July 21, 2017

Affordable Energy News for July 21, 2017

Affordable Energy News for July 21, 2017

Energy rebate program slow to bring discount promises to light, businesses say

A government program to encourage Alberta businesses, non-profits and institutions to replace energy inefficient lights and heating has brought some suppliers’ sales to a standstill. Most customers wanting to replace lights or controls are seeking pre-approval before buying to ensure they qualify for government rebates, Cory Tretiak, general manager of Adventure Warehouse and Ultimate Lights in Airdrie, said Thursday. At first, he was excited about the program, thinking it would be good for business. On behalf of clients who want to buy LED lights, he’s sent 135 rebate applications to the province’s Business, Non-profit, and Institutional Energy Savings Program since it began accepting applications in mid-May. Not one has yet been approved. - Edmonton Journal


Muskrat Falls delay could tap into your wallet

Hitting up Nova Scotians for all the costs facing the province’s electrical utility due to the delays at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric power project isn’t fair or reasonable, say consumer and industry advocates. Those costs have already been built into Nova Scotia Power’s rates. Now advocates for consumer, business and industry groups are saying the utility will have to generate or buy electrical power to make up shortfalls resulting from the lack of electricity it was expecting from the Muskrat Falls generating stations. - Chronicle Herald


Province analyzing formal pitch for expanding Sturgeon Refinery: Varcoe

The Alberta government is now examining a proposal it received last month for the next expansion phase of the over-budget and behind-schedule Sturgeon Refinery project. Given the problems that have dogged the development — like the fact it’s 65% over the initial budget — it will be a hard sell for the Notley government to put more taxpayer money at risk. - Calgary Herald


Deep in the Montney, Grande Prairie first to emerge from brutal recession

Hundreds of large, over-sized trucks carrying multi-tonne pieces of oilfield equipment are rumbling down the streets of Grande Prairie, Alta. in increasing numbers as the city rebounds from a province-wide recession. “There’s a whole bunch of equipment moving through the city,” Mayor Bill Given said, adding that after more than two difficult years of low oil and gas prices, Grande Prairie’s economy is showing signs of improvement. In fact, the northwestern Alberta city’s economy is outperforming the rest of the province by most measures largely because it’s situated in a prolific natural gas and liquids hydrocarbon formation called the Montney that producers and pipeliners are spending tens of billions of dollars to develop. - Financial Post


Fewer Albertans drawing employment insurance as economy recovers, StatsCan says

As Alberta’s economy rebounds from the downturn in the price of oil, new data shows employment insurance use is on the decline. The province outpaced the rest of Canada with an 11.1% year-over-year decline in EI beneficiaries, according to Statistics Canada. Economic indicators tell a consistent story — the worst of the downturn has ended, Trevor Tombe, associate professor of economics at the University of Calgary, said Thursday. - Edmonton Journal  


The United States

On climate change, U.S. can't walk out of room when heat is on, says UK environment secretary

The U.K.'s secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs has said he "deeply" regrets President Donald Trump's approach to the landmark Paris Agreement. "It is because environmental degradation is such a threat to future prosperity and security that I deeply regret President Trump's approach towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," Michael Gove said in a major speech on Friday. "I sincerely hope the recent indications that the president may be minded to think again do signal a change of heart," Mr. Gove added. In his speech on Friday, Mr. Gove sought to explain the importance of countries working together. "International co-operation to deal with climate change is critical if we're to safeguard our planet's future and the world's second biggest generator of carbon emissions can't simply walk out of the room when the heat is on," he said. - CNBC  



Billion-year-old Northern Territory rocks could provide solution for east coast gas

Origin Energy's chief geologist David Close can't keep the excitement from his face as he cradles a 1.4-billion-year-old chip of black rock in the palm of his hand. Here, on the vast scrubby pasture-lands in the central-north of the Northern Territory, a fortuitous set of geological circumstances has brought about a near-perfect opportunity for elephant hunters in the oil and gas industry – and a potential solution to the east coast's gas shortage. Preserved over hundreds of millions of centuries at the right depth and temperature, and not destroyed or forced into a mountain range by shifting plates, the Beetaloo Basin gas can now be relatively easily accessed from onshore. - Australian Financial Review


Energy expert Fatih Birol urges states to end gas bans

Australian states must end their bans and restrictions on gas to help combat global climate change and inject wealth into local communities, the head of the world’s peak energy agency has warned. The intervention from Fatih Birol, considered one of the most influential energy experts, will increase pressure on the Labor-led governments of Victoria and the Northern Territory, as well as the NSW Coalition, to rethink their moratoriums and limits on gas after Chief Scientist Alan Finkel called for an evidence-based, case-by-case approach. In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian following the release of the International Energy Agency’s gas market report, Dr Birol said Australia needed a “long-term fix” to encourage supply and lower prices. - The Australian