Hydro One Sale, Accidentally Good?

The Ontario government plans to sell off 60% of the publicly owned Hydro One. As a general principle I believe critical infrastructure belongs in the hands of the public. So my first reaction to this announcement was negative.

Then the Tesla home battery announcement happened.

The ability to cheaply store energy makes distributed power generation possible. This is a great thing for technologies like wind and solar and could make it possible for homes to greatly reduce their reliance on the centralized power grid.  The link below makes the case that the economics of Tesla’s new batteries are pretty good and bound to get better.

http://gizmodo.com/tesla-battery-economics-on-the-path-to-disruption-1701854536

Is it possible that we are near or at the peak value of our centralized power generation infrastructure? If so, selling high and getting it off the province’s books now may turn out to be a good thing.

2 thoughts on “Hydro One Sale, Accidentally Good?”

  1. That’s an interesting point of view.

    Yet I wonder, the power grid might still be needed when solar and wind aren’t sufficient. If the grid is only used during some peak demand, access to the grid will have to be expressive in order to finance its costs. Basically access to the grid will become an insurance against blackout and you’ll have to pay for its availability on tensed days.
    Unless you accept few blackout hours per year , I’m not sure solar + wind + battery + the grid as a capacity will be more economic.

    Plus it might create inequalities between those who can buy the batteries and those who can’t. The latter might have to pay more to get access to energy since the fixed cost of the grid will be spread over less people.

    I don’t know the price of electricity in Canada but here in France it’s quite cheap whatever the people can say. We pay 14c per kWh. At this price it’s barely the price of one tesla powerwall for a daily use of 7kWh and you still have to pay for the solar panel.
    Basically unless the price goes down in the next years (this is forecasted by elon musk) it won’t be an economic choice in France.

    Yet all this innovations happening in the energy sectors are exciting imho.

    By the way, that’s interesting how the name of the company can be misleading, I assumed hydro one was a hydroelectric producers whereas it’s an electric transportation company.

  2. Hi Olivier,

    Us Ontarians have a bad habit of calling electricity hydro. Probably because Niagara falls power generation was a big part of the original grid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *