One of the biggest arguments to support the sale of NB Power to Hydro-Quebec is that it addresses the looming issue of cap and trade or carbon taxation and helps NB reach its greenhouse gas emission targets. I realize this argument has been mooted for some strange reason and environmentalists – at least the ones I have heard/read – are against the sale but nevertheless this is coming like a freight train and we have the highest percentage of thermal generation of any electric utility in Canada.
Has anybody seen an estimate of what the impact would be of closing all our thermal generation over the next decade? If that was combined with a large scale efficiency effort I think NB could easily get back to well below 1990 emissions. The province has a document on this. It says that by just closing Grade Lake and Dalhousie, GHG emissions in 2012 will besix per cent below 1990 levels.
I think this matters. Even if you don’t believe in global warming, you can’t deny the serious cost associated with a cap and trade system. Someone told me this week it would add $20/MW or more to the cost of electricity in New Brunswick from those sources.