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电力之春——给阿尔伯塔人更多选择,更多实惠


天时周刊王琳报道】2024年5月6日晚,加拿大阿尔伯塔省负担能力和公共事业厅长兼财政委员会副主席内森·诺伊多夫就“阿省政府将如何使阿省电力更优惠于民”为题,主持召开了多元文化媒体圆桌会议,天时周刊记者应邀参加了本次线上采访。



诺伊多夫: “大家晚上好,感谢参加今晚的圆桌会议。作为负担能力和公共事业厅长,省长委派我带领政府努力使生活更实惠可负担。对于阿省,我们将继续采取全政府的方式,努力在现有的经济实惠措施基础上,降低阿省居民的生活成本。在我的职责范围内,我特别关注降低阿省居民的公共事业费用。每一位消费者、每一个阿省居民,包括小型企业和社区组织,都受到电力成本影响。

在去年,我们的政府已经采取了行动来降低公共事业费。我们通过公共事业消费倡导者向我们的阿省居民提供信息和支持。我们通过电力补贴计划,每月提供近十亿加元的帮助,直接退款到阿省居民的电力账单上。现在,我们正在帮助降低和稳定本地接入费,并确保我们的阿省居民更加了解他们的电力选择。我们通过公共事业经济实惠法修正案“19号法案”将默认电价更名为“最低服务电价”。我们通过新的法规限制经济滞后的做法,预计在未来三年内能为阿省居民节省超过十亿加元的电费。我们于2022年颁布了阿尔伯塔省电力网修正法案,宣布对电力系统应用创新技术,以现代化阿尔伯塔省的电力网。我们还宣布了重组阿塔省电力市场的计划以支持长期的可负担性。这仅仅是我们的政府确保阿尔伯塔省居民在未来的电网上拥有可负担、可靠且可持续的电力的开始。

今天我特别想谈一下公共事业经济实惠法修正案“19号法案”,我们通过立法来帮助降低公共事业账单的费用。如果通过19号法案,将使全省的公共事业账单更加负担得起和可预测,每一个卡尔加里家庭平均可节省145加元。对于使用默认电费率的家庭,他们每年可节省937加元。19号法案还将帮助我们阿省居民人更好地了解他们的电费率。在处理电费账单时,居民知道有很多选择是非常重要的,同时公共事业消费倡导者可帮助他们找到最适合他们的选择。”


提问:“最近与萨斯喀彻温省签署了一份有关小型核反应堆的谅解备忘录(MOU),请问从现在到2050年前进的战略和愿景是什么?或许是一个短期的计划可以帮助解决阿省的电力需求。”


诺伊多夫: “上周我在里贾纳,与负责萨斯喀彻温省公共事业的部长达斯汀·邓肯签署了一份谅解备忘录,共同进一步学习。萨斯喀彻温省拥有大量的铀矿,这是用于发电的核反应堆的燃料。他们计划在未来几年内采用SMR技术来加强其电网。我们希望学习他们的咨询过程、法律框架以及他们为确保处理废物所经历的各种情况。我们还希望从他们那里学习有关我们的电网稳定性并增加我们的互连性。如果萨省发电,而我们因为停电或其他原因而无法发电,如果我们能增加从萨省借用电力的量,这对他们来说非常有利,因为我们会购买,而这对我们来说也非常有利。通过这样的互连,我们可以帮助稳定萨省的电网,因为我们有能力在他们出现天气不佳或供应不足时发电。我们的表现非常出色,加强了彼此的合作关系,这具有加强联邦的潜力。因为我们可以让我们过剩的电力通过萨省一直输送到曼尼托巴,甚至可能延伸至美国。这意味着我们正在开放市场,对于我们的发电厂来说,这是非常激动人心的,因为他们意识到我们不仅可以向本省居民出售电力,还可以向加拿大东西部乃至向北方出售。我们还可以向美国南部出售,那是一个巨大的市场。因此,这是与我们在联邦中最亲密的贸易伙伴建立强大关系一步。萨省和我认为这对于在近期和中长期内利用这些潜力来建立这些资产非常令人兴奋。这将意味着我们的电网和他们的电网都更加稳定,同时对我们所有人来说也将提供更多的市场准入机会。”


提问:“您能定义这项技术的成熟度、安全性以及未来的发展吗?我们是否也在增加产能,而不是替换现有基础设施?”


诺伊多夫: “许多人并不知道加拿大在1959年就在安大略省开始了核能之旅。自20世纪60年代初以来,我们就拥有核能技术。没有发生过事故,这是非常安全的,安大略省在这一领域是加拿大的领导者。萨省正在向他们学习,新省也是如此,现在阿省也加入了进来。小型模块反应堆技术仍在发展中。显然,核潜艇上已经有小型模块反应堆。安省正在达灵顿设施建造四座小型模块反应堆,目前正在进行。最大的关注点是安全性,安省和萨省在如何长久安全存储这些废物方面进行了非常重要的磋商。安省自1964年以来一直在存储其核废物,非常安全,而且没有发生过事故。萨省正在学习,而我们也将效仿两者。除此之外,我认为下一个最大的问题是成本,新技术非常昂贵,这就是为什么我们非常密切关注安省如何建造他们的小型模块反应堆。全球范围内采用这项技术的辖区越多,成本就会越低。我们想要与技术同步发展并促进行业增长。阿省北部有一些铀矿。如果这是一个零排放、可靠、可分配的能源方向,而我们正需要这样的能源,我们认为我们可以同时实现可靠性、可持续性、经济性和零排放,即无碳排放。这是有益的。因此,我们现在要做好规划。


提问:“这样,当技术和经济性达到要求时,我们将做好准备,能够为我们的阿省居民提供这样一条途径。因为我们现在已经做了准备,为未来做好了准备。”


以下是英文原版采访:


Electricity's Spring Comes: More Choices More Affordable for Albertans


Reporter:Lin Wang     


On the evening of May 6, 2024, Nathan Neudorf, Minister of Affordability and Utilities and Vice Chair of the Treasury Board, convened a Multicultural Media Roundtable to introduce how the provincial government is making electricity more affordable for Albertans. The Journalist from CMH News was invited to participate in this online interview.


