Alberta hamstrings renewables sector with rules not required for other industries

Renewables lower electricity bills and bring jobs and revenue to rural Alberta

February 28, 2024
Media Release
Road leading to a gas plant blocking the view of Alberta's mountains

A gas plant blocking Alberta's "pristine viewscapes." Photo:

EDMONTON — JASON WANG, Senior Analyst at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Government of Alberta introducing new rules governing renewable energy development:

“Restrictions announced today on the renewable energy sector are patently unfair, targeting a key industry that supports reliable and affordable electricity.

“These restrictions – that do not apply to other industries or land uses – will lead to fewer projects, slow the growth of clean and inexpensive electricity, and curtail an otherwise reliable and growing source of municipal tax revenue.

“It further takes the choice of land development away from landowners. Landowners in affected areas can no longer invite a renewable energy project on their land, maximizing their potential revenue, if their land falls under these new land restrictions. 

“No other land use in Alberta is subject to a ban on certain classes of agricultural lands, or not allowed to develop if they are within a 35 km radius of a protected area – a zone that could cover up to 76% of southern Alberta. Alberta’s conventional oil and gas industry has no requirement for mandatory reclamation security and the government has yet to commit to addressing the liabilities in that sector, which are 115 times greater than the renewables sector.

“Renewable energy has been an Alberta success story. The province has seen the fastest growth in the country with 92% of new capacity installed last year. It is the lowest-cost form of electricity and saves Albertan households hundreds of dollars per year. Proposed projects waiting to be built would bring in $36 billion of investments and $277 million in annual revenue for municipalities by 2028 if allowed to proceed. Creating these unfair restrictions and hurdles for the renewable energy sector means industry will be taking their investments, and the job opportunities that accompany this, to other provinces and U.S. states that are not impeding renewable energy growth.

“The Government of Alberta has firmly chosen more expensive energy for Albertans with today’s announcement and takes Alberta in the opposite direction of global energy trends, which includes a commitment to triple renewable energy growth by 2030. 

“The Pembina Institute will be assessing how many proposed projects will be impacted by these changes, analyzing what this means for potential jobs, municipal revenue, and costs to Albertans' electricity bills.”



Courtney Smith
Senior Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Is Alberta’s Renewable Energy Industry Being Treated Fairly? How to assess the outcome of the Alberta Utilities Commission inquiry into the ongoing economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation

Report: Investment Impact of Alberta’s Renewable Energy Moratorium: Renewable energy projects factsheet

Infographic: Alberta’s Clean Energy Future: Municipal Renewable Tax Revenue at Risk?

Report: Zeroing In: Pathways to an affordable net-zero grid in Alberta

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