Monday, October 25, 2010

Anarchy of Production - Hydro Quebec

The Province of Quebec is a massive hydro producer due to its many fast flowing rivers and dam projects that continue apace. Unfortunately, demand has slowed since the beginning of the recession and several paper mills, large customers, have gone belly-up. Now, Hydro Quebec has to pay $200 million a year to keep the giant Becancour plant closed. In an article entitled, “In a Competitive System, Surpluses Discouraged” (Toronto Star August 21, 2010), Hydro Quebec spokesman says, “If someone can tell us what will happen in three years, I’d like to hear from them.” The article continues, “He’s merely illustrating the system’s fallibility…predictions are made and contracts are signed with electricity producers in order to meet the forecast demand, which can sometimes be wrong.” That about says it all about capitalist production and planning. The anarchy of production and the vagaries of the market will get you every time.

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