Green technology panel to advise Alberta on carbon levy spending
Group will have one month to prepare recommendations on best green-technology investments
An expert panel will have one month to prepare recommendations for the Alberta government on how to best invest part of the province's new carbon levy on clean technology and innovation.
Minister of Economic Development and Trade Deron Bilous announced the creation of the five-member task force on Monday.
"Experts have told us that putting a price on carbon is half of the equation but you also need to invest in innovation within clean technology to get to the desired outcomes that we want," he said.
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The carbon levy will come into force in January 2017, and will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. The levy is expected to generate $9.6 billion over five years, with $3.4 billion reserved for "large-scale renewable energy, bioenergy and technology."
However, the task force has not been given a budget for its recommendations. Bilous said the government did not want to "pre-empt" its findings.
"We haven't indicated to them what percentage of the carbon levy will be going toward innovation," he said. "We want the task force to go out to consult and make recommendations to government on how much of that should be invested in clean technology and innovation."
The group will meet targeted business groups, entrepreneurs, and Indigenous groups, in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and Lethbridge in October, with a report going to the minister by November. The report is "intended" for government but Bilous said he would consider releasing it to the public.
The public can also submit ideas online.
'Global race for green technology and innovation'
The five panel members are: Vic Adamowicz (vice-dean, faculty of agricultural, life and environmental sciences at the University of Alberta); Suzanne West (president and CEO of Imaginea Energy), Sara Hastings-Simon (director of the Pembina Institute's clean energy program); Shelly Vermillion (business consultant in Indigenous communities) and Guy Lambert (former executive at Suncor Energy).
Lambert will chair the panel.
Bilous said there is a "global race for green technology and innovation."
"To truly compete, we need to think carefully about how to structure our government's coming historic investment in research and innovation related to climate change."