AQPER member companies make some of their top people available to the Association to help it fulfill its mission. These engineers, lawyers, biologists and high-level managers who work in the field every day can identify strategic issues and make important contributions to the Association's policies and positions.
Events and Internal Communications Committee
The Energy 2.0: A changing world conference was held on February 19th and 20th 2014 at the Quebec Hilton. For the first time in the history of the Association, some of the largest investment fund organizations took part. The Quebec government was a major contributor, with the Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie sponsoring the exhibition hall, the minister of Sustainable development, Environment, Fauna and Parks (du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs) speaking at the partner's dinner and the Minister of Natural Resources giving the closing keynote address. The Prime Minister contributed the introductory word in the official conference program. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Énergie Northland Power Québec, PESCA environnement, Borea Construction, Groupe Bellemare, Desjardins entreprises, GE, Senvion, Hydromega, the FondAction CSN pour la coopération et l'emploi, McCarthy Tétrault, RES Canada and Anderson Sinclair also supported the event.
More than 200 people participated in the Association's 2nd Annual Photo Contest, which took place between september 26th 2013 and January 21st, 2014. The top prizes were won by Pascal Moreau of Éolectric, whose framed photo of the Summerview wind farm in Alberta was remitted to Natural Resources minister Martine Ouellet at the annual conference, and Alain Mercier, professional photographer, whose image graces the cover of the AQPER 2013-2014 Annual Report.
Public Affairs Committee
Ten press releases were distributed over the course of the year, most of which called for concrete action on the wind power RFP announced by the government. The committee also commented on the report issued by the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques, on the Stratégie d'électrification des transports, and congratulated the government for its support of underwater generator technologies (hydroliennes).
Several interviews were given during the year and the AQPER CEO, Jean-François Samray, was quoted in numerous newspaper articles on subjects ranging from solar and wind power to the regulatory framework for renewables. Mr. Samray also provided the introductory notes for Global Business Reports' dossier on the Quebec industry.
Despite a difficult economic and political climate, the committee persisted in its efforts to have a regulatory framework established that would allow biogas development. Current work includes efforts to get 1% biomethane injected in the gas pipeline, to more clearly define biogas in the Loi sur la Régie de l'Énergie and to have rules modified so that biomethanation assets are recognized as production rather than distribution assets.
This year, the committee identified the most important issues and set clear objectives. Work is now under way to:
- have a formal regulatory framework established;
- have a planning system set-up that will ensure availability of quality raw materials;
- have an indexation clause added to power production contracts;
- compile a list of potential clients for the heating requirement that has been added to APR-91 contracts.
A working relationship has now been established with the CIFQ (Conseil de l'industrie forestière du Québec) and the AQPER will take part in the meetings of the Issue Table formed by the Ministère des Forêts.
Wind Power Committee
Eight official committee meetings were held this year, with several additional special meetings being called to push for the adoption of an ordinance leading to an RFP for 450 MW. Work continued on noise and fauna regulations, which led to the adoption of bird and bat follow-up protocols. Ministry representatives gave a well attended training session on these in Quebec city at the end of April. The committee has now started working on developing a long-term strategy for the sector.
Small Hydro Committee
Most of the work this year consisted in defending the renewal of APR-91 contracts. Concerned parties met on several occasions to explore their options and decide on a direction. The consensus reached by members allowed us to submit unified objectives to the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry reacted positively, adding small hydro to its list of priorities. Final decisions in the file were put off until after the April elections, which proved a determining factor. The Prime Minister announced in his inaugural speech that the small hydro program which had been abandoned by the previous administration would be rekindled.
This article is a condensed version of our 2013-2014 Annual Report, which is available here (in French only).