Opinion: Alberta must cease false promoting and assist actual options

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By Brenna Walsh and Brian Gifford

We’ve seen an alarming commercial on our radios and full-page advertisements within the Chronicle Herald, the main newspaper in Nova Scotia. These are paid for by a authorities that doesn’t often present curiosity as far east because the Maritimes. The Authorities of Alberta’s Inform The Feds marketing campaign is utilizing taxpayer {dollars} ($8 million to be precise) to advertise the notion that the federal authorities’s draft Clear Electrical energy Rules (CER) will go away Albertans and Nova Scotians at nighttime.

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The kicker? There may be zero proof to assist Alberta’s claims for Nova Scotia and the declarations being made about Alberta are simply disputable. This places the marketing campaign within the enviornment of misinformation and propaganda, clearly aimed toward pushing ahead the Alberta authorities’s personal targets on the expense of Canadians.

Whereas there may be debate about one of the best ways to maneuver ahead with grid decarbonization, attacking the CER by means of a misinformation marketing campaign doesn’t contribute constructively to the dialogue. Specializing in actual options will make vitality reasonably priced and dependable for Albertans. That is the trail Nova Scotia is taking. Listed here are some classes that Alberta can apply to decarbonizing its personal grid reliably and affordably by 2035.

Low-Earnings Effectivity Program: All three political events in Nova Scotia have supported HomeWarming, a program that reduces vitality payments for low-income owners and which greater than 24,000 properties have taken benefit of. The common financial savings have been $500/12 months for electrically heated and $900/12 months for oil-heated properties. With rising costs and the addition of warmth pumps to this system, financial savings now common $1,800/ 12 months.

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The Alberta authorities may fund Alberta’s Empower Me Program piloted in 2018-19 to realize comparable financial savings for low-income households, whereas decreasing demand and stress on the grid.

Legislated targets and a clear energy plan: All three Nova Scotia political events have pursued elevated renewable energy on our grid over the previous 15 years, decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels. For instance, in 2021 the provincial authorities legislated targets to get off coal and attain 80 per cent renewable penetration on the grid by 2030. Alberta equally dedicated to a coal phaseout by 2030 and is definitely gearing as much as be off coal six years forward of schedule.

In Nova Scotia, legislating a coal phaseout and 80 per cent renewables goal has despatched a transparent market sign to Nova Scotia Energy, the dominant utility, in addition to to renewable builders. Roughly 700 MW of latest wind tasks have gone by means of the environmental evaluation course of right here within the first half of 2023, near twice the quantity authorized by means of the federal government’s 2022 request for proposals.

In October 2023, the Nova Scotia authorities elevated its ambition, releasing an in depth plan on how it could obtain or exceed its 2030 targets, with commitments to including new wind, photo voltaic, batteries and key targets on load administration. As a part of a joint assertion on creating and transmitting dependable, reasonably priced and clear electrical energy in Atlantic Canada, the federal authorities and the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have additionally dedicated to net-zero electrical energy grids by 2035, and comply with work towards this inside the context of the Clear Electrical energy Rules, which accompany key federal funding commitments for interprovincial transmission to assist reliability as we transfer to extra renewables on the grid.

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There may be debate concerning the least costly approach to accomplish our electrical energy transition. Energy charges are anticipated to rise as we make this transition, however they won’t quadruple because the Alberta authorities would have you ever consider. And there may be zero proof to assist the declare that there will likely be blackouts. In Nova Scotia, we’re creating actual options for residents fairly than a advertising and marketing marketing campaign.

The Alberta authorities is true about one factor: nobody needs to freeze at nighttime. However this ignores the rising dangers that Canadians are going through from local weather change.

Throughout the 2023 wildfire season, Edmonton residents skilled 299 smoke hours, passing the report set in 2018. In Might 2023, an unprecedented 22,000 Nova Scotians had been evacuated as a result of wildfires. The Alberta authorities should cease spreading false data with taxpayer-funded advertisements and constructively be a part of the dialog.

Alberta may have extra success within the low-carbon financial system by supporting low-income residents to make properties extra environment friendly, and energy reasonably priced and dependable, and supporting the innovation wanted to transition its grid to renewables utilizing its notorious can-do angle.

Brenna Walsh is the senior vitality co-ordinator for Ecology Motion Centre. Brian Gifford is with the Nova Scotia Reasonably priced Power Coalition.

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