For the better part of 2014, the Canadian wind industry has urged Quebec government officials to begin planning its new energy policy. Well, according to a release from the minister of energy and natural resources, the wind industry got its wish.
According to the ministry, discussions around the new energy plan will begin in earnest before the end of the year and will center around technical papers published in four principle areas.
The first document, ‘Context, Challenges and Vision’, will present the main parameters of Quebec's collective thinking. The remaining technical papers will address energy efficiency and innovation, renewable energy and fossil hydrocarbons, according to Pierre Arcand, Quebec's minister of energy and natural resources.
It will take into consideration the reflection undertaken by the government on the program review.
In 2015, the ministry will also be holding roundtable discussions in January, March and May. Participants in the roundtables will include experts from Quebec and abroad. Finally, the ministry notes, there will be discussions with aboriginal communities and public consultations.
According to Arcand, the objective of this approach is to develop a common understanding of the challenges and opportunities, identify consensus, as well as offer general guidelines and specific commitments that will guide the Quebec government in developing the next energy policy. This process will bring a maximum of citizens and stakeholders, as well as recognized experts.
‘This new policy will increase our leadership in renewable energy, energy efficiency and technological innovation, and develop in a responsible way, all of our resources and our common heritage,’ Arcand says. ‘We want to use less oil, use cleaner fuels such as liquefied natural gas and renewables to replace fuel oil and diesel. We want more green energy and a strong economic and industrial development and, above all, our relationship with energy is exemplary in North America.’
For its part, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) says that wind energy should play a key role in Quebec's next energy policy, and it is prepared to work with the Quebec government, industry and the new wind energy task force to review and strengthen Quebec's wind energy policy.
‘There are many challenges that will need to be overcome in energy,’ notes Jean-Francois Nolet, CanWEA's vice president, policy and government affairs. ‘We must find a balance between developing the energy sources we need to support economic development, the costs of these projects and protecting the environment, while maintaining strong partnerships with host communities. We are convinced that wind energy can help play an important role in reaching these goals.’