New Brunswick Sets Renewable Energy Target

The provincial government of New Brunswick wants an additional 10 percent of the electricity consumption in the province to come from renewable sources of energy by the year 2016, according to Energy Minister Bruce Fitch. This would bring the total to about 33 percent, as renewable energy consumed in the province today stands at about 23 percent.

Last year, the department hired Synapse Energy Inc to examine the energy sector in the province and help establish a base level or minimum requirement that would have to be adhered to by distribution utilities which sell to customers in New Brunswick. Consideration was given to transmission capacity and rate management while establishing the new standard. “We are very pleased to establish this new guidelines for New Brunswickers,” Fitch said. “The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) will be established through regulation and from an environmental standpoint will benefit many generations who will follow in our footsteps.” The most common forms of renewable energy which will contribute to reaching the target include wind, biomass, hydro, and electricity generated from landfill gases. Fitch said there are other benefits to increasing renewable energy in the province, including local economic development, increased diversity of power supply, greater reliance on domestic resources and reduced volatility of power prices. The RPS concept was identified by the Electricity Market Design Committee, a multi-stakeholder group which linked it to the Energy Policy’s objective to foster greater use of renewable energy. Increasing the amount of renewable energy consumed in the province by 10 per cent will be the equivalent of having 97,000 homes in the province using this type of energy. The increased effort of renewable energy generation could result in $800 million of private sector investments and a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of more than one million tonnes per year.
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