WINNIPEG — The federal government is still interested in building up more inter-provincial hydroelectric transmission, even as the cost of solar and wind energy continues to drop.

That message came Wednesday from Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, who is hosting a conference on the future of Canada's energy industry.

Fatih Birol, head of an energy agency that has 29 member countries, including Canada and the United States, told the conference the cost of producing solar power has dropped by half in three years.

He says those costs are expected to continue to drop in the coming years.

Carr says solar and wind power present an opportunity in Canada, but the federal government is also interested in helping hydro-rich provinces such as Manitoba link up with other provinces.

Carr says talks with the provinces have been going on for two years, and the federal government has a keen interest in helping to build more transmission capacity.