I think this is an issue for discussion. It’s not a deal breaker, in my opinion, but clarification would be helpful.
If New Brunswick’s need for additional electricity goes outside the heritage pool (basically the current demand), additional power will need to be purchased through a competitive bid process. Because this incremental power will be on the margin, it is the government’s position that any increased cost will be spread across the full 14 TW of usage and therefore will have a minimal impact.
Last week the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), said demand on the electricity system in Ontario will fall an average of .7 per cent a year between 2009 and 2018. That’s a 9.5 per cent drop in annual consumption, or the equivalent shutting down two Candu 6 nuclear reactors.
This could be the case in New Brunswick as well if we continue to deploy energy efficiency efforts and we don’t see a spike in new large industrial users.
But I think in order to alleviate concerns, the government should release scenarios on this going out 40 years or more. Project out a reasonable model for power usage – maybe 2-3 scenarios: low, medium and high, and give us a clear picture of what this model Heritage Pool + Outside would look like.
One of the valid criticisms of this deal has been the uncertainty beyond the five year initial period. It would behoove the government to bring clarity to that issue by releasing forecasts. They must have completed this type of work while working up the deal.
Quite frankly, I hope this gets debated and put to bed one way or the other. I am getting tired of screening out some very nasty posts to this blog. There are punks out there who will say anything behind the veil of IP secrecy. I talked this week to two other columnist/bloggers who are also having to put up with this kind of crap up to and including threats (it hasn’t gone this far with me – yet). Maybe we will get back to a civilized debate about issues that don’t bring out the worst in people.
Just to be clear I have posted 80% of the comments – the only ones being screened include foul language or ridiculous personal character assasination (mostly mine). Again, there is nothing we are talking about here that should engender this kind of visceral response. I want to hear both sides. I want to see facets of this issue that I haven’t looked at before but if you keep the comments to things you would say to my face over coffee – then I’ll post them all.