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NEWS RELEASE · 28th April 2010
M. of Energy, Mines & Petrol
The Green Energy Advisory Task Force report released today contains a number of recommendations that are being implemented to build on British Columbia's strategy to become a clean energy powerhouse, said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

"I'd like to thank the members of the Green Energy Advisory Task Force for the hard work they put into this report, and for their recommendations that will help to set the future of green energy in B.C.," said Lekstrom. "We are building on many of these recommendations as we look at how B.C.'s clean, renewable energy can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a greener economy that generates well-paying jobs."

As announced by Premier Gordon Campbell on Nov. 2, 2009, the Green Energy Advisory Task Force was struck to provide input to ensure B.C. remains a leader in clean, renewable energy. The task force was composed of four advisory task force groups, focused on:

* Procurement and regulatory reform.
* Carbon pricing, trading and export market development.
* Community engagement and First Nations partnerships.
* Resource development.

The four task force groups prepared separate reports, based on their individual mandates.

In keeping with government's commitment, the complete recommendations from each task force group have been compiled into a final report which can be found HERE

The Province's Clean Energy Act, introduced today, builds on a number of recommendations from the task force, including:

* Confirming our commitment to the Heritage Contract, to ensure B.C. ratepayers continue to receive the benefits of B.C.'s low-cost electricity assets.
* Moving forward on critical infrastructure projects such as Site C and the Mica and Revelstoke upgrades.
* Increasing B.C.'s clean energy supply to meet domestic and future export demand.
* Better align implementation of policy between BC Hydro and BCUC and review the need for a separate transmission corporation.
* Enabling utilities to implement initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or improve energy efficiency, such as encouraging installation of high- efficiency heating systems like heat pumps or vehicle electrification and charging infrastructure.
* Creating a First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to support revenue sharing opportunities and to increase First Nations participation in clean energy resource development.

The task force also made recommendations that government is not taking action on in order to protect BC ratepayers from risk and to ensure long-term environmental certainty of the land base is not jeopardized. Recommendations the government is not moving forward on include:

* Increasing the maximum project size in the standing offer program above 10 megawatts.
* Moving forward with Lower Site E on the Peace River and conducting a call for storage.
* Transfer of all biomass fuel price risk to BC Hydro under biomass electricity purchase agreements.

Clean, renewable energy continues to be a cornerstone of British Columbia's climate action plan that will create jobs, support families and generate new economic activity throughout British Columbia. Electricity self-sufficiency and clean, renewable power generation is integral to B.C.'s effort to reduce its carbon footprint and fight climate change.

More Background Info

GREEN ENERGY ADVISORY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS IMPLEMENTED IN CLEAN ENERGY ACT

The Province's Clean Energy Act, introduced today, builds on many of the recommendations from the Green Energy Advisory Task Force, including the following:

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Protect the ratepayer in an appropriate Heritage Contract arrangement as determined in an open and transparent process.

Clean Energy Act:
* Confirms that B.C. ratepayers will continue to receive the benefits of the province's heritage assets through the existing Heritage Contract.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Ensure alignment between government policy, BC Hydro implementation and BCUC regulation.

Clean Energy Act:
* Clearly articulates B.C.'s energy objectives to guide BC Hydro planning and implementation and BCUC regulation.
* Specifies key strategic infrastructure projects that support government's clean energy vision that will not require further review by the BCUC.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* B.C. must use the full range of tools at its disposal to make energy efficiency and conservation its highest priority and must continue and expand successful public engagement programs such as LiveSmart.

Clean Energy Act:
* Includes a B.C. energy objective to use and foster the development in British Columbia of innovative technologies that support energy conservation and efficiency.
* Increases the percentage of new demand BC Hydro must meet with efficiency and conservation from 50 per cent to 66 per cent by 2020.
* Approves moving forward with Smart Meters and Smart Grid to support customer conservation, efficiency and distributed generation, as well as reduced BC Hydro operating costs.
* Separately, $35 million in renewed funding for LiveSmart was announced in Budget 2010.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Bring the load/business/jobs to the electrons actively recruit and attract new low-carbon industry (such as server farms for the Interior).

