IMPACT OF INCREASED UTILIZATION OF ONTARIO HYDRO'S FOSSIL FUEL PLANTS
Prepared by Louise Comeau
This backgrounder provides detail on the expected increase in emissions of the pollutants causing climate change, acid rain and smog as a result of relying on coal and oil-fired power stations. Particulates and mercury also will be emitted but those calculations are not yet available. Mercury is a toxic, bioaccumulative neurotoxin, particulates lodge deep in the lungs and can cause respiratory and cardiac problems. In addition, estimates are provided on the potential for energy efficiency and independent power production to make up the shortfall of 5,400 MW from the nuclear reactor shutdowns.
The crisis in the nuclear division provides Ontario Hydro and all Ontarians with an opportunity to chart a new course. Further spending on nuclear and fossil fuel-fired electricity is not sustainable economically, or environmentally. Now is the time to reinvest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now is the time to take Ontario into the 21st Century. Investments in energy-efficient technologies, state-of-the-art high-efficiency cogeneration and renewable energy like wind and solar will create jobs, reduce local and regional air pollution, protect the climate and our health, and make the economy more productive and competitive.
Seven nuclear reactors are being shut down:
Bruce A: 2 units at 848 MW(e) each; 1 unit at Bruce A already closed: 848 MW(e)
Total shut down :5,400 MW
That's enough capacity to provide electricity to approximately 3,250,000 homes.
Or, looked at another way, this is enough electrical capacity to provide electricity to five cities the size of London, Ontario or to two cities the size of Ottawa.
Four fossil fuel fired thermal stations will be used to make up for the 7 reactor closings:
Lakeview :2,400 MW capacity
These fossil-fuel thermal power plants are expected to generate an additional 12.79 Twh of electricity.
A 1,000 MW plant running at 75% capacity generates 7 TWh of power; so 12.79 TWh is approximately equal to 2,000 MW.
The fossil plants, therefore could contribute half of the power required. The remainder will come from imports (mostly coal produced). Over time, some domestic independent power production (natural gas cogeneration and renewables may be brought into the system.
> Expected emission increases
According to Ontario Hydro: Nanticoke and Lambton contributions will remain about the same. Lakeview output will almost double (from 1.2 TWh to 2 TWh) and remaining slack will be taken up by Lennox. Allocating the 12.79 TWh increase as follows: 0.92 TWh to Lennox; .8 TWh to Lakeview, 7.0 TWh to Nanticoke and 4.0 TWh to Lambton.
> Trends in Emissions
*Canada's largest oil-fuelled generating station. Located 32 kilometres west of Kingston in the County of Lennox and Addington. Each of four generating units have an electric power output of 550 MW (2,200 MW) when operating at full capacity.
*Situated on Lake Erie, near Port Dover.
*Located 15 miles south of Sarnia on the St. Clair River.
*Lakeview is situated on Lake Ontario, in the City of Mississauga.
Alternative Options for Ontario Hydro
This is based on 20% usage of the flat, unobstructed land available.
In the type of wind regimes measured along the shores of the most promising areas for wind energy, the estimated costs and energy generation (using technology referred to as "future" in the 1991 report) are listed as
Installation (total capital costs): $1,322 to $1,415 per kW
Annual O&M costs: $22 to $29 per kW
Net annual energy: 1,638 to 2,298 kWh/kW
Capacity factor :18 to 26%
For wind farms varying in size from 5 MW to 100 MW.
In a report titled "Wind Resource Assessment in Southwestern Ontario" prepared by Zephyr North of Burlington, Ontario in 1995 for Natural Resources Canada and Ontario Hydro, it was concluded that a significant proportion of the historical wind data for southwestern Ontario was under-estimated due to inappropriate siting (for wind energy purposes) of the anemometers at Atmospheric Environment Service stations. Therefore, the values quoted above should be regarded as minimum estimates.
Jeff Passmore, President Canadian Wind Energy Association estimates the following wind potential for Canada:
For Ontario, 3,000 MW of potential is estimated at an assumed installation over a 10 year period(source: Tacke Windpower).
A Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development and Use for Ontario Hydro, October 18, 1993.
