CanSIA Releases “Made in Alberta” Blueprint for a Strong Solar Industry

Recommendations pave way to give Albertan’s a solar choice

Ottawa –  The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) released their policy position paper today on solar energy policy options for Albertans. The paper, “From Proven Reserve to Developed Resource: Realizing the True Value of Solar Energy in Alberta”, is the result of research and consultations with the Alberta government and industry stakeholders undertaken by CanSIA throughout 2013.

“This is a ‘Made in Alberta’ blueprint designed to round out the provinces’ electricity system”, said CanSIA President and CEO, John Gorman. “Alberta is clearly a leader in oil and gas; these recommendations pave the way to making it a leader in renewable energy as well. “

The position paper outlines recommendations that would ensure a meaningful role for solar energy in Alberta’s electricity mix. A strong solar energy market means:

  1. Giving consumers the power of choice;
  2. Reducing GHG emissions; and
  3. Diversifying electricity supply.

The Alberta government has promised a new “Renewable and Alternative Energy Framework” in 2014. It has consulted renewable energy industry stakeholders who have given their best advice on how to move forward to create a strong renewable energy market. CanSIA is urging the government to present its framework so that planning for the future can begin immediately.

“Alberta has before it a great opportunity to embrace the huge benefits of solar” said Gorman. “The sun shines in Alberta more than in any other province, and Albertans understand the value of a strong energy resource. We’ve been talking about it for years, it’s now time to move forward.”

As Alberta proceeds to retire its coal fired power plants, it will need an additional 7000 MW of new power generation. Solar energy can play a significant role in providing consumers with a clean alternative.

CanSIA’s position paper recommends that the Government of Alberta:

  1. Introduce a Renewable and Alternative Energy Framework that charts the path for a minimum of 1.5% of Alberta’s electricity demand to be met by solar in 2022.
  2. Enhance Alberta’s micro generation regulation by increasing the price paid for exported solar electricity to reflect an appropriate market value which would enable Albertans to realize a fair value for the solar electricity they generate.
  3. Introduce a Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund (CCEMF) program that targets accelerated adoption of solar in the residential and non-residential sectors with “Clean-Energy-Adders” to support the mandate of the Climate
  4. Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) while longer-term policy solutions are developed.
  5. Introduce an Interim Demonstration Pilot Program for Large-Scale Solar to give rise to 150MW build capacity and overcome regulatory barriers before long-term policy is finalized.
  6. CanSIA is committed to being a solid and effective partner to the Government of Alberta, as the process to introduce and implement the Renewable and Alternative Energy Framework becomes a reality.

About CanSIA
The Canadian Solar Industries Association is a national trade association that represents more than 500 solar energy companies throughout Canada. Since 1992, CanSIA has worked to develop a strong, efficient, ethical and professional Canadian solar energy industry with capacity to provide innovative solar energy solutions and to play a major role in the global transition to a sustainable, clean-energy future.