“The message in the Public Policy Forum report is clear and reconfirms what we already know and have been saying - the federal government’s goal of a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 faces considerable regulatory, technical and supply chain challenges. This plan also risks imposing exponential costs on consumers in Alberta and Canada.
“We are at a critical point in history where the global energy market is changing and energy supply needs to be addressed. Demands for reliable, sustainable energy are higher than ever, and we need our system to evolve to meet these demands in a responsible way.
“According to this report, the cost to Canadians of a net-zero grid by 2035 is well over one trillion dollars. Alberta’s share of that will be much higher than our proportion of the Canadian population since we won’t be able to onboard stable base load renewables in such a short period of time.
“Additionally, the Conference Board of Canada has put the cost of the federal government’s expedited clean electricity transformation at $1.7 trillion, almost the size of the entire Canadian economy in 2023. To put this into perspective, the country would need to grow its annual electricity investments by 2.5 times and devote more than half of Canada’s current annual infrastructure investment to electricity alone every year over the next quarter-century. Accelerating toward net-zero by 2035 would also cause massive immediate increases to the power bills of individual consumers.
“As Minister of Affordability and Utilities, I am focused on ensuring we can provide affordable and reliable electricity for generations to come. The federal government’s plan for net-zero by 2035 would require billions of dollars of investment with the costs borne by ratepayers across Canada, but most especially in Alberta. This is one more example of the federal government increasing costs on Alberta families when they can least afford it.
“Alberta’s government believes that carbon-neutrality by 2050 is achievable, and would position Alberta among global leaders and provide the best opportunity to transition our grid in a manner that considers regulatory approvals, supply chain challenges and the human, financial and physical resources to take on a project of this magnitude.
“Our priority is to make well-considered, long-term decisions that adapt Alberta’s electricity system to meet our energy needs well into the future.”