(Report of the Task Force on Sustainable Energy Development. Co-Chairman: Jim McNeill/David Runnalls)
Ontario Hydro is the largest energy consumer in Ontario, with an annual fuel bill of over $1 billion. About 30 per cent of the energy content of the fuel is delivered to Hydro's customers as electricity; 70 per cent is either used internally, consumed through distribution or discharged as waste heat.
The total amount of electricity used by Hydro, plus conversion and system losses, is 50 per cent greater than the entire consumption of the City of Toronto.
If Hydro saved only five per cent of its internal energy use (not including conversion losses), the resulting savings would be comparable to the total energy saved by Hydro's customers in 1991.
Findings of studies provided to the Task Force suggest that a total of between 500 and 1,000 MW can be saved. Additional opportunities lie in using waste heat and steam from generating facilities in co-operative ventures with industry and municipalities.
Electricity used by Business Units:
Nuclear (includes heavy water/construction projects : 5,615,000 MWh
Fossil: 1,641,000 MWh
Hydroelectric : 125,000 MWh
Transmission (grid) : 5,412,000 MWh
Distribution (retail) : 1,161,000 MWh
Unallocated (estimate based on average office use) : 160,000 MWh
Total : 14,114,000 MWh
If Ontario Hydro achieved a five per cent reduction in its own energy use and loss, the energy savings would be about 700,000 MWh annually.
How much energy could be saved by demand management programs between now and the year 2000?
Hydro's own estimates (A Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development and Use for Ontario Hydro, October 1993, McNeill/Runnalls):
MW of potential electrical efficiency improvement
Savings as a percentage of basic load
Carbon dioxide Reduction Options for Ontario, A Discussion Paper
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, September 1996
According to Energy Research Group (ERG), School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University:
"There is the potential to reduce Ontario's carbon dioxide emissions in the years 2000 and 2005 by more than 20 per cent relative to the business as usual forecast and save money."
1. The aggressive promotion of energy efficiency and end-use fuel switching could reduce Ontario's stationary CO2 emissions by 28 per cent and 21 per cent in 2000 and 2005 relative to the 1990 and 1988 levels respectively and reduce the energy costs of Ontario's residential, commercial and industrial energy consumers.
2. The aggressive promotion of energy efficiency and end-use fuel switching could cost-effectively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of residential consumers in 2005 by 25 per cent relative to the 1990 level.
3. The aggressive promotion of the energy efficiency and end-use fuel switching could cost-effectively reduce Ontario's electricity-related CO2 emissions by 60 per cent in 2005 relative to the 1990 level.
Degrees of Change: Steps towards an Ontario Global Warming Strategy
Ontario Global Warming Coalition, June 1991
- Summary of estimated Ontario's CO2 reduction 1988 - 2005
- all new houses are built to Advanced House standards by 2005
- space heating needs in 75 per cent of existing homes are cut by 25 per cent by 2005 by retrofitting a combination of air sealing, insulation, improved windows, and high efficiency furnaces
- electric appliances will be replaced by models 20 - 40 per cent more efficient
- thirty per cent of existing houses will get their domestic hot water from solar hot water heaters
- all new commercial buildings use half the energy per metre of floorspace as the existing stock of buildings by 2005
- space heating needs in 50 per cent of the commercial building stock are cut by 20 per cent by 2005
- high efficiency lighting retrofit of 75 per cent of the existing building stock reduces electricity use from lighting loads by 60 per cent;
- a reduction in energy use from plug load of 20 per cent by 2005, through efficiency improvements in office equipment, computers,etc.,
- downtown Toronto buildings connnected to the city's district heating system are cooled during the summer with cold lake water using a concept called Freecool.
- all wood used for energy in the pulp and paper industry is cultivated on a 100 per cent renewable basis, permitting the CO2 directly emitted to be reabsorbed in biomass growth that occurs as a result of selective harvesting practices that allow natural regeneration combined with adequate silviculture
- industrial heat is cut 25 per cent and cogenerations full economic potential is realized;
- motive power use is cut an average of 27 per cent throughout industry.
These and other measures result in a net reduction by 2005 of 31 megatonnes emissions from a 1988 base of 125 Mt, a reduction of 25 per cent by 2005 from that base. At least half of the reductions stem from a significant cut in CO2 emissions rate of electricity due to the substitution of natural gas cogeneration fro coal-fired power, as well as demand-side measures in the electricity sector.