PEI gathering public feedback for new energy strategy
The Government of Prince Edward Island released its Energy Blueprint Discussion Paper on April 26 to gather feedback from Islanders for the province’s new energy strategy. The consultation includes an online survey and community meetings, in addition to the Discussion Paper.
The PEI Energy Corporation (and the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action) is consulting with the public regarding energy policies, legislation, and perceptions of the current status of energy on the Island. The current provincial energy strategy was released in 2016-2017, making it outdated. Furthermore, the province has since committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 and released its 2040 Net Zero Framework last year.
The Energy Blueprint Discussion Paper provides interested Islanders with background context on province’s current energy assets, consumption trends and GHG emissions, as well as information on how energy systems and regulations operate.
The Paper highlighted that electricity demand has risen beyond previous expectations to a high of 393MW in February 2023. Demand has risen faster than expected in large part because of population growth and electrification due to home heating conversions to heat pumps.
Currently, about 63 per cent of the Island’s energy comes from petroleum products (gasoline, diesel, furnace oil, etc.) and nearly 25 per cent from electricity. The Island currently has 203.6 MW of on-Island wind generation, 31 MW of solar, and 104 MW of thermal. Additionally, roughly 67 per cent of Maritime Electric’s electricity supply is purchased from NB Power, and 14 per cent from Point Lepreau participation.
The Discussion Paper highlights the need to achieve resiliency, reliability and security in the energy system from the increasing number of major storms and other issues related to climate change, and uncertain future petroleum prices.
Additionally, several key themes are highlighted for the future energy strategy and poses questions for Islanders on each topic. Some ideas are consistent with the current energy plan, while others are new. Key themes outlined include:
recognizing the need for rapid action on climate change;
taking advantage of declining costs, new technologies, and rate designs;
accelerating the adoption of beneficial electrification;
supporting a shift to sustainable fuels;
driving innovation and economic development;
building the workforce;
improving accountability; and,
working with others.
The province plans to release a “What We Heard Report” in late Summer 2023, followed by the Energy Strategy in the Fall and the Operational Plans in early 2024.