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Need to rant about Canadian hydroelectric sources!!

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Need to rant about Canadian hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby FairMaiden » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 20:16:23

Our hydro electric dams were all built and paid for by taxpayers. Within the last 2 yrs, the capital investment has been paid off and the dams are actually making money. We have enough electricity for ourselves and to sell to the US.

This year the government SOLD our hydro electric dams to US companies even tho we've been fighting it for years.

Taxpayers are so HAPPY with this government because they have a budget surplus - no doubt dummies - if I sold off my home but didn't work a day I'd have a revenue surplus. But would that be a smart move?

I'm just furious. They had already sold off our natural gas, mining & forestry companies (gov't owned)...basically we have nothing left now. This is going to be a text book somewhere as the perfect example of "short term thinking" making disasterous financial decisions!!!
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby Macsporan » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 20:39:17

I love hydro-power: it makes feel warm inside.

It is one of the great disappointments of my life that the Green Movement, who I otherwise support for the most part, are so opposed to them.

Yes you drown a few river valleys and dispossess some small, cute furry animals as well as human beings, but then you've got several decades of clean, free power.

I love it.

I was in Tasmania during the Franklin River dispute in the early 1980s, which surely you have all heard of.

In those days I supported the Greens, but nowdays I'm beginning to believe they were wrong.

Tasmania has a coal-powered station (not good) and is now in the middle of building (last time I heard) a wood powered one. This means it's going to burn old growth forests! (complete horror)

They would have been better off with the Franklin Dam than this abomination.

I guess they were only doing what they thought was right at the time, and no one can tell how things are going to turn out in the end...but well, it was kind of short-sighted in some ways.

One things for sure, hydro-electricity is going to be very valuable when PO hits.
Last edited by Macsporan on Wed 07 Sep 2005, 20:41:43, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby drattom » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 20:39:43

Which government? BC, Newfoundland? I don't think it's Quebec, we can't run a surplus and if governments try to sell the dams, we would see riots everywhere.

At least it looks like you made money by selling your mines, our worst government ever(Duplessis) sold access to iron ore for 1 cent a ton for 20 years in the 50s.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby redfire » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 20:44:42

If you look at Northern Ontario, James Bay/Hudson Bay and see the potential for hydro electric and water recycling into the Great Lakes with a distrbution of water into the US, Canada could be extremely wealthy in the future. Hydro and water are "gold mines" that last forever....

Most people are totally unaware of what we have (or may loose).....

We could have FREE Healthcare and NO taxes... it our water/hydro resources were developed properly.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby drattom » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 21:14:23

I never understood why Ontario never developped the North like Quebec did. Why going to natural gas and nuclear and disregard hydro?
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby EddieB » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 21:37:20

I don't really know why Ontario opted for nuclear and gas over hydro-electric power, but could First Nations have anything to do with it?

I've visited the projects on the Le Grande river up in Quebec and came away quite torn about the whole thing. On the one hand those dams supply an incredible amount of "cleaner" energy that improves many Canadians' lives. The engineering that went into building them, especially the big one at the first falls (the name escapes me at the moment), is truly amazing. On the other hand the energy is not truly "clean" (what energy is?) since building those dams essentially wiped out the last hope of the Quebec Cree culture maintaining any kind of autonomy from the franco-phone government in Quebec City. Now they're totally dependent on aid from the government and payouts from the electric utility. Also, the fish in the Le Grande can not be consumed in any quantity do to elevated mercury in their flesh thanks to methyl mercury. The mercury levels should taper off in 100 or so years, but that's too late for the Cree...

