July 12th, 2024

Wind and solar power contribute to lower energy costs


By Lethbridge Herald on October 28, 2023.

Editor:

Our Premier Danielle Smith says, “current electricity rates could also double, triple or even quadruple.” 

 Without a crystal ball she doesn’t have a clue what electricity rates will be in 2035 and neither do the people advising her.  The premier has little familiarity with the Alberta grid, it’s resources and it’s associated operations.  

Alberta currently has 19,712 megawatts of electricity generation with 1,292 megawatts of solar and 3,853 megawatts of wind contributing to that total.  I’ve spent 30 years in the wind energy industry, and I fully understand that wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine all the time.  However, it’s also a fact that coal, gas and hydro don’t operate all the time, and are not necessarily available at times when needed.  Every resource requires backup of some kind.  

There are grids all over the world that have much greater penetrations of variable resources than Alberta. 

 For example, Denmark has 86 per cent renewables penetration with plans for 99.9 per cent by 2030.  

It’s a matter of managing those resources expertly.  Additionally, grid storage like batteries, compressed air, gravity, pumped hydro among others, are being developed rapidly.  These will contribute to grid stability and additional generation as well as backups for wind and solar.  

The fossil fuel industry and the people in their pockets are loathe to change because they’ve had it their way for decades, have profited obscenely and have great difficulty with a new vision that doesn’t include their old polluting habits.  

The reason electricity prices are what they are today is because rates are set by fossil fuel generators owned by utilities and other lucrative fossil fuel giants. 

 What the Premier doesn’t tell you is that wind and solar bid into the Alberta grid and submit their power at $0 per megawatt hour.  

Therefore, wind and solar contribute to reducing the average power price.  Put another way, the more wind and solar on the grid the lower your electricity costs are all else being equal.  

The foolishness of putting a moratorium on the very resources that reduce our power prices is ridiculous.  

High electricity rates present, or future, can be blamed on the Premier!

Dale Johnson

Lethbridge

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Dennis Bremner

You must be NDP and only ever study one side of the equation (NDP side)!
If you wish to see conglomerates that “work” the people of Alberta do yourself a favor and read your electrical bill. You can consume $100 worth of electricity and yet your bill is 3-4 times higher than that, why? Its easy to understand if you take 3 seconds in your day. Too many people with their finger in the pie. Everyone wants the piece of that pie.
Electrical companies do not allow you to generate more than you consume, why? Because they do not get their piece if you do. I wanted to generate 12KW and was told flat out my suggested contribution would exceed my consumption and it was not allowed.
Because you didn’t bother to think first before your letter, let me inform you that if you think Big OIL is a problem, you have seen nothing yet, when BIG Electricity takes over.

Fedup Conservative

Why is it Dennis that with guys like you anyone who doesn’t agree with your lame way of thinking must be an NDP supporter when the province is mainly conservative not dumb enough to support Reformers so are voting NDP to put a stop to what these Reformers are doing to us. How do you explain why former conservative MLAs are some of the ones trying to help us?

buckwheat

Ah, don’t think so. In the simple knowledge that back up power must be kept in place when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine should be enough for some to realize that the spinning power isn’t free, hence you pay twice for your electricity. This doesn’t even touch the cost of the subsidies to this gambit.

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2023-3-18-a-proposal-for-exposing-the-true-costs-of-getting-electricity-from-wind-and-sun

SophieR

You should be on MLA Nate’s Blue Ribbon team during the renewable energy moratorium.

buckwheat

Sure would be nice if you commented on the above input rather than your usual nose in the air condescending snide comments. We all get you Sophie, no one is smarter than you. Prove the Manhattan Institute wrong if you want credibility.

SophieR

Manhattan Institute? Er … He’s a blogger from the West Village (https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/about). Not that it matters to you.

But really, buckwheat, contact Nathan. He could use some penetrating opinions from Manhattan bloggers – compared, say, to people in the industry, ecologists, experts ftom other jurisdictions.

Fedup Conservative

What these mindless seniors keep forgetting is the fact that it was their hero Ralph Klein who created this mess with deregulation and I have never forgotten how upset the former MLAs from the Lougheed era were with him for doing it. Of course instead of listening to what Electrical Engineers and Power Plant Engineers were telling them would happen they couldn’t wait to re-elect their hero and now they are paying the price for ignoring the facts and don’t forget the orphan well cleanup mess he created that oil men state is a never ending thing that will just keep increasing for our children to try to deal with. Making up stupid comments to try to hide the truth doesn’t make you look smart does it?

old school

So Dale , did all that infrastructure grow there by itself? I see a lot of trucks hauling wind mill pieces. 3 pilot trucks for each piece.
Electricity/for free? I suspect you don’t smell very good cause your head is stuck somewhere dark. Renewable energy is the most expensive out there and only works with subsidies or incentives paid by tax payers

gs172

You bring up Denmark, OK. Denmark is a net importer of electricity. They generate 83% of domestic electricity and import 17%. They import from Sweden, Norway and Germany. Norway does generate 98% of their power from renewable sources(thanks to dams) but both Sweden and Germany are below 50% renewable generation.