Canadian Energy Perspectives Developments in Energy and Power Law

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Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Regulation

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McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Power Group has launched the 2nd edition of its publication, ‘Canadian Power – Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017’. The publication provides a detailed overview of significant developments in the Canadian power sector over the past year, as well as emerging trends that will be relevant in the coming year. Content includes in-depth regional analyses of developments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec, as well as commentary on the impact of specific issues on the power sector, such as recent M&A activity and developments in aboriginal law and environmental regulations … Continue Reading

Compliance with Flexibility: Ontario Releases Regulatory Proposal for Offset Credits under Cap-and-Trade Program

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario

As Ontario puts the finishing touches on its cap-and-trade program, which will commence on January 1, 2017, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has released its Compliance Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal (the Regulatory Proposal) for a 45-day public comment period that will end on December 30, 2016.  Under the cap-and-trade program, capped facilities will be required to either reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or meet their compliance obligations through other regulatory tools, including the use of offset credits. As a compliance mechanism, offset credits provide emitters with greater flexibility and potentially lower cost options to meet their … Continue Reading

Paving the Route to 2050: Canada Releases Mid-Century Strategy for a Clean Growth Economy

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

The Paris Climate Change Agreement came into force on November 4, 2016 and as global efforts get underway to implement the agreement, the Canadian federal government continues to craft its strategy to shift Canada to a low-emissions economy. At the recent United Nations climate change conference (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco that was held from November 7 – 18, 2016, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced Canada’s Mid-Century Long-Term Low-Greenhouse Gas Development Strategy (the Long-Term GHG Strategy) at COP 22, making Canada one‎ of the first countries to do so.… Continue Reading

Renewable Generation Incentives in Alberta Contracts for Differences: the Way Forward?

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

Last November, the Alberta government released its Climate Leadership Plan, setting out the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030, to be replaced with two thirds renewable energy generation and one third natural gas generation.  Then, the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) was subsequently directed to develop an incentives program for renewable generation.… Continue Reading

Alberta Power Market Update

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

Last year’s election ushered in Alberta’s first regime change since 1971, resulting in a wave of policy changes involving renewable generation development, the phase-out of coal-fired generation, and emissions and carbon tax policy.  This update captures certain key aspects to these changes and takes stock of things to come.

Alberta’s provincial government released its Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan) in November of 2015, as discussed in a previous post.  This post focuses on the following key Climate Plan policy announcements affecting the power industry:

  • incentives for renewable generation,
  • phase-out of coal fired generation emissions by 2030,
  • implementing
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Taking the Bull by the Horns: Federal Government Introduces Pan-Canadian Carbon Price and Ratifies Paris Agreement; Paris Agreement to Come into Force in November 2016

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

The week of October 3, 2016 was an eventful one for Canadian climate change policy as the federal government introduced a pan-Canadian carbon price and ratified the Paris Agreement. Following the federal election in October 2015, indications were that all provinces and territories would be expected to price carbon. This was confirmed on October 3, 2016 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will set a minimum price on carbon starting at $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2018, which will increase by $10 per year until it reaches $50 per tonne … Continue Reading

Target 2050: BC Releases Updated Climate Change Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

The BC government released its long awaited Climate Leadership Plan (the Plan) on August 19, 2016. The Plan, which updates the province’s 2008 Climate Action Plan, contains 21 new actions to reduce emissions across the following sectors: (i) natural gas, (ii) transportation, (iii) forestry and agriculture, (iv) communities and built environment, and (v) public sector. The Plan follows the release of the Climate Leadership Team’s report in November 2015. The CLT, which was appointed by the BC government in May 2015 to provide advice for the development of the Plan, made 32 recommendations including, among others, the establishment of … Continue Reading

North American Leaders’ Summit Yields Tri-Lateral Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

During the North American Leaders Summit held in Ottawa on June 29, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United States (US) President Barack Obama, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, which reflects the leaders’ shared vision for a clean energy economy. The Partnership is supported by an action plan (the Action Plan) that details the activities to be pursued by the three countries in order to achieve a “competitive, low-carbon and sustainable North American economy”.… Continue Reading

When the Levy Breaks: Alberta Government Tables the Climate Leadership Implementation Act

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

On May 24, 2016, Alberta’s provincial government tabled Bill 20 for first reading in the legislature.  Otherwise known as the Climate Leadership Implementation Act (Climate Act), Bill 20 furthers the implementation of the provincial government’s Climate Leadership Plan released in November 2015.

