Alberta pledges support for new renewable energy
September 15, 2016
By Maria Church
Sept. 15, 2016 - The Alberta government announced Tuesday a firm target of 30 per cent of electricity used in the province will come from renewable sources by 2030.
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, said to achieve the 30 by ’30 goal, the government will support 5,000 megawatts of new renewable energy in the province.
“Growing our renewables sector is a transformational opportunity for Alberta to become a more energy-efficient, lower-carbon province,” Phillips said in a news release. “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.”
The ministry estimates that the commitment will amount to at least $10.5 billion in new investment by 2030, which will translate to at least 7,200 jobs from new projects.
“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,” Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy, said in the release. “At the end of the day, our approach will encourage a more diversified electricity system while creating new, green jobs for Albertans.”
To meet the target, the province has created a Renewable Electricity Program. 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
More details about the program are expected to be released later this year.
The province is also working to improve its rules around smaller-scale electricity generation, including micro-generation. According to the release, the government is engaging expert stakeholders on ways to make it easier for individuals and communities to create their own renewable energy.
Alberta’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel, led by Dr. David Wheeler, is developing 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.
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