Dear Premier: Alberta needs a legislated target for renewable energy30 per cent by 2030 law would create jobs, lower costs and increase competition

Oct. 24, 2016

Wind turbines. Photo: David Dodge, Green Energy Futures

CALGARY — A dozen renewable energy companies, industry associations and think-tanks are urging the Alberta government to solidify its commitment to having renewables supply at least 30 per cent of the province’s electricity by 2030.

Today, they released an open letter calling on Premier Rachel Notley, Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd and Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips to enshrine this target in law. The signatories say the certainty of a legislated target will result in more long-term and good-paying jobs, lower costs for renewables and the power system, and a more stable electricity market with increased competition.

“The case for the Alberta government to legislate a firm target to 2030 is a strong one: markets are most efficient where clear signals exist,” the letter states.

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan calls for zero emissions from coal-fired plants by 2030, and for renewable energy — such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydro — to replace two-thirds of the province’s coal generating capacity by the same year. In September, the government announced it will support the addition of 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to back up its commitment to seeing 30 per cent of electricity used in Alberta come from renewable sources by 2030.

As today’s letter notes, a “legislated target would demonstrate smart policymaking and enable Alberta to capture the full benefits from the commitment to renewables.”

Signatories

  • ACCIONA
  • BluEarth Renewables
  • Canadian Geothermal Energy Association
  • Canadian Solar Industries Association
  • Canadian Wind Energy Association
  • Clean Energy Canada
  • GP JOULE
  • Greengate Power
  • Lubicon Solar
  • Pembina Institute
  • Senvion Canada
  • SkyFire Energy

Quotes

“The government has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing Alberta’s electricity system with a target of 30 per cent renewables by 2030, ensuring Alberta benefits from the massive technological and cost improvements we have seen over the past decade to deliver clean, reliable, resilient power to the grid. A legislated target would strengthen that commitment and the market certainty, leading to even lower costs and more jobs for Albertans.”
— Sara Hastings-Simon, Director of the Clean Economy Program, Pembina Institute

“The Alberta government should be commended for its bold vision for renewables. The shift to renewables will provide significant economic and environmental benefits for Albertans. Legislating this target would provide greater certainty that this bold vision and associated benefits are realized.”
— Dan Balaban, President and CEO, Greengate Power

“Decarbonizing and diversifying Alberta’s electricity supply to 30 per cent renewables by 2030 is not only the right thing to do, it is also the sensible thing to do. Renewable energy has never been cheaper. The technology and expertise for reliable system integration has never been more readily available. The need to balance environment and economic development while demonstrating a responsible approach to the development of our abundance of natural resources has never been more front of mind for Canadians. Legislating this target proves that 30 per cent by 2030 is not just a goal that may be achieved, it is a goal that Alberta will achieve.”
— John Gorman, President and CEO, Canadian Solar Industries Association

“The supply chain for geothermal, for the most part, already exists from Alberta’s oil and gas industry. One of the benefits of a legislated target will be attracting new jobs as well as retaining existing expertise in Alberta.”
— Alex Kent, Policy Manager, Canadian Geothermal Energy Association

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Download the open letter: A legislated target for renewable electricity in Alberta

Contact

Sara Hastings-Simon
Director of the Clean Economy Program, Pembina Institute
403-470-0165
sara@pembina.org

Stephen Hui
Communications Lead, Pembina Institute
778-987-7654
stephenh@pembina.org

Background

FAQ: Increasing renewables on Alberta’s power grid

Submission: Modernizing Canada’s electricity systems

Blog: Solar is right where and when you need it

Blog: Cheaper renewables spur companies to buy clean energy directly from producers

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