As part of its Climate Leadership Plan, Alberta launched the Alberta Indigenous Solar Program (AISP) and the Alberta Indigenous Community Energy Program (AICEP) on October 5. With a total budget of $2.5 million, the two programs are directed at First Nations and Metis communities, to undertake pilot projects for renewable energy and energy efficiency audits. Alberta next issued a Request for Information (RFI) on October 6, for procuring solar power for half of government operations , anticipating that it will lead to Western Canada’s first solar farm. See “Here comes the sun: Alberta Plans to establish first solar farms” from the Edmonton Journal (Oct. 6) and an item that appeared before the government announcement, “Growing list of solar projects in wings as Alberta moves to replace coal” at CBC (Sept. 15).
In a surprising change of direction at the end of September, the Ontario government announced the cancellation of a second round of renewable energy procurement that would have added 1,000 megawatts of wind and solar power to the province’s grid. Existing FIT and MicroFIT projects will be unaffected, but the government hopes to put a lid on electricity cost increases for consumers by avoiding the costs of building infrastructure. See the government press release ; “ Spooked Ontario Liberals Retreat From Green Goals” from the Energy Mix ; “Why did the Liberals backtrack on their renewable energy plan?” from TVO, or “Wind Industry shocked as Ontario halts LRP Mechanism” in North American WindPower.
In the U.S. , the federal Department of Energy released its National Offshore Wind Strategy on September 9, with a goal of generating enough electricity from offshore wind to power 23 million homes.
And from the International Energy Agency in mid-September, the first in a new annual report series, World Energy Investment 2016, with the stated premise that investment is “ the lifeblood of the global energy system”. Statistics show the state of investment in energy across technologies, sectors and regions around the world; they reveal a “broad shift towards cleaner energy”, with $313 billion invested in renewables in 2015. Though this is flat in dollar terms, it produced 33% more energy due to improved wind and solar technology. A further $221 billion was invested in energy efficiency. While oil and gas investment was still tops in 2015, it declined by 25% from 2014 and is projected to decline a further 24% in 2016.