Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 1, 2009
I find it interesting the government actually says something interesting on cap and trade for green house gases and there is barely any media coverage on it besides one article.
In general the introduction is what got me:
The federal government is planning sweeping new climate-change regulations for Canada’s electricity sector that will phase out traditional coal-fired power.
Any new coal plants will have to include highly expensive – and unproven – technology to capture greenhouse gas emissions and inject it underground for permanent storage, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said in an interview yesterday.
Those are the words that have just doomed rate payers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia to higher power bills in the next decade. Especially because they mean to use a cap and trade system to also reduce carbon emitted overall beyond banning traditional coal fired power plants. The sliver lining in all this is based on article is that it seems they will provide allocation of credits to exiting coal plants until the end of their useful life (rather than force companies to buy via auction) which will save people the initial price shock. Yet in the long run there is no choice to raise rates since carbon capture at coal plants is not cheap estimates range from $40 to $100+ a tonne of CO2 captured which depending on your power mix would jack up rates by 40% or more in the long haul.
The article then goes on to states that government wants 90% of our power production from non-emitting sources by 2025 (notice non emitting, not renewable so nuclear is ok). It’s a typo, it’s actually suppose to be 2020 (I had to contact the author for work). Of course the target sounds good, but is completely nuts. Most of the coal units in Canada are not due to be retired until after 2020. So if your getting free allocation for those coal units why would you shut them done a moment earlier than you need to? It does not make any sense for those businesses to do it. So it remains to be seen if the government really wants a cap and trade or they want that 90% target. You can’t really do both without jacking up power bills by a lot in a very short time frame.
Mmm, I guess I’ll have to get back to finding out how much it costs to generate my own power on my house. With raising rates it’s starting to look like a better investment.