CanREA: Alberta Market at Risk Without Swift Resolution to Moratorium

August 8, 2023

CanREA to work with provincial government and municipalities to re-open Alberta market ASAP

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) met with Alberta’s Minister of Affordability and Utilities last week and expressed strong concern about the announcement of a seven-month pause on renewable energy project approvals in the province.

CanREA will continue to meet with the Minister and his staff, as well as the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), with the aim of minimizing the duration of the moratorium and creating clarity on its consequences.

“This is a mistake. The Alberta Government, Alberta Utilities Commission and Alberta Electric System Operator need to move quickly to sort out this situation for all Alberta ratepayers, investors and municipalities,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO.

CanREA is concerned that this decision will have negative consequences for investor confidence in Alberta and undermine “the Alberta Advantage”—Alberta has led Canada in new renewable energy development, representing 75% of Canada’s growth last year alone.

CanREA also stressed that renewable energy development represents a fast-moving global marketplace, characterized by labour mobility and an international supply chain for these technologies. International investors can and will target their capital to other provinces and countries that allow for revenue stability and investor certainty.

“Alberta has benefitted from market advantages that have allowed the industry to thrive here, which has benefitted our communities, consumers and landowners. We must not lose this competitive advantage,” said Bellissimo.

The pause is intended to review policies and procedures for the development of renewable electricity generation, primarily focused on land-use issues.

CanREA has already been working constructively with stakeholders in many rural communities and will continue to present clear facts and positive solutions to resolve any concerns around reclamation and co-location with agriculture in its discussions with Alberta’s regulatory authorities.

As noted in this piece by CanREA’s Vice-President of Policy for Western Canada, Evan Wilson, Alberta’s renewable energy industry is already well regulated and rooted in strong policies and robust community engagement practices.

Wind and solar are the most affordable forms of new electricity generation available on the market today. Policy changes that reduce opportunities for renewables in Alberta will not lower prices for consumers. In fact, a pause will negatively impact ratepayers and limit consumer choice, which will be especially impactful for Alberta communities who are expecting revenue from new renewable energy development.

Further, corporate Power Purchase Agreements in Alberta have clearly indicated the desire of large customers for clean energy solutions, and this moratorium derails the pathway to achieve their objectives.

Moreover, a pause on renewable energy project approvals in the Alberta market harms the provinces ability to negotiate with the federal government for support to advance Alberta’s own net-zero goals, such as the new Investment Tax Credits for Clean Energy which will be rolled out this year.

“There has never been a better time or more support available to develop renewable energy resources. CanREA will continue to work closely with the provincial government and municipalities to re-open the Alberta market ASAP,” said Bellissimo.

Source

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