Alberta gov’t. targeting for 30 per cent green power by 2030

15 Sep 2016

Lethbridge Herald

J.W. Schnarr

[email protected]


Alberta’s provincial government is shooting for 30 by 30 when it comes to green power generation.

On Wednesday, Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s minister of environment and parks, announced the government’s firm target of 30 per cent of electricity used in the province set to come from renewable sources, such as wind, hydro, and solar, by 2030. The other 70 per cent would come from natural gas after the complete phase out of coal-fired generation.

“We solve problems,” Phillips said. “We don’t run away from them. Tackling climate change is no different. Alberta will lead forward and not go backwards.”

Details of the plan are still being worked out and are expected in the coming months. Phillips called energy production “the backbone” of modern economies.

“Going forward, the success of the electricity industry will also be increasingly judged on its ability to thrive and support a carbon-competitive economy,” she said.

In order to facilitate this goal, the government is intending to support 5,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity for Albertans through the Climate Leadership Plan.

That plan states the government intends to collect $9.6 billion over the next five years through the carbon levy, with $3.4 billion tagged for largescale renewable energy, bioenergy and technology projects.

An estimated $10.5 billion in new investment is expected to flow into the provincial economy by 2030, according to a government news release. This will mean at least 7,200 new jobs for Albertans as projects are built.

Projects would be awarded by “competitive procurement,” or a bidding process, the details of which are expected in November.

Phillips said there are a number of ways the government may encourage more development of renewable energy generation, and that further details will be rolled out in the coming months.

“We have several thousand megawatts that are in the regulatory queue, both solar and wind,” she said. “There have been some hydro projects discussed as well. So we know the appetite for investment in this province among renewable players is significant.” The province’s Renewable Electricity Program will be a way to solicit investment in Alberta’s electricity system to meet the target, while ensuring projects come online in a way that does not impact grid reliability and is cost-effective. The program will be run by the AESO.

To be eligible, a project must be based in Alberta, be new or expanded, be five megawatts or greater in size, and meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources.

The program will be based on recommendations provided to government by the AESO. The government is also looking at the rules surrounding small-scale and micro-generation.

Phillips said coal-fire power generation costs the province millions in health-care dollars and contributes to lost lives.

“Coal emissions have a very human and environmental cost,” she said.

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