The Canadian province of Alberta says it plans to install 5,000 MW of renewable energy, including wind and solar, to meet a new clean energy target of 30% by 2030.
“Growing our renewables sector is a transformational opportunity for Alberta to become a more energy-efficient, lower-carbon province,” said Shannon Phillips, minister of environment and parks and minister responsible for the climate change office. “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.”
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,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, minister of energy. “At the end of the day, our approach will encourage a more diversified electricity system while creating new, green jobs for Albertans.”
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 meet the following criteria:
- Based in Alberta;
- New or expanded;
- 5 MW or greater in size; and
- Meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources.
The program will be based on recommendations provided to the government by AESO. The government is now working with AESO on detailed program design and remains on target to release details of the program in the coming months.
“Alberta’s new target of 30 percent of electricity coming from renewables within 14 years is achievable,” stated Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. “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.”