Neudorf: “Good evening everyone!Thank you so much for having us here this evening. As the Minister of Affordability and Utilities, the Premier has tasked me with leading the government's efforts to make life more affordable. For Alberta, we are continuing to take an all-government approach, as we work to build on our existing affordable measures to lower the cost of living for Albertans. In my role, I am particularly focused on lowering the cost of utilities for Albertans. Every single consumer and every single Albertan is impacted by the cost of electricity including small businesses and community groups.

Over the past year, our government has already taken action to lower utility bills. We provide our Albertans with information and support through the utilities consumer advocate. We helped our Albertans by providing nearly a billion dollars in monthly rebates directly to their power bills through the electricity rebate program. Now we're helping to lower and stabilize local access fees and are ensuring our Albertans are better informed about their electricity options. We are doing this by renaming the default electricity rate to the rate of last resort through Bill 19, which is the Utilities Affordability Statutes Amendment Act. We're restricting the practice of economic withholding through new regulations which are estimated to save Albertans over a billion dollars on their power bills over the next three years. We've enabled innovative technology for the electricity system by proclaiming the electricity statutes modernizing Alberta's Electricity Grid Amendment Act in 2022. We announced our plans to restructure Alberta's electricity market to support long-term affordability. This is just a start of how our government is making sure that Albertans have affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity on their Grid for generations to come.

Today, I would like to talk more specifically about Bill 19, Utilities Affordability Statutes Amendment Act,  where we introduced legislation to help lower the cost of utility bills. If pass Bill 19, will make utility bills more affordable and predictable across a province saving the average Calgarian $145 per year families. On the default electricity rate, they could save  $937 per year. Bill 19 will also help our Albertans be better informed about their electricity rates. It is so important that Albertans know they have many options when it comes to their power bills and the utility consumer advocate is available to help them find the best option for them.”


Q: “I just want to quickly ask the question about the role map with Saskatchewan, a  recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing with regards to SMRs small nuclear reactors or moving forward what kind of strategy and vision from now, maybe a short term between and to 2050?But maybe more short term that could help solve the demand on electricity in Alberta.”


Neudorf: “I was in Regina last week (May 2, 2024) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Minister Dustin Duncan in charge of their utilities in Saskatchewan, both furthering our learnings together. Saskatchewan has a huge deposit of Uranium, which is the fuel used to power nuclear generators. They are pursuing SMR technology over the next few years to be able to use that to strengthen their grid. We want to learn from them on their consultation, on their legal framework, on all the different things that they went through to make sure that they deal with all the questions about what they do with the waste. We also want to learn from them in terms of both our grid stability and increase our interconnectivity. If Saskatchewan generates and we're not able to because of power outages or whatever might happen, if we can increase what we can borrow from Saskatchewan that's very good for them because we're buying and that's very good for us. Because we're getting electricity the same other way those interties can help stabilize Saskatchewan's grid from our ability to generate when they're having a downturn either in weather or supply. And we're doing very well this strengthens our partnership and has the potential to strengthen the confederation. Because we can go allow our surplus generation to go through Saskatchewan all the way to Manitoba and maybe even down into the United States. That means that we're opening our marketplace with it, which is very exciting for our generators to realize that we don't just have to sell electricity to Albertans but we can sell to Canadians East-West and sometimes even North. And we can sell south into the United States of America and have a huge market there. So this is a very strong relationship, building steps with our closest trading partner in the confederation. Saskatchewan and I think it's very exciting for some of the potential in the near term definitely in the mid and longer term would we build these assets in this capability. It will mean more stability for our grid and their grid as well as more potential market access for all of us.”


Q: “Could you define the maturity of this technology, the safety, and moving forward? Are we also increasing capacity, not replacing existing infrastructure?”


Neudorf: “Many people don't realize that Canada began their nuclear journey in 1959 in Ontario. We've had nuclear capabilities since the early 1960s. All without incidents, it is very safe and Ontario is the leader in Canada in this field. Saskatchewan is learning from them as is New Brunswick and now Alberta as well. The small modular reactor technology is still developing. There are obviously small modular reactors on nuclear submarines. Ontario is building 4 SMRs, right now in their Darlington facility. The biggest concern is safety and Ontario and Saskatchewan have led very significant consultations on how to safely store any waste from these and for a very long time. Ontario has been storing its nuclear waste since 1964, very safely never ever an incident. Saskatchewan is learning from them and we're going to learn from both of them. On top of that, I think the next biggest issue is cost new technology is very expensive, which is why we're watching very closely how Ontario was building its SMRs. We want to learn from Saskatchewan, so we know how they can do it. The more jurisdictions around the world by this technology, the lower the cost will be. We want to grow the industry and lock step with that technology. Alberta has some uranium deposits up north as well. If this is the direction for a non-emitting, reliable, dispatchable energy source, which we all need, we think that we can accomplish all of those things together, reliability, sustainability, affordability and non-emitting, no carbon emissions, which is beneficial. So we want to plan well right now. So in the future, when the technology and affordability are there, we're gonna be ready to go and we're gonna be able to provide that avenue for our Albertans. Because we've done the work now ready for the future.”

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