Today the Alberta Government announced a firm target of 30% renewable energy by 2030. As part of this firm target, the government will support an additional 5,000 MW of renewable generation by 2030 (see here). The 30% target had not previously been identified as a firm target, and prior indications had been that the support for renewables would be 4,200 MW by 2030. As such, this announcement marks a strengthening of renewable targets for Alberta.
The 30% energy target will be achieved mainly through the Renewable Electricity Program (REP) that targets large-scale grid renewables. The Government’s news release states that “the province will solicit enough investment in Alberta’s electricity system to meet the target, while ensuring projects come online in a way that does not impact grid reliability and is cost-effective”. The government expects that $10.5B of investment in Alberta renewables will be supported through this initiative.
A few high-level details were released, re: the REP:
- Projects to be based in Alberta;
- Only new or expanded projects;
- Projects must be 5 MW or greater;
- Projects must meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources.
Further details on how the REP will operate will be released later this year and will be based on recommendations provided by the AESO. The Government is now working with AESO on detailed program design and remains on target to release details of the program in the coming months.
Work is also underway to improve Alberta’s rules around smaller-scale electricity generation, including micro-generation. Government is engaging expert stakeholders on ways to make it easier for individual Albertans and communities to create their own renewable energy. These small-scale generation initiatives along with energy efficiency programs are being developed under the auspices of the newly created Energy Efficiency Alberta organization.
On June 30, 2016, the Massachusetts Senate passed energy bill S.2372. The energy bill is part of an effort to diversify the state’s energy mix and comply with greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements. The energy bill is expected to have a significant impact on the long-term energy policy and opportunities for renewable energy development.
Power Advisory Review of Clean Energy Generation Senate Bill
North American heads of state met yesterday in Ottawa to commit to generating half of the continent’s electricity from “clean energy” sources by 2025. These clean energy sources include renewable energy, nuclear generation, fossil fuel plants that use carbon capture and storage, and energy efficiency. Currently, 37% of North American electricity is provided by clean energy sources. In the U.S. which represents about 75% of total North American generation, only about 33% electricity generation is from renewable and nuclear facilities as shown in the figure below. In stark contrast, about 80% of Canada’s electricity is provided by clean energy sources, with hydro representing about ¾ of this.
Particularly troubling for the U.S. are the pending retirements of the following nuclear units: Clinton, Diablo Canyon, Fort Calhoun, Fitzpatrick, Oyster Creek, Pilgrim and Quad Cities. The table below indicates the location, rated capacity and 2015 annual electricity output of these units. In 2015 they generated almost 64 TWh, representing 1.6 percent of total U.S. utility generation. Clearly their loss will have a significant impact on the investment required for the U.S to achieve this 50% clean energy goal. Equally important are the implications of the loss of this non-carbon emitting generation on the cost of achieving the emission reductions required by the Clean Power Plan. With the stay of the Clean Power Plan, a “policy bridge” to support this generation would appear to be appropriate.
U.S. Nuclear Generating Units Scheduled for Retirement
According to the recently released 2016 Annual Energy Outlook about 43% of U.S. electric generation will be produced by such clean energy sources by 2025, with a major contributor to this growth the additional renewable energy spawned by the extension of the production tax credits. This gap suggests that additional policy support will be required to achieve the 50% goal. Additional clean energy from Canada, such as several New England states are considering, could assist the US in achieving its target.
The Ontario Energy Board (Board) has published a multi-year roadmap for updating and improving Ontario’s Time-of-Use electricity pricing system. The Board’s strategy is based in part on a jurisdictional review of dynamic pricing programs employed elsewhere performed by Power Advisory. In particular, Power Advisory reviewed the experience with many forms of time-varying pricing in other jurisdictions, and identified which ones would be most appropriate for Ontario. Our report identified Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) as both effective in reducing electricity system costs, and requiring relatively little consumer effort to achieve a significant cost impact. We also highlighted the importance of enabling technologies, such as smart thermostats, in achieving cost-effective results. Building on Power Advisory’s recommendations, the Board’s roadmap includes two types of pilot studies: one focusing on simple forms of dynamic prices such as CPP, and the other focusing on enabling technologies which will allow more complex pricing.
Board’s roadmap http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/oeb/industry/regulatory+proceedings/policy+initiatives+and+consultations/regulated+price+plan#20151116
Power Advisory’s Report
On June 16th John Dalton, President of Power Advisory LLC, participated in a workshop in Washington D.C. convened by the Natural Resources Defense Council on Opening a Wider Dialogue: Canada, the United States, and Clean Energy.
On April 13, 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that a cap-and-trade system will be implemented in the province to limit greenhouse gas pollution and to fight climate change.
Please see our reports section for Power Advisory’s commentary on the proposed cap-and-trade system and the potential implications for renewable energy generation.
Power Advisory is pleased to announce the addition of Michael Ernst, an expert with 30 years of energy experience as an attorney for a state legislature’s energy committee, state energy facilities siting board, public utility commission, private energy law firm, independent transmission development company and energy consulting firms.
For more information, please visit our staff bios
Power Advisory LLC has been retained by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador to conduct an independent review of the electricity system. Power Advisory LLC will examine the operation, management and regulation of the current electricity system to ensure reliability and security as well as a smooth transition into an interconnected system. Power Advisory LLC has completed projects of a similar scope in the past, particularly in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. For more information please see the press release here.
Power Advisory LLC is pleased to announce Alison Cumming as the newest member of our expert team of consultants. Ms. Cumming is an energy sector professional with over 7 years of experience. Her expertise includes electricity market operations, policy development, resource planning, carbon policy and emissions costing. She has a strong knowledge of electricity generation contracts and market rules. Please check our her full bio on our Power Advisory Team page
Power Advisory LLC is pleased to announce valuable additions to the consulting staffs in our Boston and Toronto offices with the additions of Mike Cadwalader, Ray Coxe, Jim MacDougall, Wesley Stevens and Don Tench. Background on these individuals and their areas of consulting expertise are contained in the attached document.
Power Advisory News Release May 1 2014
For further information on the entire Power Advisory LLC team, please visit the Power Advisory Team page