New Brunswick Government strengthens its commitment to renewable energy
The provincial government is moving ahead on its commitment to ensure that a minimum of 40 per cent of NB Power's in-province sales come from renewable resources by 2020.
The Department of Energy and Mines has amended the Electricity from Renewable Resources regulation to support the 40 percent renewable portfolio standard action item as set out in The New Brunswick Energy Blueprint.
'I am proud to announce that these new regulations will put New Brunswick at the forefront of renewable energy portfolio standards in Canada,' said Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard. 'Coupled with NB Power's ground-breaking work on NB Smart Grid and in implementing new efficiency programs initiatives, the renewable portfolio standard will effectively ensure that our province reduces reliance on fossil-based generation in a manner that keeps rates low and stable for the foreseeable future and better optimizes the investments we have made over generations in our provincial grid.'
Given the significant need for electric heating during the winter, NB Power has built one of the most diversified generation fleets in North America. Decisions to develop hydro and biomass resources - made decades ago - have enabled the province to become a leader in diverse, renewable energy generation. NB Power currently sources 30 percent of its in-province electricity demand from wind, biomass and hydro resources.
Coupled with other innovative initiatives such as electric vehicle charging station pilot programs and smart grid implementation - which will provide more opportunities for NB Power consumers to better manage their use of energy - the renewable portfolio standard will allow the province to continue on the path to reduced greenhouse gas emissions as laid out in the 2014-2020 Climate Change Action Plan.
NB Power's new renewable energy target will include local and First Nations small scale renewable projects, which will provide opportunities for non-profit organizations, associations, cooperatives and municipalities to develop renewable energy for the benefit of their communities.
"By adopting this new renewable portfolio standard for NB Power, our government is keeping its eye on the future of our province,' said Leonard. 'Increasing the amount of renewable energy on the grid will ensure that New Brunswickers can continue to enjoy a reliable and environmentally responsible electrical system with low and stable energy prices."