Notley net-zero grid promise the most expensive in Alberta history

(May 3, 2023) — Today, Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche UCP candidate Brian Jean and Calgary-Shaw UCP candidate Rebecca Schulz presented two independent reports showing that NDP Leader Rachel Notley’s plan to mandate a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 is not only unrealistic, but the most expensive promise in Alberta political history. The plan effectively means Alberta will need to shut down or retrofit most of its natural gas power plants that generate the vast majority of electricity for the province.
The reports from respected independent econometrics firm Navius Research and from the independent Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) show that even if Notley could meet her 2035 target, it would cost Alberta’s economy and ratepayers at least $87 billion to implement and see power bills for families and businesses go up by 40 per cent more than they otherwise would.
“Never has a politician committed to a policy that would cost this much to implement,” Jean said. “This is not only unrealistic, but it is dangerous to the long-term health and viability of our economy. Everyone from moms and dads to business owners to farmers would bear the brunt of this reckless policy commitment that comes straight from the desk of Justin Trudeau. Albertans everywhere should be very concerned about Rachel Notley’s decision to sign on to Justin Trudeau’s 2035 target.”
AESO has costed out meeting the pure power generation part of this unreasonable Notley-Trudeau promise at $52 billion dollars. And the opportunity cost to our economy, according to the Navius Research report, would add a further $35 billion. That’s a total cost of $87 billion to Albertans. Also, because of this drastic shift, the reliability of Alberta’s electricity grid would be compromised, leading to potential “brownouts” caused by inconsistent power supply.
Schulz said Notley has put signing on to Trudeau’s unreasonable policies ahead of looking after Alberta families and businesses.
“This unrealistic plan to rush to a net zero grid over the next 12 years will raise power prices for families and businesses by at least 40 per cent more than they might otherwise be,” Schulz said. “Last week, Rachel Notley stood by a plan to cap oil sands production and hurt energy sector jobs. Now, she has signed on to an unreasonable policy that will hurt not only the energy sector but every single Alberta family and business. Rachel Notley says economy and affordability is an issue that matters, but just like the last time, her plan will threaten Alberta’s prosperity and will put additional costs on Albertans.” 

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