WHEREAS municipalities in Alberta are concerned about environmental sustainability; and
WHEREAS these same municipalities commonly strive to show leadership and responsibility in acting sustainably; and
WHEREAS energy purchased to heat, operate, and power commercial buildings and residences is one of the significant consumptions of fossil fuels;and
WHEREAS there are options for the installation of technologies to utilize solar energy as an alternative renewable energy source; and
WHEREAS renewable energy options are often available only at a premium cost or at a tremendous upfront investment with an unrealistic pay-back period; and
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta needs to support the access to solar energy technologies enabling residents to transition from conventional resources (burning of fossil fuels) to alternative energy sources, specifically solar power, without financial burden; and
WHEREAS municipalities need to explore opportunities for solar energy pilot projects on commercial residential buildings and seek opportunities for residences and buildings to be constructed to be ready for solar energy systems; and
WHEREAS Albertans need to start making choices to utilize alternative energy resources to promote environmental responsibility and sustainability for all;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to provide initiatives in the way of subsidies or grants for solar energy technologies, and provide attractive micro generation rates to promote the transition from using fossil fuels to solar energy.
Brazeau County has dedicated $500,000.00 in the year 2015 to an Alternative Energy Restricted Surplus Fund and further funds of $200,000.00 per annum in an effort to promote a seamless transition from conventional resources (burning of fossil fuels) to alternative energy sources, specifically solar power.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
Energy: During the Climate Change Advisory Panel’s extensive consultation on key issues related to climate change, the panel heard broad interest in micro-generation. It also heard strong support for new policies to enable slightly larger, community-scale generation.
In the Climate Change Advisory Panel’s report, the panel recommended that government renew and update the Micro-generation Regulation, which expires on December 31, 2016. The panel also recommended that government investigate the feasibility of regulation for small?scale community generation.
In 2016, Alberta Energy plans to consult with stakeholders on the technical and regulatory aspects of micro-generation, and a potential small-scale community generation regulation. This work will lay the foundation for the development of programs to improve the adoption of micro and small scale generation, which will be led by Alberta Environment and Parks.
Environment and Parks: Alberta Environment and Parks recognizes that municipalities are looking increasingly at solar power to reduce costs and combat climate change. As part of its Climate Leadership Plan, the Alberta government is investing $5.5 million to help municipalities and farmers harness the power of the sun and create good local jobs.
Five million dollars is earmarked for the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre for a solar energy incentive program – the Alberta Municipal Solar Program. This program will provide rebates of up to $0.75 per watt, to a maximum of $300,000 per project, to municipalities for installing solar on municipal buildings, such as offices, fire halls, community centres and more.
The Alberta Municipal Solar Program opened for applications on March 1, 2016. The On-Farm Solar Management program’s application window opened on February 8, 2016.
The initiatives outlined in the Government of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan and those highlighted in the response to this resolution indicate a willingness from the province to develop policies and initiatives that will encourage municipalities to be leaders in solar power generation. Particularly encouraging is the commitment to funding allocated through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC). In March 2018, the Government of Alberta announced it is supporting municipalities by investing $54 million in funding from the Climate Leadership Plan to the MCCAC, which supports expanded available funding under the existing Alberta Municipal Solar Program. One program area that was noted is small-scale generation, which will likely support the Government of Alberta’s release of an updated version of the Micro-Generation Regulation in early 2017. The regulation also made generation from renewable technologies easier to install. Though not specific to municipalities, the province also released the Growing Forward 2 Program which funding towards solar photovoltaics on Alberta farms. This enables producers to conserve non-renewable fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions, ultimately reducing the environmental footprint of Alberta’s agriculture industry.
Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA) was launched in January 2017, and will provide programs and funding to support transition to solar energy. The EEA announced a residential and commercial solar program that was made available in 2017 and provides rebates for the installation of solar photovoltaics systems.
This resolution is assigned a status of Accepted.