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Policy Recommendation


Renewable Energy

Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy policies trail those in many other North American jurisdictions. A net metering framework was introduced in 2015, but the road to implementation began in 2007 and has yet to be finalized. Net metering, once implemented, will serve individual utility customers and present opportunities for small-scale technology and service providers. However, additional renewable energy programs – like those found in competing jurisdictions – are required for three competitive reasons.

  • First, there are types of large industry which, through the nature of their operations, generate energy (e.g. gasification, biomass). In other jurisdictions, these industries would be able to sell this electricity back to the energy grid through what is known as a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program. FIT programs do not exist in Newfoundland and Labrador, and as a result companies located here may find themselves at a disadvantage competing on cost when the bottom lines of their competitors benefit from the sale of excesses. This is an obstacle in industry / business attraction and retention, and particularly prevalent in the agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing sectors.

  • Second, there are significant opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador for renewable energy developments in wind and tidal – opportunities being pursued by local firms. Yet without modern energy programs, these firms must look beyond provincial borders for their projects. This discourages development, investment, and innovation in renewable energy within our province. The solutions developed here could not only provide economic growth and diversification domestically, but also be exported to other island or remote economies facing similar challenges.

  • Third, as global markets are embracing renewable energy, firms selling internationally are increasingly being asked how their products and services interact with renewable energy technologies. This puts firms from Newfoundland and Labrador, who have little access to these technologies, at a disadvantage with their competitors.

Renewable energy development is taking place rapidly worldwide. The longer Newfoundland and Labrador remains closed to modern energy programs, the larger the gap between our province and other jurisdictions will become, and the more exacerbated the problems will be for local firms.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to immediately implement a net metering program.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to support renewable energy development, investment, and innovation by introducing support programs such as FITs, standard offer programs, and large renewable procurements.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to consult with industry on its work with the Pan-Canadian Task Force ‘to reduce the use of diesel fuel to generate electricity in remote communities’ to ensure local firms are prepared to supply solutions when required.

  • Action Recommended:
    Newfoundland and Labrador to investigate potential for renewable energy exports through the Maritime Link, and consult with industry on results.



Discussion

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