major money we don't have.
In return for this sop to the climate leadership plan that has no leadership but has a ton of spin in which most Albertans get rebates for no change in behaviour--we got a pipeline approved by Team Trudeau.
Meanwhile the Christy Clark woman is less and less popular and the worst nightmare of the NDP folks in Alberta begins with the possible hiring of the NDP folks in BC.
Now if these NDP folks in BC live their values instead of screwing the voters as did the NDP folks in Alberta--we will have no pipeline and no electricity backup plan.
So this is a lose-lose situation.
The only constant is a ton of cash down the drain paid out to power companies now and in the future jump in electricity rates once the government removes the caps. It's so neat. We've got fools in government with no back up plans.
Not a responsible government. They had a plan A and a plan B maybe but no plan C.
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As B.C. parties divide on Site C dam, does Alberta still want the power?

Published on: April 23, 2017 | Last Updated: April 23, 2017 6:50 PM MDT
BC Hydroís Siobhan Jackson and Doug Morgan of Morgan Construction monitor work just downstream of the Site C dam site on the Peace River. Photos at or near the Site C project area on the Peace River near For St. John. For a story by Larry Pynn. Photo taken May 2016.
B.C.'s three provincial parties are trading election barbs over the Site C dam project, which will have implications for Alberta's coal phase-out. LARRY PYNN / PNG
Alberta’s long-term plan to overhaul its electricity sources could feel the ripple effects of an election fight in British Columbia over a massive hydroelectric project on the Peace River.
B.C. voters will go to the polls May 9, and the province’s top three parties have made an election issue of Site C, a hydro dam under construction on the Peace River near Fort St. John, B.C.
Premier Christy Clark made a campaign stop at the dam April 18 and vows to push the project past the “point of no return,” arguing Site C is the best way to meet B.C.’s long-term energy needs and create jobs.
The fate of the project has consequences for Alberta. Economists say Site C could help backstop the province’s coal-power phase-out and eliminate a looming power surplus in B.C. But opposition parties across the border want it delayed or cancelled, and whether Alberta needs or wants the power is not yet clear.   
Alberta’s NDP government aims to phase out coal-fired power by 2030 with a mix of renewable power and natural gas, which would back up intermittent sources like wind and solar.
It’s too early to say how out-of-province hydro might fit into the scheme, NDP Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd said. But she has said Alberta won’t buy power if B.C. ties up oil-pipeline approvals.
“We’re just in general talks,” she said Thursday. “Our federal minister had asked us to start talking amongst ourselves as provinces about east-west (electricity) ties, and really it’s just about possibilities at this point.”
Some want Site C cancelled.
The $8.8-billion BC Hydro project will flood 83 kilometres of river valley, displace farmers and inundate First Nations cultural sites.
Others question its economics. A University of British Columbia study released this month said the province is likely to have a power surplus when Site C starts generating in 2024, forcing BC Hydro to sell power at a loss. It also suggests the cost of power will be much higher than Alberta market rates and unattractive for electricity-hungry consumers like the oilsands.
Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, at a news conference on Nov. 23, 2016, said last week that Alberta is in general talks with B.C. about future east-west electricity ties. SHAUGHN BUTTS / EDMONTON JOURNAL
B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan would order further study of Site C if his party forms government, allowing a utilities commission review bypassed by the Liberals to expedite construction, while the Green Party says it would cancel the project outright.
The Alberta government is planning for 30 per cent renewable power by 2030, with “backstop” sources like natural gas generating the remainder. The Opposition Wildrose has railed against the coal phase-out, saying it will kill jobs and raise electricity costs.

‘Potential win-win’

Blake Shaffer, a former energy trader and PhD candidate at the University of Calgary, said the idea of expanded B.C.-Alberta power sales could be a “win-win” under the right circumstances.
“You have B.C. pushing forward with a dam they really don’t need yet,” he said. “At the same time … Alberta is going to be shutting down many of its coal plants. We’re going to be needing energy and capacity during that period, so you’ve got a nice fit.”
Andrew Leach, a University of Alberta professor who chaired the panel that advised Premier Rachel Notley on carbon taxation, said adding B.C. hydro power into the mix would affect the transition off coal.
“If you’re thinking about how to mitigate the downsides of renewable power in your market, then having access to a larger hydro-backed storage system makes that more feasible,” he said.
But it changes the equation for others in the market, he said, including power companies that use natural gas.
“You’re introducing a large competitor to them,” Leach said.
One way or another, B.C. and Alberta’s power grids will likely be more tightly integrated in the future, Shaffer said, but how that happens short term hinges on politics on both sides of the provincial border.
“In the long run, I imagine more flexible (electricity) transfer between the two (provinces) goes ahead. Whether or not Site C goes ahead or coal gets phased out, those are different questions,” he said. “In the short term we can get all sorts of weird stuff politically.”   
jwakefield@postmedia.com


Julie Ali · 
The cost of electricity will go up and if we don't have the back up power from BC I guess the price will go up tremendously.
I am curious how this will impact the oil and gas industry. Apparently they use their own free natural gas to run their businesses-won't using BC electricity make the costs of producing oil too high?
The coal fired electricity plants were being phased out slowly. The only reason I can think of why the NDP folks sped up this process was to help Mr. Trudeau; in return they got pipeline approval.
If the BC NDP are hired, we are in a lose-lose situation with coal fired plants phased out, a possible decrease in BC power available and pipeline conflict.
Well at least life hasn't been boring with the NDP in power.

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