Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

A November 2017 report by U.S. investment firm Lazard shows that wind energy costs continue to track lower across the globe. Since 2009, the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for onshore utility-scale wind energy has decreased by 67 per cent. This is an ongoing trend. Just since last year’s report, levelized costs have declined by about 6 per cent.

Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 11.0) https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-2017

According to the report, wind energy now has an unsubsidized LCOE of US$30-60 per megawatt hour (MWh). This is lower than nuclear (US$112-183/MWh); coal (US$60-143/MWh); and combined cycle natural gas (US$42-78/MWh).

Strikingly, the report also finds that as the levelized cost of energy for alternative energy technologies such as utility-scale wind and solar photovoltaic continue to decline, “in some scenarios the full-lifecycle costs of building and operating renewable-based projects have dropped below the operating costs alone of conventional generation technologies such as coal and nuclear. This is expected to lead to ongoing and significant deployment of alternative energy capacity.”

The 2017 Lazard report shows that some forms of conventional electricity generation such as nuclear have rising levelized costs; others such as coal have relatively flat levelized costs; and some, such as natural gas, have seen decreasing levelized costs, although they have decreased at a more modest rate than the steeper declines in wind energy levelized costs.

What is driving this cost decrease for wind energy? The report lists four factors:

  • Downward pressure on financing costs as a result of the availability of continuously evolving and growing pools of capital;
  • Declining capital expenditures as equipment costs decrease;
  • Increased competition among wind industry participants as markets move towards auctions and tenders for the procurement of capacity; and
  • Improving competencies in asset management and operation and maintenance execution.

This is good news for Canada’s electricity sector, which must continue to embrace affordable and non-emitting power supplies to meet its commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Our nation has pledged to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Among the measures for reaching this target are pricing carbon emissions; moving away from coal-fired generation by 2030 while increasing the supply of non-emitting power; increasing electricity use in homes, buildings, transportation and industry; and investing in clean technologies.

More wind energy has been built in Canada over the last decade than any other form of electricity generation, with installed capacity growing by an average of 18 per cent per year over the last five years. Ontario and Quebec lead in generating capacity, and Alberta and Saskatchewan have made strong commitments to increase renewable power and wind generation to meet their climate change targets. Other provinces are sure to follow as they look to minimize electricity costs for ratepayers while moving away from fossil fuels.

As the cost of wind power continues to decrease, the 2017 Lazard report shows that wind energy is becoming the most affordable option for new electricity generation globally, as well as across Canada.

 Electrician Forum Brought to You by Schneider Electric             

The Electrician Forum is a monthly column that provides valuable information to electricians and electrical contractors on current industry trends and concerns. 

Schneider ElectricSponsored by Schneider Electric

In this issue: 

Quite simply put if you feel that job site costing and quote development are a lot of work, you are right! To properly assess a job and estimate the required work time, product costs and various other expenses can take more time than is often feasible for a small company. You need to be spending your time completing projects, which can become difficult if you are spending your hours doing cost analysis. We learned this first hand in last month’s edition of the Electrician Forum when Steve Beeby of Beehive Electric discussed the balance required to own and operate an electrical contracting company.

read more...

Watch a portion of the interview conducted by Electrical Industry Canada with Steve Beeby of Beehive Electric

 

Fluke Hammon Healy

As our population grows and consumers continue to rely on technology for both essentials and comfort, the need for power quality has become vital. Fluke is a leader in this field, offering power quality training seminars, as well as employing power quality specialists with years of industry experience.

This month’s personal profile is a double feature of two of Fluke’s senior power quality specialists, Hilton Hammond and Frank Healy.

Hilton Hammond has been with Fluke since 1995, and in 2013 moved into his current position as Power Quality Business Unit Manager. He has a deep and thorough knowledge of power quality and related electrical instrumentation. 

Frank Healy, Power Quality Product Marketing Manager at Fluke since 2006, has been in the industry for well over three decades. He globally manages Fluke’s power quality products, including measuring instruments and precision power analyzers.

Read More



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