April 18th, 2024

Alberta renewables report contradicts government proposals for industry, critics say

By The Canadian Press on March 14, 2024.

Critics are asking why the Alberta government's proposed regulations on renewable power seem to have ignored the conclusions of its own utilities regulator. Solar panels pictured at a solar project near Drumheller, Alta., Tuesday, July 11, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON – Critics are asking why the Alberta government’s proposed regulations on renewable power seem to have ignored the conclusions of its own utilities regulator.

Sarah Elmeligi, Opposition New Democrat environment critic, points out the governing United Conservatives had in hand a report from the Alberta Utilities Commission by the end of January.

That report, released yesterday, concludes renewables pose little threat to Alberta’s agriculture or environment and that concerns can be largely addressed with existing rules.

Those conclusions are in sharp contrast to the rules the government proposed in February that would limit renewables on good farmland, erect a buffer zone around protected areas and create new rules to ensure cleanup.

Elmeligi says those measures don’t line up with what the government was hearing from its own advisers.

She says the mismatch is hypocritical, given that the possible conditions for renewables aren’t imposed on other industries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2023.

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