Black Elephant Cleantechnia Barnard

Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project never had a business case that made the slightest sense. Perhaps that’s why its construction project is such a train wreck. In the latest installment of the tragicomedy, TMX — the Crown corporation that owns the dead asset — has requested a route deviation that will delay completion by at least nine months and add costs to the effort.


Oscar Wilde famously wrote that people “know the price of everything and the value of nothing” suggesting there is a difference between the two concepts of price and value. In the power market, due to some of its structural features, it is even more confusing as you also need to deal with the cost of power, which may again be different.

The below, derived from an article I wrote almost 15 years ago, tries to make sense of the differences between the 3, and how these are ultimately decided by political choices.


Sunak’s next distraction will be ‘pylon wars’. Thousands of miles on high voltage cabling are needed to ship electricity from off-shore wind farms to towns and cities. This requires hundreds of thousands of new pylons. Everything that was off-shore and out-of-sight suddenly becomes an environmental battleground. Communities are already mobilising to challenge the process.

Alberta Zeroing In 2023

By the end of this year, Alberta will have successfully phased out coal-fired generation, which was the dominant source of electricity just six years ago. Alberta is already becoming the renewable energy capital of Canada. More than three-quarters of solar and wind generation capacity built in Canada last year was in Alberta.


Yesterday, as I’m writing this, Dave Borlace of Just Have a Think dropped a new video. This one was debunking the somewhat infamous Simon Michaux un-peer reviewed document which purported to prove that there weren’t enough minerals in the world to enable us to get off of fossil fuels.


Plastics! The 1970’s movie, “The Graduate,” talked about the business prospect and the future of plastics. Did anyone at that point in time have any idea how much our use of plastics would grow? Plastics have contributed to the convenience of our lives while also adding to a major pollution problem. Walk through a grocery store and it is incredible how many products are packaged in plastics.

Not all plastics can be recycled and not all communities take all types of plastics to be recycled. As such, the trash problem grows and grows. Much of this plastic trash ends up in the marine environment and now turning into micro and nano plastics entering the food chain. But do enough people know or understand the climate aspect of the continued use of plastics?


Of the 473 commissioners for whom Heern could find information on what they did after they left utility regulation, 50% of them went to work for one of the industries they regulated, or in an industry-adjacent role such as consulting. “That revolving door is definitely alive and well,” Heern told me.


I’ve been invited to the White House only once. Jimmy Carter was the only President to ever invite me. For … Read more

Recently a variety of studies and memes have been expressing an odd distortion of reality, supported strongly by oil and gas industry lobbying and PR groups. The claim is that gas pipelines move a lot more energy a lot more cheaply than high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission.

Environmentalists advocating new state restrictions on oil and gas drilling have seized upon confirmation last week that two idle wells were leaking methane near a residential area in northeast Bakersfield decades after they were improperly abandoned.