Questions By Members, 7 July 2015
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Renewable energy sources and government’s energy plan

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

The bill to amend the Renewable Energy Act, which passed second reading in this House last week, would remove the requirement for Maritime Electric and Summerside utility to acquire a minimum amount of their electricity from renewable sources.

Last week the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy said she was, and I quote: “…very concerned about climate change…”

Given the consensus on all sides of this House we should be taking action to mitigate climate change by increasing the percentage of our electricity that comes from renewables.

A question to the minister: How does removing the minimum requirement for renewables fit into this government’s long-term plan on energy?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. member, the 15% requirement that was under the legislation in observing and they were required to report that every year, we’re well above that at 25%, so that is where the changes were implemented to allow also for us to be able to sell some of those renewable energy credits to other companies that want to look at our green energy that we do have here. But removing that was because we have met that and exceeded that standard in those companies you referred to.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his first supplementary question.

Energy re: 15% requirement removal

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Indeed, would it not have made sense to increase the requirement? I’ve been in contact with Summerside utility and their plan is to increase their requirement. They’re currently sitting at 46% with a long-term goal to go 100% renewable. They clearly have no need for this bill or the removal of 15%.

Could the minister clarify who requested the amendment that that 15% be removed?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I’ll take that under advisement and get back to you.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his second supplementary question.

Purpose of An Act to Amend the Renewable Energy Act

Dr. Bevan-Baker: From the minister’s previous statements in this House it seems that this government is committed to renewable energy in Prince Edward Island and fighting climate changes. However, as I’ve just stated, if this bill were to pass it would allow our utilities – Maritime Electric, for example – to actually reduce the amount of renewable energy that we use on Prince Edward Island.

Could the minister clarify what the purpose of this bill is?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Actually, this was an amendment to the bill, hon. member, to allow that 15% to prevent – not prevent, but to – so that Maritime Electric and city of Summerside were always required to do a reporting every year of their 15%.

In those reports over the years they, as I said, exceeded their requirement. This allows the province to sell off some of those renewable energy credits to allow other companies to take part in those kind of – the green credits. We are committed, as I had noted before, to renewable energy, biomass, wind energy. Any other opportunities that we get we will explore the opportunity to reduce our imprint on the climate.

Thank you.

 

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