Looking to Europe to see the future of electricity rates in Ontario

I was reading a newspaper article yesterday evening about a municipal councillor who was opposed to a solar installation by a private party on the basis that he didn’t think the public could afford to pay the 30-39 cents per kilowatt hour that the provincial government was offering.  It struck me as a strange dynamic; provincial government incenting investment, and municipal against it.  But, hey it’s politics, I usually don’t try and figure it out too much.  But the councillor’s comment about the public not being able to afford these “high electricity rates” being paid somehow reminded me of a time of my youth when I was about 19 and was travelling around the world after high school in the mid 80’s.  I spent considerable time in Europe, particularly Germany, and I remember when I was there I was shocked by the high price of gas and that it was all non-leaded as they had banned the leaded gas before North America. Our gasoline prices at home were still about a 1.20 a gallon, and in Germany it was selling for in the 70 cent range per litre if I remember correctly.  Now here we are paying 1.20 and more a litre.  Who would have thought.  And who would have thought we could be paying for it.  Yet, I still see no one really switching to small cars, everyone is still driving the big SUV’s and pickups even if they don’t need them.  For some reason this little tid bit from Europe has always stuck with me.  It’s like Europe is our big brother or sister, a little older than we are, a little more crowded, and they just seem to experience things a little ahead of us.  My point is, if you want to know what’s coming, Europe isn’t a bad place to get a feel for the future.  And I expect that just like we got used to the high gas prices, I expect we’ll  get used to higher electricity prices.

It’s not going to be just renewables driving these price increases of electricity either, I read in the news that OPG was asking for a 30% increase on the price of nuclear power, and we all know that the non renewable sources well…… they just aren’t renewing themselves and scarcity will drive prices.

I wish I was back in Europe now, the rate they are paying for small hydropower is 37-39 cents per kWh, versus our 14.8 cents here.