British Columbia’s new Clean Energy Act sets the foundation for a new future of electricity self sufficiency, job creation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, powered by unprecedented investments in clean, renewable energy across the province. Bill 17 builds upon British Columbia’s unique heritage advantages and wealth of clean, renewable energy resources.
The act advances 16 specific energy objectives by expediting clean energy investments, protecting BC ratepayers, ensuring competitive rates, encouraging conservation, strengthening environmental protection and aggressively promoting regional job creation and First Nations’ involvement in clean electricity development opportunities.
Comments on the Clean Energy Act
‘The new Clean Energy Act opens the way to an exciting new age of economic growth and job creation by unleashing British Columbia’s full potential in clean energy, power smart technologies, environmental stewardship and climate action,’ said Premier Gordon Campbell. ‘It will maximise the values of our public heritage assets for the benefit of British Columbians by forever securing competitive rates and generating new streams of revenue for crucial public services.’
‘Our goal is to build our unique competitive advantages with record investments in our historic ‘two rivers’ public power system and with new clean and renewable energy investments and partnerships,’ Campbell continued. ‘We want British Columbia to become a leading North American supplier of clean, reliable, low carbon electricity and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening our economy in every region.’
‘British Columbia has a proud history of producing clean, reliable electricity at rates that are among the lowest in North America,’ said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. ‘The Clean Energy Act builds on the work of the Green Energy Advisory Task Force with a new statutory framework to encourage new investments and jobs, strengthen BC Hydro and secure British Columbia’s power needs at low rates for generations to come.’
The new Clean Energy Act sets the foundation for three areas of priority.
Ensuring electricity self sufficiency at low rates
The act will strengthen BC’s legislated goal of electricity self sufficiency by 2016 with a new regulatory framework for long term electricity planning, bold commitments to clean and renewable electricity generation, streamlined approval processes, and new measures to promote electricity efficiency and conservation.
Harnessing BC’s clean power potential to create jobs in every region
The act will provide BC Hydro and renewable power producers the tools necessary to establish British Columbia as a clean energy powerhouse that enables economic growth and job creation in every region. It will enable BC Hydro to maximise the value of its energy jurisdictions seeking clean power by partnering with renewable power producers without risk or cost to BC ratepayers.
The act also creates a First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to provide the opportunity for First nations to create investment and jobs in renewable power production.
Strengthening environmental stewardship and reducing greenhouse gases
The act enshrines in law measures the Province will take to reduce greenhouse gas emission, help customers save money through conservation and protect the environment.
The Environmental Assessment Act process will be strengthened to specifically provide for assessments of potential cumulative environmental effects. In addition, the development or proposal of energy projects in parks, protected areas and conservancies will be prohibited by law.
Government of British Columbia Press Release
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