Tag: energy

The energy transition in real time: brownouts threaten at suppertime

With brownouts a possibility, Texas issues another electrical grid alert on Tuesday, its second in three days. Alberta issued one yesterday. These are the most energy-rich places on earth. What is going on?

UPDATE: 3:08 p.m. Aug. 29.

At 2:25 p.m, the Alberta Electric System Operator has not yet issued a grid alert on this date, but put out a tweet alluding to one, imploring Alberta citizens to reduce power consumption.

Demanding the impossible on power generation

Boundary Dam Unit 3 capture plant. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

Are the federal Clean Electricity Standards, brought in by Steven Guilbeault and Jonathan Wilkinson, impossible to meet? Pipeline Online asked SaskPower.

“The CER would require SaskPower to effectively rebuild our entire power system, through retiring the majority of our existing generating units and replacing them with new, ultra-low emitting units or non-emitting energy sources, while also growing the system to support expanding electricity needs that are expected to support growing demand for clean electricity for industrial needs, transportation, increased customer participation and other needs.”

Just as the world cries out for Canadian LNG, “No business case” Trudeau has totally failed us

First Germany comes to Canada, looking for LNG (liquefied natural gas). Then Japan. And we have nothing to give them. Why?

Justin Trudeau. That’s why. And his merry band of anti-energy protestors and ministers.

While the US has moved fast and hard to get LNG export facilities in place over the last decade, Canada has dragged its feet and stubbed its toe. We let protestors (Coastal GasLink), provincial governments (Quebec) and the federal government (Energie Saguenay) get in the way. Now, while the world is crying for LNG from Canada, we have nothing – NOTHING – to give them.

What else would you expect from a government who killed the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines? That scared off Teck from its $20 billion Frontier oil sands project? That hardly whimpered when Biden killed Keystone XL?

The only way this will change is if we have a change in government in Ottawa, and a change in attitude in this nation. We can’t be Can’tada any longer. The world needs us.

Saskatoon born and raised, cut his teeth in Lloydminster oilpatch, now CEO of significant Sask oil producer

Rob Morgan, president and CEO of Strathcona Resources, grew up in Saskatoon and went to chemical engineering at the U of S. He cut his teeth in the Lloydminster oilpatch, and is now running one of the largest oil produces in Saskatchewan. Strathcona bought Serafina Energy this past year, and has substantial activity north of North Battleford. The Patchwork Podcast on Pipeline Online goes deep with Morgan, who sees a long future for oil and gas.

At 12:30 a.m. this morning, Alberta got just 3 megawatts out of its 3,076 megawatts of wind. Again

Again and again and again, Alberta’s wind power totally collapses to effectively zero. It got really low at supper on Tuesday, dropping to around 15 megawatts, which is pretty much nothing since their nameplate capacity has grown, again, now to 3,076 megawatts.

But by 12:30 a.m., it dropped to just 3 megawatts. That’s out of hundreds of turbines costing many billions of dollars.

Oh, and you have to look at how much the $100 million or so worth of batteries have contributed in the last month. Take a guess.

But hey, Microsoft just signed on to buy a whole schwack of wind power. Does your Azure server rely on Alberta wind?

What the minister has to say about the Sask First Act, and not freezing in the dark

Here’s a deep dive interview with the minister behind the Saskatchewan First Act.

“So let’s take let’s take the power thing first of all,” Eyre said, noting the proposed Clean Electricity Standard, if adopted in its current form, would mean no fossil fueled power generation in this province by 2035.
According to SaskPower’s Where Your Power Comes From website, on any given day, coal and natural gas combined provide 65 to 84 per cent of the power in Saskatchewan. On Nov. 6, it was 77 per cent.
Eyre said, “That’s a federal policy which we hope will never see the light of day, but which is moving along. We will freeze in the dark. And we know that. Saskatoon (is) powered by the Queen Elizabeth, a natural gas-powered power station. The entire City of Saskatoon (would be) in huge trouble.”

European Parliament is wrong to endorse ‘fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty’

European Parliament. Image from Storyblocks, as licensed by Brian Zinchuk

The European Parliament is wrong to endorse ‘fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty’, writes Deborah Jaremko of the Canadian Energy Centre. In this column carried by Pipeline Online, Jaremko writes about these facts:

  1. The world needs oil and gas to function
  2. Europe’s largest economy is walking back on renewable energy
  3. Renewable energy is not reliable at scale to replace oil and gas
  4. The world’s growing population requires more energy, not less
  5. Canada is a responsible, reliable oil and gas supplier
  6. Canada’s natural gas can help the world get off coal 

Who gives a frac? That’s a really good question

If you truly give a frac, this is what it looks like.

A huge reason behind Saskatchewan’s growth as a ‘have’ province was the advent of horizontal oil wells with multi-stage fracking, which had a substantial impact on oil production. And Crescent Point ended up with most of the fracked oil plays in Saskatchewan – the Bakken, Torquay and Shaunavon. But in what can only be considered a stunning move, Crescent Point announced on Wednesday that it’s trying to drill wells in the Bakken but not frac them.


