The province says it is aiming to replace two-thirds of coal-generated electricity with renewables – primarily wind power – while natural gas generation continues to provide base load reliability. By 2030, renewable energy sources will comprise up to 30% of Alberta's electricity production. According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), that compares to 9% today.
"Responding to climate change is about doing what's right for future generations of Albertans – protecting our jobs, health and the environment," says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in a press release. "It will help us access new markets for our energy products, and diversify our economy with renewable energy and energy efficiency technology. Alberta is showing leadership on one of the world's biggest problems, and doing our part."
CanWEA says that although Alberta's new renewable energy targets are ambitious, they are achievable and can be met while maintaining a reliable electricity grid.
"Wind energy is one of the most cost-competitive ways to generate new electricity in Alberta, and Alberta is wise to draw on its tremendous wind energy resources to help replace coal-fired electricity in the province," comments CanWEA President Robert Hornung, in a press release.
"Alberta has said it will use an auction process to bring new renewable energy online, and such competitive processes have been used successfully in many Canadian jurisdictions," notes Hornung. "Experience has shown that these processes are intensively competitive and ensure that ratepayers receive the lowest-cost power."
Other measures of Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan include broad programs to improve energy efficiency, support green technological innovations and reduce methane.
Photo courtesy of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's Twitter page