As announced on August 3, 2023, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) – an independent, quasi-judicial agency responsible for the approval of Alberta’s electricity generation projects – will review policy issues related to future renewables development. The purpose of this inquiry is to establish the right balance between the development of renewables and a variety of issues raised by Albertans, the AUC, and renewable energy developers.
To help the inquiry and ensure that, moving forward, every project will be subject to the same regulations and processes, we directed the AUC to pause approvals of renewable power projects until February 29, 2024. Throughout the inquiry, the AUC will continue to process applications up to the approval stage for new projects that produce renewable electricity. To be clear, no projects have been cancelled. Projects already underway will continue to be built. Jobs are not at risk.
Alberta is Canada’s leader in renewables projects and investments. Last year, 75% of the renewables investment in Canada happened here. Much of that success is a direct result of Alberta’s unique deregulated electricity market.
While the province has enjoyed numerous benefits from investments in renewables, there are competing interests that require balancing. We must reconcile the dramatic growth of renewables with affordability and reliability impacts to the grid, as well as concerns around land usage, reclamation and protecting our world-class views.
Alberta is a global leader in developing our resources with best-in-class environmental standards and responsible, fair governance. Given the material increase in renewable development, it is time to re-examine regulatory processes and requirements to ensure that ongoing development continues to take place in a reasonable, affordable and responsible manner.
For more information about the renewables review and temporary project approvals pause, see:
- Alberta’s Renewables Inquiry and the Related Pause fact sheet (PDF)
- AUC approvals pause for renewable projects: Minister Neudorf (August 25, 2023)
- Creating certainty for renewable projects (August 3, 2023)
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