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Renewable energy target improves health, environment

A firm target of 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030.

To help achieve this 30 by ’30, the Government of Alberta will support 5,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity for Albertans.

“Growing our renewables sector is a transformational opportunity for Alberta to become a more energy-efficient, lower-carbon province. These targets provide clarity for Albertans, industry, Indigenous communities, municipalities and all stakeholders, and will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow our economy.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

To reach this target, it is estimated that at least $10.5 billion in new investment will flow into the provincial economy by 2030. This will mean at least 7,200 new jobs for Albertans as projects are built.

“We are showing real leadership by implementing a clear and measurable target for renewable electricity, which is based on expert advice, protects the reliability of our system and is cost-effective for consumers and investors. At the end of the day, our approach will encourage a more diversified electricity system while creating new, green jobs for Albertans."

Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy

Through the Renewable Electricity Program, the province will solicit enough 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 Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

To be eligible for support within the Renewable Electricity Program, projects must:

  • be based in Alberta
  • be new or expanded
  • be five megawatts or greater in size
  • meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources

Further details on how the program will operate will be released later this year. The program will be based on recommendations provided to government by the Alberta Electric System Operator. The operator completed stakeholder consultations earlier this year to help inform its recommendations to government. Government is now working with AESO on detailed program design and remains on target to release details of the program in the coming months.

Work is also underway to improve Alberta’s rules around smaller-scale electricity generation, including micro-generation. Government is engaging expert stakeholders on ways to make it easier for individual Albertans and communities to create their own renewable energy.

Alberta’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel, led by Dr. David Wheeler, is also consulting with Albertans as part of the panel’s work to develop recommendations on energy efficiency and small-scale electricity generation programs. These programs will be offered through the newly created Energy Efficiency Alberta organization and will be in place early in 2017.

“TransAlta supports the diversification of generation as the province brings on new renewable energy. We know there are many opportunities in hydro, wind and solar that will help us reach the goal. As Canada’s leading renewable company we look forward to working with the government on the transition to a lower carbon future.”

Dawn Farrell, President & CEO TransAlta

“BluEarth supports the commitment to renewable generation in the province that the Alberta government demonstrated today. Advancing the development of cost-effective renewables represents a significant and balanced step change in Alberta’s energy mix.”

Grant Arnold, CEO, BluEarth Renewables

“For too long, discussions about climate change have focused on what we can’t do. Now that renewable technology costs have reached new lows, it’s time to focus on what we can do with our tremendous renewable energy resources. Today’s announcement sets a renewable energy target that is achievable while establishing Alberta as a progressive and leading jurisdiction in the global effort to reduce emissions. Solar energy is ready to be a big contributor to a strong and clean Alberta economy.”

John Gorman, President & CEO – Canadian Solar Industries Association

“Alberta’s new target of 30 per cent of electricity coming from renewables within 14 years is achievable. Experience and analysis from around the world, including recently released, pan-Canadian wind-integration findings, make it clear that Alberta can reliably integrate this level of renewable energy into the grid. The decision sends a clear signal to investors that Alberta remains committed to attracting significant new investments in cost-competitive wind energy. New investment in wind power will create jobs and economic opportunities throughout the province.” 

Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association

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