Halifax, NS (16 October 2014): Today, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) publishes “Taking Stock of Atlantic Canada’s Electricity Sector,” a study that surveys recent developments, reviews the status of the sector, and examines opportunities for further beneficial evolution.

The author is Dr. Gordon Weil, the AIMS Senior Fellow in Electricity Policy. Dr. Weil states that the Atlantic Provinces now face several opportunities to make their electricity sectors more efficient and beneficial for customers. His new AIMS study provides an overview of the current status of the electricity sector, and provides reform suggestions for policymakers that can help take advantage of these opportunities. Specific conclusions include:

• The current utility structure with dominant provincial utilities is likely to prevail for the foreseeable future

• No obvious opportunity exists for a pure market system, but the opportunity for economic exchanges, possibly through a power pool arrangement, is evident

• Increased wholesale access, the use of self-generation, and distributed generation all offer potential benefits for customers in all provinces

• The use of renewable resources will increase in the years ahead, displacing fossil fuel usage

• Labrador’s hydro resources could virtually transform the Atlantic Canada’s energy outlook

• The development of windpower and hydropower could be better integrated to increase the benefits of both

• Transmission reliability should be managed regionally to produce economic operation

• Utility regulation among the provinces could be harmonized, provincial regulators could seek areas of cooperation, and regulatory independence should be enhanced

“Major changes are coming in the Atlantic Canadian electric sector,” said Dr. Weil. “Increased cooperation between the provinces can help ensure that customers enjoy the maximum possible benefits from these changes. The goal should always be to benefit customers through reliable service at reasonable rates.”

To read Dr. Weil’s study, please click here.