With the recent releases of federal and provincial budgets, I thought I would focus my latest blog on the support demonstrated for the energy sector in those budgets.
Energy NL was extremely pleased with support provided to the Newfoundland and Labrador energy sector through both the provincial and federal budgets. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador reinstated funding to support offshore seismic surveys which is vitally important for our offshore oil and gas industry. Energy NL advocated for the return of provincial funding and Premier Furey and Minister Parsons clearly listened. Further, the province provided funding to study the feasibility of natural gas in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin – a lower carbon energy source desired by many nations – and allocated funding for the Offshore Exploration Initiative – which will support drilling by ExxonMobil this year. The province once again demonstrated a recognition of the importance of our industry to not only our present, but our future.
Similarly, the Government of Canada announced significant incentives to kickstart the renewable and clean fuels sector of our energy industry. To keep Canada competitive with the aggressive incentives being offered by the Biden Administration, the federal government needed to offer a substantive package and it came to the table in a big way. The federal government also committed to creating a more efficient impact assessment process and enhancing the electrical capacity of the country. All in all, governments have taken huge steps in supporting the energy sector and Energy NL is appreciative of these efforts.
Related to this support, just last week, members of the Energy NL Board of Directors and some potential renewable energy developers had the opportunity to meet in-person with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland to discuss the federal budget and the energy sector. Deputy Prime Minister Freeland demonstrated a clear understanding of our sector and its ability to provide cleaner energy to the world, both renewable and non-renewable, as well as a willingness to work with industry to create and adjust policies that can lead to the timely development of critical energy projects. It was an informative and enlightening discussion and I sincerely thank Deputy Prime Minister Freeland for her time, expertise, and support.
The provincial government also recently released the fiscal framework for wind to hydrogen projects and Energy NL commends the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology for the amount of work they have committed to this file. Energy NL had an open line of communication with the department as the fiscal framework and call for bids processes unfolded. We have spent significant time working with potential developers and the department to help address questions and concerns and ensure a successful bid process. The province received bids from 19 companies which is exceptional and bodes well for us to become significant players in the renewable energy sector.
On a concluding note, the Energy NL Conference & Exhibition 2023 is quickly approaching and preparations are in high gear. We have an exceptional speaker line up which you can review here, and I encourage you to register early before we reach capacity – as we already have for our sold out exhibition area. With the latest information on industry trends from over 30 speakers, unrivalled networking opportunities, and an enhanced exhibition area, this conference is not to be missed by those involved in the energy sector.
See you next month.