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Provinces outline goals at World Energy Congress held in Montreal

 Ministers from eight Canadian provinces and two territories spoke of their jurisdictions' energy goals a...


 Ministers from eight Canadian provinces and two territories spoke of their jurisdictions’ energy goals at a round table at the 21st World Energy Congress (WEC), held this September 12-16 in Montreal. Their comments were timely: in September the Energy Council of Canada (ECC) presented its 2009/2010 Canadian Energy Forums report to the WEC.
The report, Building on Strengths: Canada’s Energy Policy Framework, is the first bottom up look at energy policy in Canada, according to the ECC. Over 1,000 people participated in 11 forums, on which the report is based.
Newfoundland produces 100 million barrels of oil a year and has tremendous reserves. Still, says Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Energy for Newfoundland & Labrador, “Newfoundland wants a 100% renewable energy sector, with the lower Churchill hydroelectric project.” The province has ambitious wind turbine energy goals and is aligning itself as an energy exporter.
Prince Edward Island is already a great producer of wind power, notes Richard Brown, Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry. “Twenty-five percent of our power is derived from wind — the highest in Canada and possibly the world.”
Quebec, the world’s fourth largest producer of hydroelectric power, wants to develop wind power, biomass and natural gas energy sources, and reduce its oil dependence, according to Nathalie Normandeau, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife.
British Columbia, which already generates 85-90% of its energy from hydro, wants to develop export markets with private sector participation. Too, notes Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources, “Our royalty programs have helped develop our unconventional energy sources.”
Manitoba wants to greatly increase its energy production, export more energy and address economic imbalances by working with First Nations in hydro development and pipeline construction. “We are looking for clear, natural signals on carbon pricing,” says Dave Chomiak, Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines.
Patrick Rouble, Yukon’s Minister of Energy, reports that the Yukon wants to enhance energy efficiency and conservation, increase energy production from renewable sources, increase the energy supply, increase the development of oil and gas resources for local use and export, and develop biomass, wind and solar.
The Northwest Territories wants to develop hydro power, reduce its oil dependence and lower its frighteningly high energy costs, says Robert McLeod, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. “In our capital electricity costs 27 cents/kilowatt hour. In some communities it runs [as high as] $2.00/kilowatt hour. We need investment and partners so we can realize our energy potential. The MacKenzie gas project must be built.”
Ronald Liepert, Alberta’s Minister of Energy, downplayed the negative aspects of the oil sands, noting that 80% of new oil sands development will use lower-impact in situ bitumen extraction technologies and that Alberta has committed billions of dollars to carbon capture and bioenergy.
New Brunswick is investing in the skilled trade sector to support energy economic opportunities. It wants to push wind, tidal and nuclear power and wants predictability for the energy sector under the regulatory regime. Still, says Claire Lepage, Deputy Minister, Department of Energy, “Our number one priority as a province is to push energy efficiency.”
Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Brad Duguid, had a message of conservation, strength and clean energy: “We are in the midst of a huge transformation in Ontario with a culture of conservation: we have saved 1,700 MW of power since 2007. Five thousand kilometres of transmission lines have been upgraded.” Coal is on the way out and Ontario is working hard to develop a clean energy economy.