Energy strategy aims to increase prosperity
Prince Edward Island’s new energy strategy will create jobs, stimulate the economy, and put money into the pockets of Islanders.
The 10-year plan aims to develop a stronger, more sustainable, and resilient province. It focuses on energy efficiency, conservation, and generating more renewable energy. Based on input gathered from Islanders and Island businesses during public and partner consultations, the strategy was developed by the Prince Edward Island Energy Corporation with support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and can be viewed at PEI Energy Strategy.
“This is a forward-looking strategy based on three key goals: energy efficiency, conservation, and expansion of renewable energy,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar. “The strategy will reduce our overall reliance on fossil fuels, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and help Islanders conserve energy and save money.”
In addition to reducing emissions, the actions cited in the report will create new employment and economic opportunities through building retrofits, assessments, and the generation of more locally produced energy. By implementing a suite of energy efficiency programs, reliance on imported fossil fuels will be reduced along with reduced energy consumption and lower costs for Islanders.
Among the measures in the strategy are:
• new and expanded programs for energy efficiency and conservation;
• expanding the mandate and structure of efficiencyPEI to create a one-stop shop for Islanders looking to reduce their energy consumption and costs;
• adoption of the National Building Code and National Energy Code for Buildings province-wide to ensure more energy-efficient buildings;
• adding another 30 megawatts of wind power by 2019-2020 and another 40 megawatts by 2025-2026;
• having the newly established transportation committee encourage the reduction of fossil fuel consumption in vehicles; and
• monitoring developments in solar power and energy storage to test and demonstrate innovative energy systems.
"Prince Edward Island’s leadership on penetration of wind energy is commendable and we are pleased to see the goal of installing even more wind energy into the grid,” said Scott Harper, chief executive officer of the Wind Energy Institute of Canada. “We are also encouraged to see the interest in further energy storage demonstrations, an area that WEICan has been working in for the past three years and we look forward to working with government and other stakeholders to develop projects and concepts best suited for the people of Prince Edward Island."
A second report titled Recommendations for the Development of a 2016 Climate Change Mitigation Strategy was released in conjunction with the energy strategy. This report, along with the energy strategy, will support the creation of a provincial climate change action plan. The two documents are intended to support and mutually reinforce each other as energy systems are vital to the mitigation of climate change. It can be accessed online on the province’s new Climate Change Action Plan website, www.princeedwardisland.ca/climatechange.
“Today we are pleased to release the updated recommendations regarding climate change mitigation for Prince Edward Island,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Robert Mitchell said. “Draft recommendations were provided to the public last fall for consultation and I want to thank all Islanders who helped develop these recommendations.
“The Climate Change Secretariat will now consider the recommendations to determine the mitigation efforts the province will focus on in a new climate change action plan,” he said.