Andrew Halliday, Director of Policy and Planning, of the PEI Energy Corporation, the provincial crown utility, presented at the Energy Fundamentals for Leaders, a program offered to professionals through UNB’s Saint John College and facilitated by the Atlantica Centre for Energy.

Andrew was asked to discuss the PEI Energy Blueprint Discussion Paper, and the recently released PEI Energy Blueprint: What We Heard Report, along with the consultation process undertaken to explore Islander’s thoughts on the future of energy on PEI.

PEI has set its sights on becoming the first net-zero province in Canada by 2040, and to reach this goal, the province is highly driven to seek public feedback. The transition to net-zero will require the support and contributions of all Islanders to build energy generation, adapt energy usage and support clean energy projects.

The purpose of the Energy Blueprint Project is to review PEI’s energy policy, legislative and regulatory framework, and propose changes where necessary. The PEI Energy Blueprint will be the province’s new provincial energy strategy and provide both a long-term vision and short-term plan.

PEI Energy Corporation engaged with hundreds of Islanders through public in-person sessions, telephone and online surveys, and requests for formal written submissions. The PEI Energy Blueprint recognizes that Mi’kmaq rights and interests should be reflected and accommodated, and First Nation communities should have the ability to provide meaningful participation through the consultation process and development of clean energy projects.

The in-depth consultation process asked for insights on the province’s energy principles, energy strategy goals, recognition of the need for mitigating climate change, building the sector’s workforce, and improving accountability.

Islanders likely have a good appreciation for the efforts to reach net zero emissions because of recent weather events impacting the province, such as Hurricane Fiona in 2022. The feedback received throughout the meaningful consultation process demonstrated Islanders are focused on clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Islanders want to ensure their energy sources are reliable during extreme weather, as well as focused on reducing emissions to mitigate future climate change impacts.

By using incentives that spoke to the target demographic, such as a draw for an e-bike, and by Islanders witnessing extreme weather events caused by climate change, PEI Energy Corporation was able to gather significant feedback.

PEI Energy Corporation is in the final stages of this project and is expecting to release the new provincial energy strategy within the first half of 2024.

The Energy Fundamentals for Leaders students walked away with an appreciation of the effort required to undertake a strong, thoughtful, and thorough consultation process.

About Andrew Halliday

Andrew Halliday is the Director of Policy and Planning, of PEI Energy Corporation. Andrew has extensive experience in public policy, government affairs and research at the national level and at the provincial level with the Government of Prince Edward Island and Government of Alberta. With provincial legislative affairs experience in both provinces, Andrew is a staunch proponent of evidence-informed decision making and strengthening individual and systematic policy capacity in island jurisdictions.

About PEI Energy Corporation

PEI Energy Corporation is a crown utility of the Government of Prince Edward Island, aligned with the provincial Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action. The Corporation’s mandate is to foster the development of energy systems and the generation, production, transmission, and distribution of energy in all its forms on an economic basis to Islanders. Programs such as financial support for the development, installation, and use of energy systems, are an important offering as well as owning and operating several wind farms and a transmission cable to neighbouring New Brunswick, among others responsibility areas.