Within 20 years, Alberta has the potential to drastically reduce its reliance on fossil fuels for power generation and replace it with renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal energy, according to a new report by Clean Energy Canada and the Pembina Institute.
New modeling conducted for the report, titled ‘Power To Change: How Alberta Can Green its Grid and Embrace Clean Energy,’ also shows that increasing clean electricity production will actually cost consumers less in the long run than continuing to rely so heavily on coal or natural gas combustion.
The report finds that a large-scale shift to clean energy would slightly increase the average price paid for electricity in the near term (6.3% by 2023). Soon after, however, the price difference would begin to shrink and ultimately head in the opposite direction. By the year 2033, the report says the cost of power would be 4% lower than it would be if the province opted to continue to rely on carbon-based generation. The clean energy scenarios could also provide greater security for consumers against unexpected fuel price shocks, the report adds.
"Polling tells us that the vast majority of Albertans are ready to reduce their reliance on coal power and transition to a renewable energy future. Now we know that a wholesale energy transformation is not only technically possible, but that in the long run, it will actually save Albertans money," says Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada.