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lenaitch

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Sault Ste. Marie as well.


With a migration from a fossil to electric economy, we'd better figure out where the electrons are going to come from. Many people discuss demands on the grid in isolation; charging cars at night, energy storage, etc. but increased demand is increased demand.
 

kEiThZ

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With a migration from a fossil to electric economy, we'd better figure out where the electrons are going to come from. Many people discuss demands on the grid in isolation; charging cars at night, energy storage, etc. but increased demand is increased demand.

This is just not a concern in Canada. If the UK can build enough offshore wind to power every home in the country by 2030 just imagine the potential in Canada. Moving from molecules to electrons for energy is a matter of investment. And with an 80% clean grid, and enough hydro to smooth over the variability of renewables, Canada is substantially further ahead than most of the world. We're just really lazy when it comes to building what we have to.
 

lenaitch

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This is just not a concern in Canada. If the UK can build enough offshore wind to power every home in the country by 2030 just imagine the potential in Canada. Moving from molecules to electrons for energy is a matter of investment. And with an 80% clean grid, and enough hydro to smooth over the variability of renewables, Canada is substantially further ahead than most of the world. We're just really lazy when it comes to building what we have to.
I'm not sure being out-of-hand dismissive of another opinion is particularly helpful. If we don't get down to figuring it out, then it is a concern. When you are on an island in the windy North Atlantic, your landmass is roughly 1000km x 500km (main island), a single time zone and a unified synchronous grid, it likely a tad easier than a country that is 7500km and six time zones wide and contains four synchronous grids, and where chasing sun, wind and on/off peak demand is more complex.
 

kEiThZ

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I'm not sure being out-of-hand dismissive of another opinion is particularly helpful. If we don't get down to figuring it out, then it is a concern. When you are on an island in the windy North Atlantic, your landmass is roughly 1000km x 500km (main island), a single time zone and a unified synchronous grid, it likely a tad easier than a country that is 7500km and six time zones wide and contains four synchronous grids, and where chasing sun, wind and on/off peak demand is more complex.

Here's the thing, when you have as much hydro and nuclear as Canada has, your have to worry a lot less about synchronization. We can literally dial up and down generation as needed from those sources. Most places have to build a lot of grid storage to do what we can do with all our existing assets. We are blessed by geography here. We need to be a bit more ambitious about exploiting it.

By the way, Quebec gets this, it's why they are so far ahead in the electrification game. Ontario for some reason doesn't even want to build up interconnects to Quebec to take advantage of all that dispatchable hydro they have.

The distance stuff is really not all that relevant. We build interconnects and trade power regionally. Electrons aren't going from Halifax to Vancouver. At best they are going from St. John's to Sudbury.

In any event, my point here is that we don't really have the shortage that people imagine. We also have a ton of cheap natural gas, which is exactly what Europe uses for a lot of high energy industrial processes. These can and should be leveraged to bring heavy industry to Canada. There's no point shipping gas to Europe. It's easier to ship them steel.
 

afransen

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Here's the thing, when you have as much hydro and nuclear as Canada has, your have to worry a lot less about synchronization. We can literally dial up and down generation as needed from those sources. Most places have to build a lot of grid storage to do what we can do with all our existing assets. We are blessed by geography here. We need to be a bit more ambitious about exploiting it.

By the way, Quebec gets this, it's why they are so far ahead in the electrification game. Ontario for some reason doesn't even want to build up interconnects to Quebec to take advantage of all that dispatchable hydro they have.

The distance stuff is really not all that relevant. We build interconnects and trade power regionally. Electrons aren't going from Halifax to Vancouver. At best they are going from St. John's to Sudbury.

In any event, my point here is that we don't really have the shortage that people imagine. We also have a ton of cheap natural gas, which is exactly what Europe uses for a lot of high energy industrial processes. These can and should be leveraged to bring heavy industry to Canada. There's no point shipping gas to Europe. It's easier to ship them steel.
Over time, it seems like arid equatorial regions will be the ideal sites for energy intensive industry, as that is where the lowest cost solar deployments will be located. Saudi etc. will be a solar superpower when petroleum is obsoleted. It may be that the simplest thing for them to leverage will be chemicals industries and export ammonia, methane, etc. but that could include things like steel.
 

lenaitch

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Here's the thing, when you have as much hydro and nuclear as Canada has, your have to worry a lot less about synchronization. We can literally dial up and down generation as needed from those sources. Most places have to build a lot of grid storage to do what we can do with all our existing assets. We are blessed by geography here. We need to be a bit more ambitious about exploiting it.

By the way, Quebec gets this, it's why they are so far ahead in the electrification game. Ontario for some reason doesn't even want to build up interconnects to Quebec to take advantage of all that dispatchable hydro they have.

The distance stuff is really not all that relevant. We build interconnects and trade power regionally. Electrons aren't going from Halifax to Vancouver. At best they are going from St. John's to Sudbury.

In any event, my point here is that we don't really have the shortage that people imagine. We also have a ton of cheap natural gas, which is exactly what Europe uses for a lot of high energy industrial processes. These can and should be leveraged to bring heavy industry to Canada. There's no point shipping gas to Europe. It's easier to ship them steel.
True about hydro, but nuclear doesn't dial up or down well. I agree that it is curious why Ontario isn't exploiting Quebec or Manitoba hydro power. Obviously, Quebec is closer to our major load centres and it would seem our two peaks are synergistic; theirs is winter, ours is summer. Interconnects between asynchronous grids are expensive; perhaps that's the reason.

Alberta, Saskatchewan, NWT and the Maritimes are the largest exploiters of fossil fuels, plus a number of nearby US states, so there is adequate opportunity but the infrastructure costs are high, particularly if nuclear is in the equation. Ontario's hydro capacity is pretty much tapped out. Quebec has the advantage of a terrain in its north that is conducive to creating major diversions and reservoirs.

I wouldn't discount distance. Ontario just dropped about $1Bn just to increase grid capacity between n/w Ontario and the rest of the province, just to bring it up to adequate, and longer distances have energy movement impacts. With the possible exception of BC, the nature of our geography has major hydroelectric sources a long way from the major loads.

I agree we don't have a shortage issue, we have a distribution issue. If we mention natural gas we run the risk of attracting the 'end all fossil fuels now' crowd who think we can maintain of current quality of life and economy because 'the next great battery' is just around the corner to solve all of our problems.
 

kEiThZ

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Good. We're in a crisis and I'm glad to see some actual recognition of it for once.


Canadians need to understand that the CAF can't be both a defence force and a routine disaster response force. Repeated deployments for disaster response, erodes combat readiness (most army training is done in the summer) and wears out personnel. Using the CAF for disaster response should be for the absolute worst disasters. Not for events that are now effectively seasonal. The provinces need to step up and create their own emergency response forces that the CAF can augment in worst case scenarios. Either that or double the size of the CAF to meet the insane demands being placed on the force.

Good 20 min podcast discussing these issues:

 
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kEiThZ

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kEiThZ

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The Europeans are finally starting to admit that their overreliance on Russia for cheap energy, the US for security and China for export markets was a mistake, that has countributed to the disaster in Ukraine, and is a modus vivendi that is quickly falling apart, threatening European prosperity.


I wonder when Canadians might have a similar epiphany.
 

kEiThZ

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Sadly, I still see zero willingness to close remote basis, to stop prioritizing politics so much over procurement priorities and an unwillingness to reduce the tasks assigned to the military to align with the budget and needs of the members.

Should be interesting to see what happens when the US just starts dictating military issues in the Arctic because they are fed up with our lack of investment, obvious now to absolutely everyone:

 

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