It certainly levels the playing field, said David Kelly, CanSIA Alberta Board member. Rebates subsidizing natural gas made it that much more difficult to argue for renewable energy.
Add to that the fact that Alberta doesnt have any incentive programs for renewable energy and it becomes a very difficult argument.
It is estimated Albertans received more than $1.9 billion in rebates since the program was launched in 2003. Fuel costs have fallen so low that natural gas rebates hadnt been distributed for the last two months.
When solar energy is compared to natural gas without the subsidy, Albertans can expect much better returns on their solar energy investments.
Alberta has a finite natural gas resource that will only increase in cost as demand continues to outstrip regional production. Removing the rebate sends the correct price signals, but this timely action must be coupled with robust and durable incentives for efficiency and clean alternatives that are ultimately in the best interest of all Albertans, said Rob Harlan, Executive Director SESCI-NAC.
The Alberta Government has made the right decision, said Elizabeth McDonald, CanSIA President. We are hoping it is the first step towards it following suit with Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Ontario and offering actual incentives for residents to turn to solar for their energy needs. If our country is going to seriously safeguard the environment for future generations renewable energy, such as solar has to be able to compete, at the very least, on the same footing as the existing fossil fuel industries.