Atlantica urges regulatory reform to bring greener energy to Atlantic Canada



SAINT JOHN – Atlantica Center for Energy Senior Policy Consultant Neil Jacobsen says the future of Atlantic Canada’s electricity grid depends on agile regulations that match the pace at which renewable technologies are being developed in the race to meet climate goals from Canada.

In an interview with Huddle, Jacobsen highlighted the need for a more modernized energy regulatory framework, so that the Atlantic provinces can work together to quickly develop and adopt cleaner energy.

To this end, Atlantica has released a paper this argues for reactive smart grid technology, adaptation to alternative forms of clean energy, adaptation of hydrogen as an energy source, regulation of oil prices in Atlantic Canada and small modular reactors.

Jacobsen said regulations must match Canada’s urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% by 2030, achieve a net neutral national electricity grid by 2035 – and l target of 60% of sales of Canadian vehicles being electric by 2030.

“It’s an evolution of policies and regulations to fit a very aggressive schedule of aggressive climate change and decarbonization targets,” Jacobsen said.

“These are transformational energy and environmental commitments, so the way forward really requires the ability to introduce, adapt and move forward with new clean and renewable energy technologies.”

Jacobsen said Atlantica’s recommendations are not a critique of existing regulations, but an acknowledgment that they must evolve.

He noted that newer and clearer regulations would make room for new sources of energy – particularly a region that has the highest rates of dependency in the country on fossil fuels for electricity.

“We have a long way to go, but at the same time, we have a lot to celebrate. Atlantic Canada is the country’s leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ”said Jacobsen.

“There are new ways of producing energy that require us to be much more responsive and this is an opportunity to create a higher level of alignment here in Atlantic Canada. “

Jacobsen said Atlantica is looking to help inter-provincial cooperation in providing electricity through projects like the 500-megawatt, 170-kilometer Maritime Link that carries electricity from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam in Labrador across Earth. -New and across the Cabot Strait to Nova Scotia- or Export of electricity from NB Power to Prince Edward Island, via submarine cables crossing the Northumberland Strait.

He noted that streamlined regulations could allow for more potential partnerships on a larger scale, like the proposed Atlantic Link, the failed bid from Halifax-based Emera to deliver clean electricity to Massachusetts.

Atlantic Canada has led the way with the adaptation of new renewable technologies, noted Jacobsen, referring to the young nuclear companies Moltex Energy and the efforts of ARC Nuclear Canada to develop small modular nuclear reactor technology in New Brunswick, as well as the potential for adoption of hydrogen fuel technology and Nova Scotia technology. progress in the development of offshore renewable energies.

“I don’t think we have any choice but to be forceful and aggressive in moving a renewable energy agenda forward.

Jacobsen said cooperation between the Atlantic provinces is crucial due to the difficulty of meeting energy demand with large seasonal and daily variations in energy demand in the region – something that technology smart grids could solve.

Smart Grid Atlantic is a four-year research and demonstration program that tests technologies that deliver cleaner local energy, more renewable energy, more information and control over energy use and electricity. More reliable.

“It can be difficult for utilities to meet these cyclical demands. Smart grids add knowledge about electron flow in a way that can help balance these demands for electricity – and frankly, those demands will only increase if you look at the electrification of the transportation sector, ”he said. he declared.

Jacobsen said the Atlantica document and his call for modernized regulations is just the start of a conversation.

Atlantica intends to work with the Maritime Energy Association this week, with a panel at the association conference specifically dedicated to regional cooperation and more agile regulation.

“This is designed to encourage regional cooperation. We hope to have an ongoing discussion on how we can create increased cooperation and alignment in the region, ”he said.

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