Chapter 3: Ontario’s Demand Profile

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In this Chapter we will look at the over all demand profile for the Province.   It is important to know what has happened over the past several years, as well as see the demand changes that occurs during the seasons.

Seasonal differences need to be viewed from a natural cycle not the artificial calendar.   There are two natural cycles that are important to energy consumption.  The first is temperature, and the second is day length.  Both of these have a cycle that is about one month ahead of the calendar cycle. 

Here is a typical temperature cycle from May 2008 to May 2010.

The red line is the maximum daily temperature and the blue line is the minimum daily temperature.  It is clear from this cycle that winter is Dec, Jan and Feb.  Spring (the transitional months to the summer) are March, April and May.  Summer is June, July and Aug.  And the transition months to Winter are Sept, Oct, Nov.

Day length is the second important cycle for energy consumption (see).  The shortest day is Dec 21, which is in the Fall calendar season.  Energy consumption starts to increase in the evening hours starting in November and doesn’t stop until March.  Hence using fall to see the trends of consumption get’s skewed due to the increased evening hours of November and December.  Shifting the seasons ahead by one month for the purposes of this analysis evenly distributes the consumption in the seasons to the more natural cycle.

So unless otherwise stated in following chapters, this is the seasons.

Winter: Dec to Feb
Spring: March to May
Summer: June to Aug
Fall: Sept to Nov

The over all monthly demand on the system since 2002 looks like this:

Notice the drop since 2005.  Demand in Ontario has systematically dropped since January 2005, with the recession in 2009 very prominent.

The black line is the 12 month moving average of the upper points of the bars.

One thing that is also very clear is the double cycle of demand within the year cycle.  Summer’s increased demand, and winter’s increased demand.

This graph shows the daily demand as maximum, minimum, average and Standard Deviations for each month since 2002:

Minimum daily demand is still dropping so far in 2010, but the maximum daily demand is up from the downward trend, likely due to the warmer summer we had in 2010.  The day with the all time high demand was 3pm Aug 8, 2006. and it wasn’t a even near a hot day in the province, 23-25C.

The IESO in their 2009 The Ontario Reliability Outlook noted that demand is not expected to pick up from the current level until at least 2018.

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2 Responses to Chapter 3: Ontario’s Demand Profile

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