This engagement has been archived
Status: Completed
Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
Completed: 2017

Programs are available to help communities and workers affected by the phase out of coal-fired electricity generation. For more information visit:

Overview

Under federal regulations, coal-fired electricity generation will be phased out by 2030 and replaced with renewable and natural gas-fired electricity.

Moving to cleaner sources of energy is the right thing to do to protect our health, economy and environment.

We understand this is not an easy time.

The Advisory Panel on Coal Communities met with workers and community members to hear their challenges and ideas for the long-term economic sustainability of their communities. The panel members:

  • examined the potential effect of the retirements of coal-fired generation plants and associated mining operations on communities and workers
  • identified strategies to support worker transition

These meetings helped the panel fully understand the challenges and opportunities communities and workers face to ensure their recommendations respond to concerns and align with community priorities.

Outcomes

The panel submitted their recommendations on an approach to support affected workers and communities.

The 35 recommendations focus on three areas: workers, communities and First Nations.

The government responded to the recommendations with additional supports for affected workers.

Stakeholder and public engagement

The panel held facilitated discussions with stakeholders and First Nations in communities most affected by the retirements of coal-fired generation facilities and associated mining operations. They met with:

  • municipal leaders
  • First Nations
  • community economic development organizations
  • small businesses
  • affected workers in impacted communities

Albertans and stakeholders shared their feedback through an online survey, which closed May 31.

Input from the community discussions and survey informed the panel's final report.

Telephone town halls

Two telephone town halls were held for community members and workers in the coal communities of Hanna, Forestburg, and Leduc and Parkland Counties on Monday, May 15. A total of 2,238 people participated.

Common themes included:

  • support for workers in terms of training, relocation and new job opportunities
  • consideration of miners when mining operations shut down
  • impacts of the coal phase-out on electricity prices
  • the commitments of companies in the off-coal agreements
  • the role and responsibility of the federal government; renewable energy options
  • carbon capture and storage
  • the future of workers' family farms after losing their electricity or mining jobs
  • the sharing of the panel’s report with the public

Listen to the telephone town halls

Coal community visits

Elected officials visited coal communities to meet with workers and community members. These visits complemented the panel's visits and set the stage for the Alberta government to receive the panel's recommendations.

Coal community meeting handout (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Sign up for updates

Enter your name and email address to sign up for monthly updates about the coal transition and supports available.

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

The information collected through the Advisory Panel on Coal Communities page will be used for the purpose of sending you updates on coal transition.

The personal information collection is authorized under section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

If you have any questions about this collection of personal information, you may contact [email protected].

Panel members

The panellists have decades of combined experience working with government and stakeholders to address industry transition in response to economic and sector-based changes.

  • Ritu Khullar, Justice, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
  • Ken Delaney
  • Kerry A. Jothen

Coal in Alberta

Coal-fired electricity generation

Alberta’s electricity sector accounted for 16% of Alberta’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2014. The majority of these emissions were from coal-fired electricity generation. Coal-fired electricity is one of the most emission-intensive forms of electricity generation and one of the highest man-made sources of air pollution. Today, Alberta produces more coal pollution than all other Canadian provinces combined.

It's estimated $10.5 billion in new investment will flow into the provincial economy by 2030, creating at least 7,200 new jobs for Albertans as projects are built.

Government action on coal pollution

Under existing Government of Canada regulations, coal-fired power plants are required to meet strict standards to lower GHG emissions or retire when they reach 50 years of operations. Under these regulations, 12 out of 18 coal-fired generating units in Alberta will retire before 2030.

In addition, in 2016, the federal government announced it is speeding up the end-of-life date for remaining coal plants to 2029. This means an end-of-life date of 2029 for the 6 remaining units in Alberta (Sheerness, Keephills and Genesee).

In 2015 the government announced the elimination of emissions from coal power generation to occur by 2030 and be replaced with natural gas fired electricity and renewable energy.

Coal-fired generators will have to comply with both federal and provincial regulation. This means Alberta’s 6 remaining coal-fired generating units will be phased out and replaced by renewable energy and natural gas-fired electricity, or use technology to produce zero pollution.

Fact Sheet: Phase-out of coal-fired emissions in Alberta

Chart showing the retirement timeline for coal units and associated mines in Alberta