British Columbia’s government believes less in free enterprise than in assisted activities for approved associates. Entrepreneurs saw potential for a private power generation industry in the province but didn’t want to risk their own money. Instead, they arranged with the Liberal government for the public to accept all risks and guarantee substantial profits to the schemers…
The final item may present a clue to the current state of British Columbia’s energy market. It’s hard to believe we came to this only through the sheer stupidity of our policy makers.
Columnist Vaughn Palmer reports concerns expressed by Moody’s Investors Service about growing BC Hydro debt. The agency stated the obvious, which is that numerous capital projects are adding billions to the public utility’s debt and higher electricity rates or contributions from government are necessary. Palmer repeats Moody’s judgement that Hydro’s financial metrics “are among the weakest of Canadian provincial utilities.” However, the Vancouver Sun pundit provides an inaccurate explanation of why the situation exists…
When government is captured by people pursuing fortunes in real estate development and resource exploitation, the interests of all others become secondary. When the bubble bursts, when phantom markets collapse, what remains?
Small and medium‑sized enterprises employ about 2/3 of Canadians employed in manufacturing. Yet government programs typically aim benefits at large multinational corporations. An example in British Columbia is the arrangement allowing large, mostly foreign owned, mining companies to defer payments for electricity for up to two years. Additionally, Government directed BC Hydro to spend about a billion dollars on transmission lines that primarily powers the Red Chris open pit mine of Imperial Metals, which is controlled by Christy Clark’s favourite fundraiser, Murray Edwards. Substantial expenditures are also being made in the Northeast gas fields, even though government revenue from that resource has turned fugitive…
Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced a five-year, $300 million hydro bill deferment plan for 13 mines owned by six companies.Never mind that B.C. Hydro is already grappling with its own deferral problems to the tune of $5 billion. Make no mistake, there’s a price to pay when B.C. Hydro becomes a political arm of government. The intertwining of self-interests gets complicated, while the interests of ratepayers can take a backseat to political interests. Three of the six companies in Bennett’s deal were highlighted in a December Financial Post article, “Debt risks mount as Canada’s base metal miners sink deep in the hole.”
What’s really wrong is that BC Hydro has been spending billions on new capacity but producing less power. Demand has not grown since 2005 but purchases from IPPs, between FY 2005 and FY 2015, rose 108% from 6,444 GWh to 13,377. The purchasing is up again in 2016, by about 11%. The cost of IPP power was almost $500 million more in FY 2015 than in 2013.
When you’re determined to reward IPP friends but have too much power and no profitable export markets, you shut down your own low-cost operations…
The audio file below is a recording of my time on CFAX1070 with Ian Jessop March 23, 2016. We talk of BC Hydro and deceitful government.
In 1996, BC Hydro was a company with total assets of $12.1 billion, delivering 42,834 GWh of electricity to BC’s residential, commercial and industrial users. Ten years later, BC Hydro had total […]
BC Hydro has been announcing profits each year and that enables it to pay a dividend to the province, although it has to borrow the money to make the transfer. I argue […]
This devastating information from Erik Andersen, an economist and widely recognized expert on government and Crown Corporation financing: You will note the unbelievable increase in BC Hydro’s debt since Christy Clark took […]
As consumers, we are told that Canadian retail prices must be set above American because the costs of operation are higher north of the 49th parallel. For that reason, cars manufactured in […]
#BCHydro buys a GWh of power from IPPs at $91,380 and exports a GWh at $34,920. Save IPPs the bother and the loss. #bcpoli — Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) March 12, 2016 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js […]
BC Hydro is in a quandary. Premier Clark’s Government requires the utility purchase increasing amounts from independent power producers. However, consumers of electricity, particularly residential and commercial users – the only ones […]
Derrick Penner of the Vancouver Sun reported words from the Chief of BC Hydro’s nomenklatura : In December, [Jessica] McDonald heralded Site C as “essential to keeping the lights on…” “Fundamentally, (independent […]
An item from January 2015 has grown in importance. These recently created graphs support assertions within the article: BC doesn’t need it, Alberta doesn’t want it, USA will pay a fraction […]
A reader comment in a preceding article: We all have to be ‘shovel ready’ for the upcoming election and ‘Turf the Liberals’.There will be massive 1%er sponsored support and corporate funded advertorials […]
The audio file below is a recording of my time on CFAX 1070 with Ian Jessop March 02, 2016. We talk of BC Hydro and deceitful government. . 2015, #BCHydro earned 1/5 […]
Before the last election, Premier Clark justified BC Hydro rate increases as a “common sense decision” that would enable the private/public utility to pay off the billions in its deferred accounts. “People […]
The eyes of British Columbians should be on BC Hydro’s Site C project. It is a hydro facility not needed in a province that has had a decade of flat domestic demand […]
Site C Is a Climate-Change Disaster, Says Suzuki, Mychaylo Prystupa, The Tyee, February 23, 2016: Flooding valuable farmland to build the Site C dam undermines Canada’s commitment to meet international climate-change targets, […]