I don't want this to sound like an all out attack on Quebec's government. God knows the US government has an atrocious record when it comes to dealing with American Indians. My point is that we need to truly listen to eachother and understand each other. I got the impression that the Cree didn't really know the magnitude of the projects being built on their lands until the bulldozers and workers arrived. Building relentlessly and pursuing the almighty dollar is what got us where we are today. Slowing down and trying to listen might just be one of the great benefits of PO...
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby FoxV » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 22:51:47

The natives protesting the James Bay project is all fine and dandy (at a time before our current energy crisis) but what gauls me about it is that the native's lawyers were being financed by the Pennsylvania coal miner's union :x

talk about being the devil's advocates.

anyways, in Canada, we have the ability to increase our hydro by 150% (and increase of our total electric production by 50%). Le Grande itself is only half of the James Bay project (building the other two dams would increase Canada's total electric generation by 15%)

So barring any manipulation from American interest groups, I hope we move forward to exploit it. It certainly sounds like a better idea than Ontario's plan to shutdown all coal plants and replace them with natural gas :roll:

edit---
not to hijack this topic into a discussion about the James Bay project, here's my original topic about it (now long dead)
Last edited by FoxV on Wed 07 Sep 2005, 23:09:08, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby drattom » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 23:04:12

They have restarted them. A new agreement was signed a the end of the 90s. They are bulding one in Eastmain and just opened a new dam in Manic area.

They look seriouly about wind power too. Last fall a group estimated that Hydro Quebec can get about 7% of its production from wind power in the north. Better idea than the natural gas plant they wanted to build last year.

We still have hospitals who heat with heating oil. Talk about blindness and stupidity.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby FoxV » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 23:22:22

hey that's great about the James Bay dams. Although it appears they're opting for several smaller ones instead of two big ones (probably to limit eviromental damage).

The Cree probably decided that making money (I assume their deal included a royalty/dividend) was a lot better than living a natural lifestyle knee deep in black flies.

and in the end, after all the PO die-offs, the Cree will have lots of space available to return to their traditional way of life (except this time with light bulbs :lol: )
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby drattom » Wed 07 Sep 2005, 23:54:31

I don't find the official text and any links in english. Just to give a brief description

The new agreement(Paix des Braves) was signed on the beginning of 2002.

Hydro Quebec can develop Rupert and Eastmain river, those project will generate 1200 MW.

Crees get 70M$ for the next 48 years, better control over natural resources and thousands of jobs with Hydro Quebec.
They also drop all the lawsuits.

A lot of people think that we can be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy with wind and hydro. I wonder if we will also get the negative effects. I better prepare to appreciate Jean 1er and welcome John Negroponte as US ambassador. :cry:
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 08 Sep 2005, 16:23:52

Macsporan wrote:I love hydro-power: it makes feel warm inside.

It is one of the great disappointments of my life that the Green Movement, who I otherwise support for the most part, are so opposed to them.

Yes you drown a few river valleys and dispossess some small, cute furry animals as well as human beings, but then you've got several decades of clean, free power.

I love it.

I was in Tasmania during the Franklin River dispute in the early 1980s, which surely you have all heard of.

In those days I supported the Greens, but nowdays I'm beginning to believe they were wrong.

Tasmania has a coal-powered station (not good) and is now in the middle of building (last time I heard) a wood powered one. This means it's going to burn old growth forests! (complete horror)

They would have been better off with the Franklin Dam than this abomination.

I guess they were only doing what they thought was right at the time, and no one can tell how things are going to turn out in the end...but well, it was kind of short-sighted in some ways.

One things for sure, hydro-electricity is going to be very valuable when PO hits.


you do not know what you are talking about. 33,000 20-50 pound King Salmon died on the upper Klamath river last summer because of that dam. The resevoir overheats the water, traps nitrogen and effluents and sends poison down the river. The water levels are controlled for agricultural and kill fish.

You have several decades of clean power

That is a shortsited attitude that got us into this mess.

All damns silt up. All dams heat the water and cause infestations of bacteria. All damns prevent migrations and spawning of fish.

damns suck
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby frankthetank » Thu 08 Sep 2005, 23:19:49

I remember watching a PBS special on the Hoover dam (I THINKS) and the lady talking towards the end made the point that sooner or later, the river will flow free again (meaning the damn won't last forever). I would think without a dredging program, the resevoir would fill in with silt...

What Venezuela did in their countries dam building (forget which) was criminal. The animals trapped on those islands don't have a chance.

I guess small scale is probably better then mega. HOwever, no energy comes without a cost.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby Macsporan » Thu 08 Sep 2005, 23:44:26

you do not know what you are talking about.