Bill 20 provides for a carbon levy on consumers of fuel, and creates an agency called Energy Efficiency Alberta, as part of the provincial government’s ongoing commitment to climate change policies and initiatives.   Notably absent from Bill 20 are any details on initiatives or incentives for transitioning to renewable energy sources.

More information on this development … Continue Reading

Ontario Energy Agency Could Correct Province’s Past Policy Mistakes

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Ontario Ministry of Environment
Ontario

The Ontario government’s proposed creation of an agency with a mandate to reduce carbon emissions by buying offsets, funding cleaner factories and buildings, and co-ordinating rooftop solar and energy conservation has been met with skepticism, particularly in light of the province’s experience with energy agencies.   However, there is also reason for optimism.  Read the whole article here.… Continue Reading

The AESO’s Renewable Electricity Incentive Program Marches Forward

Posted in Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power, Procurement, Utilities
Alberta

As noted in an earlier post, on March 3, 2016, the government announced that the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) has been chosen under the province’s Climate Leadership Plan to develop and implement a renewable electricity incentive program (Renewable Electricity Program or REP) to add additional renewable generation capacity into Alberta’s electricity system.

The expected timeline of this process is as follows:

Q1-Q2 2016

Phase 1 of stakeholder engagement process closed on March 24, 2016.

May 2016

Provincial government has requested AESO’s draft recommendations on program design.

Q2-Q3 2016

Program development.

Q4 2016

First competition for new REP
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Sign of the Times: 177 Nations (and counting) Ink the Paris Climate Agreement while the World Bank and IMF Push for Carbon Pricing

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

As recently reported on our Canadian ERA Perspectives blog, the Paris Agreement was opened for signature on April 22, 2016 at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York. The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on December 12, 2015, will remain open for signature until April 21, 2017.… Continue Reading

Phasing Out Coal: Alberta Names the Coal Facilitator

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Power
Alberta

On March 16, 2016, the Government of Alberta finally named the coal facilitator, and announced the next steps for its plan to phase-out coal by 2030.  The province appointed Terry Boston to act as the province’s independent coal phase-out facilitator, and released details of Boston’s mandate and next steps.

Boston’s Prior Experience

Boston is the recently retired CEO of PJM Interconnection (PJM), which is a regional transmission organization in the United States.  PJM controls approximately 105,502 km of transmission lines and manages 186,000 MW of generation serving 61 million people.… Continue Reading

It’s Official – AESO Requests Stakeholder Feedback on Implementation Plan for Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power, Procurement, Utilities
Alberta

On March 3, 2016, the Government of Alberta took its first step in implementing the Climate Leadership Plan by officially announcing that the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has been chosen to develop and implement a renewable electricity incentive program for the procurement of renewable generation capacity by 2030 (Renewable Electricity Program). In delivering this mandate, the Province confirmed:

  • The Renewable Electricity Program will be implemented through a competitive process to keep costs as low as possible;
  • The process is to be carefully managed and will operate in concert with the retirement of coal generating units; and
  • Its
Continue Reading

Focus on Environmental Law, from Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation

As part of our continuing series of blog posts highlighting specific topics addressed in our publication Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016, we focus here on our analysis of developments and anticipated trends in Environmental Law across the country that will impact the power sector.

The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP recently released Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016.  This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and to highlight key trends to watch for.  In … Continue Reading

Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Federal, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Power, Project Finance, Québec, Québec Hydro-Québec, Regulation

The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP is pleased to introduce Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016. This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and highlights key trends to watch for.  In addition to providing a detailed review of developments in each region, we look at developments in key areas of national scope, including project finance, environmental, regulatory and aboriginal law matters.

