Decree pertaining to Hydro-Quebec Strategic Planning: A cleaner, more affluent Quebec, thanks to renewable energy
July 22, 2015 - The AQPER is happy to see the government reiterate its firm intent to make use of renewable energy, including wind power, in the context of the decree it just issued pertaining to Hydro-Quebec's next strategic plan.
"Imported oil is still the most used form of energy in Quebec. Substituting renewable energy to oil in transportation and in off-grid power production will reduce both our greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) and our trade deficit," says Jean-François Samray, CEO of the Association. "We also want to point out that the government paid particular attention to the issue of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These are an added-value paid out only to sources recognized as renewable energy by external markets such as New England."
Renewable energy for the financial benefit of all Quebeckers
Electricity generated by wind farms, biomass/biogas installations and small hydro is eligible for RECS, a premium paid by certain jurisdictions for green energy.
In 2014, a study by La Capra, an independent energy consulting firm located in Boston, estimated that the value of these green credits on the New England market was somewhere between 5,5¢ and 6,6 ¢/kWh. At the time, only a few Quebec wind farms were registered in the program. By registering all of them, significant revenue can be obtained.
Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and our trade deficit
Quebec spends 16 billion dollars a year on imported oil. Part of these expenditures can be replaced by locally produced renewable energy (electric power, biogas, biomass, solar). This would not only benefit local economies, it would also reduce GGEs. Up to 16% of our annual natural gas consumption could be replaced with biogas produced solely with our garbage and residues. At this point, we are producing only one-tenth of 1%.
Investing in the natural symbiosis between wind and hydro
In 2013, 86,5 million litres of oil products were imported to generate electricity in Northern Quebec and in approximately 20 off-grid communities. As will be seen in 2018 in the Magdalen Islands, wind power can be used to replace these fossil fuels or, at the very least, significantly reduce their use.
The AQPER would be happy to cooperate with Hydro-Quebec to prepare the balance sheet on wind development requested by the government. Although the wind sector is particularly entrenched in the Eastern communities, the whole Province benefits from its economic spinoffs:
- 1200 jobs in the Gaspé region and the MRC de la Matanie;
- 4000 jobs elsewhere in Quebec, including close to 1000 in Greater Montreal;
- 150 companies specializing in wind, of which several are active in the US, South-America, Europe, Africa and Asia;
- Several internationally recognized research centres and university chairs, such as Gaspé's TechnoCentre éolien.
"Renewable energy is at the source of great economic and environmental benefits for Quebec and we are happy to see the government taking this into account. This is an important first step toward an energy policy that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels. We are ready to support Hydro-Quebec and the government and to contribute to bring about these orientations," concluded Jean-François Samray.