"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Timing is everything

The Tellytorial tellytorialized on Saturday:

Nova Scotia Power and the provincial government are expecting that the feed-in tariffs will bring in wind, biomass, small hydro and tidal projects that can deliver up to 100 megawatts of power per year — the bulk of that from wind farms producing at 13.9 cents per kilowatt hour. What’s interesting in the equation in this province is that, even though the provincial government says it’s concerned that increased demand for power will drive up the cost of running the Holyrood generating station, and therefore prices to consumers, it hasn’t moved to set feed-in tariffs in this province. In Nova Scotia, the tariffs are set for 20 years, allowing potential electricity producers to plan their potential return on investment and costs. Setting tariffs here would bring new generation sources online, potentially forestalling the increases without taking on massive new amounts of provincial debt. The provincial government, in its 2007 energy plan, suggested that alternate power on the island could produce an extra 100 megawatts of power from wind and small hydro power generation — but instead of feed-in tariffs, it’s pretty clear the province prefers controlling any development through its energy corporation, Nalcor.


It looks a lot like the province would prefer all its eggs in one basket. Or, more to the point, the province not only wants to run an energy warehouse, but actually wants to own it all as well. In its own way, that handcuffs consumers in this province. Because one company will decide the most effective way to produce and supply our power. We’ll just pay for it.

This is one of those things very obliquely referred to in the report, with the delightfully bureaucratic title "Newfoundland & Labrador Energy Innovation Roadmap: Priority Identification (Phase 1)", which the Dunderdale2011 goverment has taken to calling the "Energy Innovation Roadmap", even when it's clear, in deed and in word, that "innovation" is the last thing that Dunderdale2011, like Williams-Government before her, would ever want. Quoth the "Roadmap":

In addition to the above categories, two other categories should be noted:
• Barriers which it would be valuable to overcome (locally or internationally), but where the required innovation is not technological. These barriers may include policy, regulatory, market, taxation and other challenges. This finding applied to all energy types, and in the case of energy efficiency, it was found that the barriers were exclusively of this type.
The fear that someone might actually want to have this adult conversation about energy policy, and its potential implications for the Danny Williams Memorial White Elephant, are likely the proximate cause for two strange features in the chronology.

First, the report which Shawn Skinner released and buried on the same day, July 7, 2011, bears the date of August, 2010. Yip. They've been sitting on Favourite Economist's report for almost a year.

Second, "Phase Two" of the Stifling Innovation Roadmap won't be released until 2012. That is, like the final agreement (if there is one) with Emera on the Danny Williams Memorial White Elephant, and the environmental assessment of the Labrador-Newfoundland outstarve line, after the October 11, 2011 provincial election.



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