Quebec is looking to update its 10-year energy plan, with a new wind energy policy being a vital part of it, according to supporters.
Montreal Gazette noted that Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s Natural Resources and Energy Minister, is reopening consultations on a new ten-year energy plan. A commission under the prior government released last winter a 79-page report based on 460 submissions from thousands of groups, individuals, and businesses. The report advocated for a further push in clean energy, including wind energy. Quebec’s current decade-long energy plan runs out in 2015.
New consultations will have theme meetings. This will involve global and national energy policy analysts, giving their take on what the key issues are. Meanwhile, documents on energy issues, including: renewables, efficiency, fossil fuels, and energy challenges will be distributed in the next few months to engage the public further. Also, Aboriginals will be a key part in the public energy talks.
Arcand also suggested Quebec’s wind energy policy may need a “more competitive business model,” to make sure of long-term sustainability in the province’s wind industry.
Canadian wind energy advocates are excited about moving this discussion forward.
“There are many challenges that will need to be overcome in energy,” said Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs Jean Francois Nolet.
“We must find a balance between developing the energy sources we need to support economic development, the costs of these projects and protecting the environment, while maintaining strong partnerships with host communities. We are convinced that wind energy can help play an important role in reaching these goals,” he said.
In 2013, Quebec had a cumulative wind capacity of 2,398.30 MW, only behind Ontario in Canadian wind energy installed. Quebec in the past ten years has seen $10 billion in investment, along with 5,000 employed by Quebec’s wind industry.
Quebec also recently took 54 bids totalling 450 MW and 350 MW in Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Bas-Saint-Laurent.
Quebec has a fairly high penetration of clean energy, thanks to its high percentage of electricity coming from hydro power. As Quebec moves forward, it will be interesting to see how new wind energy policy will complement the old guard of renewables: hydro power.
Main Source: Canadian Wind Energy Association
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