Smith says Alberta needs natural gas power plants
Alberta’s premier on Wednesday assured a ballroom of local leaders that the state does not want to move away from fossil fuel-generated electricity, while complaining about solar panels covering farmland.
“This is a natural gas basin. We are a natural gas province and we will continue to build natural gas power plants because that makes sense in Alberta,” said Daniel Smith.
“Yes, hydropower makes perfect sense in Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba. Ontario also has nuclear and hydropower plants. I have to keep going.”
Smith made the comments at the Alberta Municipalities (RMA) Spring Conference in downtown Edmonton. The RMA is made up of 69 counties and municipalities.
She added that carbon capture and utilization would help Alberta meet its emissions targets, but didn’t address climate change.
The prime minister’s comments on electricity were asked about the lack of local government control in approving projects and solar panels covering “prime land” without cleanup bonds to ensure companies pay for landfills. It was served after
“I support solar and wind projects that make sense, but from conversations with people in my community, they say it doesn’t make sense to put solar panels on prime farmland. You can,” Smith replied.
“I get down there, especially like the places I drive by every day in Brooks. They’re covered in ice and snow and don’t generate any electricity.
Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood also asked Mr. Smith what Alberta is doing to ensure renewable energy companies clean up projects that will one day fail.
“The concern is that some of this solar power may only become viable through carbon credit subsidies and such, and may not exist forever. We may not have enough money to do the cleanup in 2020,” Wood said.
“And if there is not enough viability to issue bonds to cover the cleanup, then there is no viability. You’re going to have the same problem, and why would you want to bring it to Alberta?”
Smith said legislation requiring cleanup bonds is an “unresolved issue” for her government, which she plans to consult with local leaders in the future.
Prime Minister faces widespread criticism More recently, it has already been legally mandated over plans to give oil companies reduced usage fees to clean up idle wells.
The state’s energy minister called the opposition “anti-oil and gas activists” last week, demanding that the NDP MLA pay for the cleanup costs themselves.
The NDP argues that the government’s proposed $100 million liability management incentive program is just the beginning of a $20 billion giveaway to oil and gas companies.
MLA’s Merlin Schmidt called the initiative a “fraud” in Congress and was warned against using the word by House Speaker Nathan Cooper.
On Wednesday, Smith acknowledged that Alberta first needs to figure out how to rehabilitate its orphaned wells before demanding the same from renewable energy companies, but as with wells, it’s a future. I think it will be a problem.
“For wind farms, as I understand it, it usually takes 1,500 trucks to put them up. that’s it,” she said.
NDP leader Rachel Notley agreed that there should be a plan to clean up all energy projects, but said the government was doing it the wrong way.
“Daniel Smith is campaigning to give billions of taxpayer dollars to financially solvent companies that choose not to clean up after themselves.” I cannot be trusted with this matter,” she said in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.
Political scientist Duane Bratt said he was not surprised by Smith’s remarks. Because it’s a clear strategy for the UCP government to be a loud cheerleader for the oil and gas industry.
“When they talk about renewable energy, they talk about it not working when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, and they’re pivoting to the waste issue with renewable energy. It’s completely a brand issue,” he said.
Last year, Alberta’s installed capacity (maximum power output under certain conditions) was 67% for natural gas and coal, and 31% for solar, wind and hydro. According to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).
In 2019, approximately 89% of Alberta’s electricity came from fossil fuels and 10% from renewable energy. According to the Canadian Energy Regulator.