During the Speech from the Throne on March 3, the Alberta government announced plans to create an alternative and renewable energy framework.
According to the speech, the government will develop a framework that will ‘diversify’ the province's energy mix and ’empowers consumers to exercise choice within the market-based electricity system.’ However, the speech offered no details.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has welcomed the announcement. The group says a renewables framework would be a first for the province and present opportunities to make Alberta a more competitive destination for wind energy investment. The new framework also would support improvements to the electricity system that help the province meet environmental and economic priorities, the group adds.
"Wind energy is an established and growing player in the Alberta electricity market, providing clean and renewable electricity to complement conventional energy sources," says CanWEA President Robert Hornung. "It is encouraging to hear of the importance that the Government of Alberta places on further diversifying the electricity grid, and the province's immense, yet largely untapped, wind resources could play a key role."
CanWEA says Alberta is well positioned to take advantage of its significant wind energy resource, given the province's skilled trades and the experience of independent power producers. The province is currently home to about 1.12 GW of installed wind capacity.
Hornung adds that CanWEA looks forward to being an active participant and playing a significant role as the renewables framework evolves and moves forward.
"We intend to remind Albertans how wind energy is poised and ready to provide substantial amounts of new clean electricity, contribute to rural economic development and significantly reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions across the broader electricity sector," he says.