A full pdf version of Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 / Trends to Watch for in 2016 can be accessed … Continue Reading

Canada, Mexico and the US sign MOU on Climate Change and Energy Collaboration and Launch Portal for North American Energy Information

Posted in Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

Taking a step towards the establishment of a continental energy strategy, energy ministers from Canada, Mexico and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Climate Change and Energy Collaboration on February 12, 2016 during the North American Energy Ministers Meeting in Winnipeg. In addition, they launched a web platform where North American energy information can be easily accessed in one place (an initiative that was originally announced in December 2014).

Under the MOU signed by Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the three … Continue Reading

Looking Ahead at Energy Industry Trends Across Several Provinces

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power
AlbertaNew BrunswickNova ScotiaSaskatchewan

As we begin this new year, we note that several provinces have recently announced and updated their energy plans, which signal important trends in the energy industry. Below are some of the highlights from such provinces.… Continue Reading

Ontario’s Amended GHG Reporting Regulation Now in Force

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario

As we reported in our earlier blog last fall, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) proposed certain amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulation (O. Reg. 452/09) (the Regulation) in preparation for the introduction of a cap-and-trade system in the province. In December 2015, the MOECC filed amendments to the Regulation that came into force on January 1, 2016. An amended Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting was published at the same time.… Continue Reading

BC’s Updated GHG Reporting Regulation Now in Force

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

BC’s Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (the Act) came into force on January 1, 2016. The Act was originally passed by the BC legislature in November 2014 and enables performance standards to be established for industrial facilities or sectors. The Act currently sets a greenhouse (GHG) emissions benchmark for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, along with an emissions benchmark for coal-based electricity generation operations. Performance standards for other industrial facilities and sectors will likely be added later on. The Act also streamlines several aspects of existing GHG legislation into a single legislative and regulatory system, including the GHG … Continue Reading

Historic, Durable and Ambitious? UNFCCC Member Nations Adopt the Paris Agreement

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet. It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.

– United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (December 12, 2015)

On December 12, 2015, after two weeks of marathon negotiations at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21), 195 member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – including Canada, the United States, and a number of powerful developing countries including China and India – adopted the Paris Agreement (the … Continue Reading

Policy Considerations when Carbon Taxes Meet Cap-and-Trade

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
British Columbia

As we recently reported, British Columbia’s (BC) Climate Leadership Team prepared a report setting out 32 recommendations for BC’s climate policy path forward.  Recommendation 29 states that: If the majority of Canadian provinces opt for carbon pricing via emissions trading to cover greenhouse gases from large final emitters, a review should be undertaken of mechanisms to integrate a carbon tax with a cap and trade framework for the BC context.

According to the World Bank, approximately 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions have put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) using carbon taxes or cap-and-trade … Continue Reading

Navigating the Paris Climate Talks: Understanding the Policy Drivers and Mastering the Climate Lingo

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

Setting the Stage

This week, all eyes are on Paris as world leaders converged on the French capital in a multi-national effort to forge a new global climate change agreement. As negotiators now turn their focus on transforming the climate rhetoric into legal text, climate change is back in the global spotlight.  Over the years, climate change policy has experienced its ebbs and flows. Climate change arrived on the international stage at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where 154 countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions … Continue Reading

Climate Leadership Team Makes 32 Recommendations for Updating BC’s Climate Change Policies

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

As reported in our earlier blog, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark appointed a Climate Leadership Team in May 2015 to provide advice and recommendations to government for its new Climate Leadership Plan.  The Climate Leadership Team’s mandate was based on four cornerstone objectives: (i) achieving BC’s legislated GHG emission reduction targets; (ii) maintaining a strong economy; (iii) mitigating negative impacts on vulnerable populations; and (iv) maintaining BC’s reputation for world-leading climate policies.

Following extensive stakeholder consultations throughout the summer, the Climate Leadership Team prepared a report that was released by the BC government on November 27, 2015, in … Continue Reading