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As cost pressures mount, Ontario’s wholesale power prices set to soar Add to … SHAWN McCARTHY OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013, 7:55 PM EST  /  Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013, 7:59 PM EST

Electricity consumers in Ontario face the prospect of soaring prices in the coming decade, a trend that would put additional cost pressure on power-hungry industrial users. 下一个十年, 对依赖耗用电力较大的工业用户而言, 将面对能源成本上升的现实风险.

The cost pressures are rising at the province completes the closing of its coal-fired plants while its nuclear fleet faces further retooling and renewable power takes a greater share of the load.

A new forecast by London Economics International predicts Ontario’s wholesale power price will jump by 74 per cent – to $55.80 per megawatt hour between 2013 and 2022 from $32. That figure does not include higher costs to distribute the power and for conservation and other demand-side programs.

Concerns about rising electricity prices will be one of the key economic challenges facing the incoming premier Kathleen Wynne as she prepares to assume power from the outgoing Dalton McGuinty.  Ms. Wynne will have to take on opposition critics who have slammed the government for its election-related cancellation of a gas-fired power plant that result in $190-million in compensation payments to the plant’s financiers.

Ontario is not alone in anticipating sharply higher power prices. Alberta will see its wholesale prices decline slightly over the next few years, but then turn, beginning to rise significantly in the latter part of the decade. Western New York State could see wholesale electricity prices double, but from a lower base than Ontario, according to A.J. Goulding, president of the Toronto-based economics firm, which has produced a series of forecasts for provinces and states. 提到 Alberta 电价走势将初降而后高!后五年涨幅剧烈!

“I think the concern is that at least over the next decade, Ontario is going to see prices higher to final consumers than neighbouring markets and that is going to have an impact on people’s industrial and commercial investment decisions,” Mr. Goulding said in an interview. 安省高于其他省份的电价将影响工商业的投资抉择。

He said all jurisdictions – including Ontario – got a reprieve from higher prices because the recession drove down electricity consumption, which is only now returning to the previous peak that Ontario hit in 2006. 提请人们注意 2006 经济不景气尚未开始前的 2006 持高的电价。

Critics often point to Mr. McGuinty’s Green Energy Act for being responsible for higher electricity costs. But the new forecast identified several contributing factors, including the need to refurbish Ontario aging nuclear fleet, the decision to shut down coal-fired plants due to climate change and other pollution concerns, and expected increases in natural gas prices from today’s depressed levels. 文章指出, 人们常常容易指责前省长 McGuinty’s Green Energy Act 绿色能源法案, 提醒人们不要忘了,诸如陈旧核电机组的维护更新, 为了地球气候环境的国家许诺, 以及其他污染问题考量。

Still, Mr. Goulding said the Liberal government’s green energy policy – with its premium feed-in tariffs for companies that locate renewable energy jobs in the province – runs counter to desire of existing industrial customer to obtain competitively priced power.

“The Green Energy Act was not the low-cost approach to procuring carbon-free power,” he said. 无碳能源不可能是廉价的能源。

Jim Burpee, chief executive at the Canadian Electricity Association, said the LEI forecasts makes some assumptions that may not be borne out, including the retooling of additional units at the Bruce nuclear plant later this decade. Mr. Burpee added that Ontario is also spending money to encourage consumers to “use electricity more wisely” so that as prices rise, customers can keep a lid on their bills.

Industrial customers are eyeing Ontario’s electricity system with growing concern, said Adam White, president of the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario, which represents companies in the manufacturing and resource sectors. Mr. White said the power-sector forecasts rarely takes into account the fact that higher costs will drive down demand, which in turn will moderate the price increases.

文章援引 业界权威人士, 安省主要巨量用电大户协会主席,透露, 制造业及资源产业两大门类的工商用户对峙高的电价, 愈来愈关注!能源产业预测的高成本电力往往会忽略其对整个经济能源的需求的侵蚀, (反过来)周期性地使价格趋缓。

“Ontario has the highest delivered prices for industry in North America, so we need to have a reality check,” he said. Industrial customers now pay roughly $85 per megawatt hour given all the various components of the price, compared to roughly $40 in Quebec, Manitoba and Michigan. 文章还提请人们注意安省电价全北美最高的现实!

“No one should be making decisions based on continued escalation of electricity rates here, at rates higher than inflation and higher than adjacent jurisdictions,” Mr. White said. “It’s just not a tenable future scenario because the industrials just won’t pay it. They’ll leave.” 对于目前高于经济通胀率的电价涨幅, 其不容乐观的危害是, 当工商业难以应对日益持高的成本, 就会选择离开!

As cost pressures mount, Ontario’s wholesale power prices set to soar - The Globe and Mail