I may not know much about power generation, but I know what I like.

Coal? Nuclear? Gas? Oil?

Hello?

We will need electric power to survive. Hydro sounds like the best of a bad lot, at least until something else turns up.

I feel sorry for the fishies, but I don't think they're worth the future of Civilisation.

Is it possible perhaps, that other things are killing them too?

Also, can't dams be dredged so they don't fill up. Makes good farming dirt.

Don't worry about the ENORI about that.

People were dredging long before the inner combustion engine poked its ugly face into our world.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 08 Sep 2005, 23:52:07

Macsporan wrote:Yes you drown a few river valleys and dispossess some small, cute furry animals as well as human beings, but then you've got several decades of clean, free power.

I love it.


Mac,

Your ignorance is showing. Talk about myopic. :lol:
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby rogerhb » Fri 09 Sep 2005, 00:07:59

In the UK in the Lake District, one of the lakes is a resevoir to provide water for Manchester. They drowned a village to do it.

Now I found out that, even though Europeans have only been in NZ since 1840 they still found time to build a village and then decide to drown it.

Some place in the South Island, it was on TV on a program showing how much rail had been ripped up in NZ, I didn't know we had much to start with.

Remarkable.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby Macsporan » Fri 09 Sep 2005, 01:12:11

Monte,

If you would care to dispell my ignorance, I would care to listen. :)
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby FairMaiden » Fri 09 Sep 2005, 12:30:22

Hmm...we COULD have made a fortune with our hydro - but we sold it out and now we'll be paying thru the nose to a US company to get electricity in the future. I can feel it in my bones!

Its BC, not Newfoundland.

We have sold every natural resource we own - hydro was the last one. I wish you would see rioting in the streets over it but in BC everyone thinks we live in the best place on earth and nothing can touch us. I kid you not.

Its amazing our economy has survived this long.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby richardmmm » Fri 09 Sep 2005, 17:37:45

hydro produces large amounts of green houses gas in the form of methane, which is worse than CO2 from many other energy sources.

it also invovles flooding large areas of land.

the main problem is all the rotting gunk in the bottom of the lakes produces vast amounts of methane.

it's not everything it's cracked up to be.

it works for certain areas like switzerland where there are mountains and natural valleys to contain large amounts of water, in areas that are semi useless due to extreme topography, but it doesn't work where you have to flood such large areas, like the new dams in china.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby Macsporan » Sat 10 Sep 2005, 07:38:14

Yes, nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Do all lakes emit methene or is this curse restricted to dams?

Pardon my scepticism but I think that the greenhouse gas damage of dam, even given that its methane not CO2, is going to be trifling compared to a coal, gas or oil plant.

As for damage to the environment hydro and nuclear aren't even on the same planet.

Build more dams, I say.

Build more of them.
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Re: Need to rant about hydroelectric sources!!

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 10 Sep 2005, 07:55:27

Who will pay for dredging these dams?

Most of the world's 45,000 large dams don't do their jobs properly. So concludes the first ever global audit of a technology that has cost $2 trillion over the past century...

Dams generate hydroelectricity, prevent floods, irrigate farms and supply water to cities. But they have also wrecked ecosystems and "led to the impoverishment of millions", who lost their land to reservoirs or saw dams destroy their fisheries.

The report calls for an end to dams that are imposed on communities without their agreement. But its most remarkable findings are on the widespread technical failures of dams.

Studies carried out by the commission found that:

• One in four dams irrigate "less than 35 per cent" of the land they were supposed to

• The cost over-runs of construction are 56 per cent on average

• Two-thirds of dams deliver less water to cities than promised. A quarter delivered less than half the promised water

• Over half of hydroelectric dams do not generate as much power as promised

• Some flood-control dams "have increased the vulnerability of river communities to floods"

One reason many dams have failed to deliver is that their reservoirs have clogged up with silt far faster than expected. Every year an extra one per cent of the world's reservoir capacity is taken up with silt. In the worst cases, reservoirs lost more than 80 per cent of their storage capacity to silt in less than 30 years.


http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn181
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