Clean Energy Act:
* Establishes the ability to prescribe long-term domestic electricity sales contracts, subject to BCUC approval, which may increase certainty and assist the recruitment of new low carbon investment in B.C.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Build transmission based on need established by significant long-term commitments from customers.

Clean Energy Act:
* BC Hydro must report in its Integrated Resource Plans (or an amendment to a Plan) on the extent to which it secured contracts to export electricity and any necessary transmission.
* Government must be satisfied that the export opportunities identified are in the interests of British Columbians.
* The BCUC must ensure that expenditures for export are not included in domestic rates.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Create a government-owned aggregator with control of generation and responsibility for domestic and export procurement and contracts.
* Discuss the need for a separate transmission corporation.

Clean Energy Act:
* Strengthens the ability of B.C.'s Crown utilities to deliver the government's clean energy vision by consolidating BC Hydro and BC Transmission Corporation into one utility to provide a single point of planning and authority. BC Hydro will assume the role of the aggregator and develop export opportunities.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendations:
* Advance completion of Mica and Revelstoke capacity additions.
* Move forward on Site C, lower Site E.

Clean Energy Act:
* Advances key low-cost expansions of B.C.'s publicly-owned electricity system including two additional turbines at Mica Dam, and an additional turbine at Revelstoke Dam, and confirms the Province's commitment to move forward with the Site C project.
* Limits new large hydroelectric storage dam developments to Site C.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendations:
* Enable generation facility development, by planning for expansion of the transmission system in the near-term since long lead times are required.
* Plan for and develop zones of high quality, clean and renewable resources and transmission to reduce both costs and environmental impacts.

Clean Energy Act:
* The Long Term Transmission Inquiry, initiated in March 2009, to identify zones of renewable resource potential and the transmission necessary to access that potential, will be incorporated into BC Hydro's initial Integrated Resource Plan.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Revise the procurement process to ensure transparency, improve risk allocation, commitment and certainty of procurement objectives in terms of volume and time horizons.

Clean Energy Act:
* Enables the government to establish volume and timelines for procurement of electricity for export.
* The BCUC must ensure that expenditures for export are not included in domestic rates.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* Implement a technology-specific feed-in tariff to encourage investment in development of small scale, distributed clean power resources under 10 MW (e.g. solar and ocean). Prices would be customized to each technology type.

Clean Energy Act:
* Enables a feed-in tariff program to be established by regulation to foster the development of emerging technologies in renewable power production.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* The Province should expand the current revenue sharing model to include the sharing of revenue collected by the Province with First Nations on all types of green energy.
* The Province should establish an equity fund to enable First Nations and remote communities to be full participants in the green economy. The Province, in collaboration with First Nations, should lobby the federal government to participate in or build on the equity fund.

Clean Energy Act:
* Creates a First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to enable First Nations investments and partnerships in renewable power production.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendations:
* Evaluate cost-effective GHG reduction options to shift energy use from fossil fuels to de-carbonized electricity.
* Develop a Low Carbon Transition Plan that a) develops domestic energy demand scenarios that achieve existing climate action goals; and, b) models 80-90 percent reduction of fossil fuel emissions by 2050. Deliverables of the plan will include: actions to pursue identified opportunities (e.g. fuel switching, electrification of transport, energy efficiency, district energy systems etc); and a strategy to attract businesses and industries with demands for clean energy to the province.

Clean Energy Act:
* Includes a B.C. energy objective to encourage the switching from one kind of energy source or use to another that decreases greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia.
* Requires BC Hydro to meet 66 per cent of future incremental demand from conservation measures by 2020. This is an increase from the current target of 50 per cent.
* Enables utilities to undertake projects or programs that encourage electricity or renewable energy use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to promote the use of clean electricity, natural gas or hydrogen in vehicles and related fuelling/charging infrastructure.

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Recommendation:
* The Province should review and strengthen the environmental assessment process to address and mange the cumulative effects of green energy projects and improve monitoring and compliance.

Clean Energy Act:
* Adds consideration of cumulative environmental effects to the environmental assessment process.