Alberta government destabilizes renewable energy industry with surprise moratorium
CALGARY — JORDEN DYE, acting director of the Business Renewables Centre-Canada, made the following statement in response to the Alberta government's announcement of a seven-month moratorium in renewable energy development in Alberta.
"This drastic move by the Alberta government has caused investors and customers surprise and concern. Alberta’s renewable energy success is the envy of the nation. When you introduce uncertainty and instability into that equation, you jeopardize that success. This moratorium suddenly halts a stable and prosperous market, threatens investment decisions, and introduces a significant level of uncertainty around how ‘open for business’ Alberta truly is. Companies like stable and consistent policies. And they need long lead times for changes so they can strategically plan and invest. At a minimum, a basic consultation process would have prevented some of the chaos unleashed today. This surprise moratorium causes every industry to wonder “are we next?” and raises the cost of capital when doing business in the province.
"Since 2019, corporate renewable energy deals in Alberta have supported nearly $4.7 billion in new capital investment and supported thousands of jobs. And 2023 was already on track to be a bigger year than 2022. Alberta’s large energy developers have long-standing relationships with rural communities. Renewable energy project agreements are negotiated between corporations and hosting landowners, to everyone’s benefit. A seven-month moratorium in Alberta brings this momentum to a screeching halt and means lost investment, job opportunities and tax revenue in the province, which will negatively affect both rural communities and the Albertans who live there.
"Corporations want to sign clean energy deals to meet sustainability targets, many of which are tied to specific timelines. Businesses may decide to develop clean energy outside Alberta to meet those deadlines. Opportunities are opening for companies to invest elsewhere. Other provinces, including Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are taking steps to open up their markets to companies wanting to purchase wind and solar energy. Alberta is competing for global capital. This unexpected moratorium will drive investment and jobs to the U.S. and other countries world-wide.
“We ask the Government of Alberta to remove the unnecessary and costly moratorium and utilize existing regulatory processes to address concerns. We look forward to working with the Alberta government to provide investors the certainty they need to maintain the Alberta advantage as the renewable energy capital of Canada."
- As of the second quarter of 2023, corporate renewable energy deals in Alberta have supported nearly $4.7 billion in new capital investment and provided 5,300 jobs (since 2019).
- Once all of the projects to be completed in Alberta by the end of 2023 are operating, they will support ongoing local economic activity, such as spending for operations and maintenance, including over $10 million per year in municipal property tax payments and another $10 million in annual lease payments to rural landowners.
Jorden Dye, acting director of the Business Renewables Centre-Canada, is available for comment.
BRC-Canada is a non-profit initiative of the Pembina Institute that focuses on accelerating the growth of renewable energy by bringing buyers and developers together and offering primers and guides to ease the learning curve. Almost 60 corporations from a variety of sectors are part of this community.
Hanneke Brooymans at email@example.com
Senior communications lead, Pembina Institute