If everyone’s going to need batteries, the lithium might as well come from Saskatchewan

Prairie Lithium drilling the first lithium well in Saskatchewan. Pipeline Online

Saskatchewan is in the very early stages of lithium exploration and development. Say what you want about electric vehicles, everything from your iPhone to your laptop to yes, your EV, is going to require massive amounts of lithium. And Prairie Lithium of Emerald Park is the leader in this field.

Without coal, the lights would have gone out in Saskatchewan this week. The spinny things only put out 6% of their capacity

Boundary Dam Power Station

For months, Pipeline Online has been pointing out that Alberta puts out detailed data on its power grid, but SaskPower did not. Apparently others have been asking for the same information as well. Now, @SaskPower has responded. What does a day of power production look like in SK? Wind put out 6% of its capacity, and 2% of total generation. Coal provided 42% of total  power

REGINA – While it’s not the same minute-by-minute data provided by the Alberta Electric System Operator for their grid, SaskPower has begun breaking down where its power is coming from on a daily basis. And the data from Oct. 3 and 4 showed wind generated an average of just 7.3 per cent and 6 per cent of its rated capacity of 615 megawatts. And while the Crown corporation often points out that “conventional coal accounts for approximately 24 per cent of SaskPower’s total generation capacity,” on those days, coal was providing an average of 42 per cent of the power in this province.

Remember when the NDP hated nuclear? Now that talk has changed

Aleana Young

NDP SaskPower critic Aleana Young says small modular reactors can play a role in our energy future.

The New Democratic Party has a history of some of its MLAs being voraciously against nuclear power development. In particular, Peter Prebble, who was Corrections and Public Safety Minister from 2003-2006 under Premier Lorne Calvert, threatened to quit cabinet if the province did anything along those lines. In a 2005 CBC article, Prebble was quoted as saying, “I would have to step down from cabinet … in the theoretical event that cabinet was to endorse a reactor or a nuclear waste disposal facility.”

When asked what the current NDP stance was on nuclear power, Young said, “Technology changes, and times change. While I know people had strong opinions on that, I know people are going to have strong opinions today. While I’m not one of them, I know it’s important that we don’t dismiss people who have concerns and ask questions out of hand. But if the question is, for the Saskatchewan NDP, can SMRs play an important role in our energy future in Saskatchewan? Absolutely, they can.”


If Estevan is going to lose coal, it better focus on nuclear, says leading local advocate

Jim Wilson was one of the people who helped get carbon capture built in Estevan. If the province isn’t going to do more, he thinks Estevan should focus on nuclear.

One of the leading advocates for clean coal in Estevan says the community should turn to nuclear, now that SaskPower may not do more carbon capture

“I was very much involved in trying to get it built. I was proud of what we achieved. Everything was good. I remember hearing (Catherine) McKenna in Paris make the announcement,” he said, adding, “Carbon pricing and all that has changed our world.”

He said, “You know, their decisions were not science-based, or business-based. They were politically-based. They were clearly political. And that’s what (Morgan) answered to you. It’s sad for you and I, and the community that built the first clean coal facility of its type. And it was probably a transition solution more than anything, right?

“That’s the point: they’re ignoring this technology. And it works. And to my knowledge, and we’ve developed it and built the first.”



Coal will soon be gone, and nuclear is a long ways away for Estevan, and spinny things are not the answer

Boundary Dam Power Station. On the left is the carbon capture unit.

The reality that coal-fired power in Saskatchewan is being forced to an end, despite the possibility of carbon capture technology, is now weighing heavily on Estevan, as reported by PipelineOnline.ca.

Estevan mayor on coal: “The closer we get without any good answers by 2030, the harder it is for everyone in our community. We deserve some answers”

Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig:

“And we’re not getting any answers. I mean, we’ve been meeting now with the province a few times and we said, ‘Listen, we want to know. We have to start meeting. 2030 is coming very quickly. What are we going to do? We need the federal government involvement. They don’t even answer our emails. We have to get them to the table.

“They want to shut down coal, which is a great baseload power. The only option to that would be close to that would be nuclear. And that won’t be coming (soon). Once we make a decision toward the end of this decade, it probably won’t be built till 2035-2036, something like that.”


“It’s weighing on the employees already. We have people saying, ‘You know, I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, come 2030, so I’m bailing now. I’m going to where the jobs are now.’

“And it’s this sense of frustration, this sense of not knowing, you know, it’s a killer. And the closer we get without any good answers by 2030, the harder it is for everyone in our community. We deserve some answers. And the federal government owes us some answers. And the province, well, we’re starting to talk with them. SaskPower, we have a pretty good relationship with them, but it’s, you know, the final decisions with SaskPower are made by the provincial government, not SaskPower.”

This is a follow up to Further carbon capture on coal “not an option,” according to CIC Minister Don Morgan