In regards the November 7 Sunny South News letter from the Honourable Mr. Joseph Schow, MLA regarding reliable and affordable electricity, Alberta already has the highest electricity prices of all the provinces in Canada – only NU & NT are higher. Alberta’s 2023 average rate of 25.8 cents/kWh is more than three times PQ’s 7.8 cents/kWh average! (https://www.energyhub.org/electricity-prices/)
Alberta’s high electricity costs can be attributed to deregulation and current higher prices for natural gas. Ontario is the only other province with some deregulation (about 10 per cent) with an average 2023 cost of 14.1 cents/kWh. Putting a pause on major renewable energy projects continues to ensure Albertan’s electricity is kept unaffordable. Though we in Coaldale experience few blackouts, many rural parts of Alberta have more and longer power outages to the point where people are buying generators and considering gas stoves for cooking.
Alberta’s newspaper advertising campaign against Canada’s Climate Action Plan remains divisive, pitting Alberta against our federal government, promoting fear and groundless future scenarios, without taking any responsibility for our current unaffordable goods and services. Gas and oil royalties have rolled in over the past few years and I wonder if the pause on large renewable projects is to ensure the continuation of more royalties?
It may be that Ottawa’s proposed net-zero power grid regulations target of 2035 is not far enough out for all provinces and may need to be negotiated, though advancing future technological innovation might get us there sooner than planned. This begs the question of ongoing viability of the deregulated utility companies and consequently pressure to maintain the status quo in Alberta.