BC Clean Energy Act Introduced

On April 28, 2010 the BC Government introduced its new Clean Energy Act. Backgrounders and info can be found here and here .

The new act focuses on “…expediting clean energy investments, protecting B.C. ratepayers, ensuring competitive rates, encouraging conservation, strengthening environmental protection and aggressively promoting regional job creation and First Nations’ involvement in clean electricity development opportunities” (quoting the BC Government’s press release).

The act is already facing some controversy because it centralizes power over large energy “mega” projects with the Provincial Government as opposed to the BC Utilities Commission and because it will likely raise electricity prices. The energy pricing critique should be familiar to those of us in Ontario, and it is important to keep in mind that another focus of this act is energy conservation (which tends to respond pretty well to increases in electricity prices).

This is an exciting time for Canada. We were down in San Francisco at a large carbon markets conference a couple weeks ago and BC and Ontario representatives were front-and-centre at most panels. North America is watching our provincial response to climate change right now, and that can’t be a bad thing.