This promises to be a continuing Contrarian topic, but I will flag it briefly: NB Power's apparently imminent sale to Hydro Quebec represents a tectonic shift in Nova Scotia's energy options. I mention this because, as is typical, the national news media seem to view the story as just another installment in Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams's (to them) clownish battles with central Canada. Such a view is as witless as it is patronizing. The sale poses huge problems for Nova Scotia and PEI, as well as Newfoundland. If Quebec can use its windfall profits from Joey Smallwood's disastrous 1969 deal on Upper...

A few weeks ago, I posted a critique of an opinion piece in the August 25 edition of [subscription required] by Prof. Larry Hughes of the Dalhouse University's Computer Engineering Department. Hughes is currently toiling as a visiting professor of Global Energy Systems at Uppsala University in Sweden. Shockingly, Contrarian is not yet daily reading in that particular corner of Scandinavia, so he only recently learned of my comments. Hughes writes: Contrary to what you have written, [my article in] has nothing to with NSP's existing 2010 or 2013 requirements.  The article is about NSP's new 25% renewables...

In his latest Herald column, the normally estimable Ralph Surette drinks the feed-in tariff Kool-Aid. Moneyquote:
Check out how they’re doing it in Ontario and other out-front jurisdictions, where "feed-in" laws or "standard offer contracts" are in effect — in which the utility is required to take power produced by entrepreneurs at a fixed rate, no haggling. Wherever it’s been tried, there’s been an explosion of energy entrepreneurship and new jobs. The [Nova Scotia Power] system of calling tenders one project at a time didn’t work elsewhere, and it hasn’t worked here.
Ralph makes a few good points in the column, but these two paragraphs contain more foolishness than enough.
Ontario passed a bill authorizing the Minister of Energy to permit the use of feed-in tariffs just six weeks ago, and the regulations haven't been written yet. So it hasn't produced "an explosion" of anything yet, except perhaps hyped expectations among the uncompetitive producers who have been pushing for such a law here. As for other jurisdictions, in North America, Ontario is it: the first state, province, or country to pass a feed-in tariff law. As for tendered contracts not working, that will come as news to generations of good governance experts. Elsewhere in the same column, Ralph rightly criticizes NSP's attempt to win Utility and Review Board approval for an untendered biomass project.