The Electricity Market

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The Throne Speech was delivered by Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell on March 8th. The 2018-19 provincial budget should be debated and passed sometime in early April. My concern is that the size of the deficit and the growing amounts of debt, interest charges on the debt, and record spending, are leaving Alberta in a precarious position for when the next downturn comes.

As the official opposition’s Energy Critic, I am very focused on market access for our petroleum products and bringing back investor confidence to the energy sector. Thus, I have initiated a petition to the House of Commons which calls on the federal government to exercise its authority and stop BC’s unconstitutional interference with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Please visit petitions.ourcommons.ca to sign petition e-1509.

A big change is coming to Alberta’s electricity market. The current market is an energy-only market where generators are paid for the electricity they produce based solely on the fluctuating wholesale price of electricity. These companies decide on the type of generation they produce and on the location of facilities. Electricity prices are based on supply and demand.

The NDP plans to add $25 billion of new investment in electricity generation to support the transition toward renewable energy sources. This means moving to a capacity market, where private power generators are paid through a mix of competitively auctioned contracts, which pays their fixed capital costs, and revenue from the spot market. While the NDP may have capped electricity prices to consumers, at the end of the day, this move is backstopped by the taxpayers, who are one in the same.

Please plan to attend my MLA Town Hall on Saturday, April 7th at 3PM. It is at the Foothills Alliance Church in Edgemont.

I would also like wish everybody a Happy Easter!

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