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

Publication - Feb. 15, 2024 - By Jason Wang, Courtney Smith, Scott MacDougall

On February 29, 2024, Alberta’s seven-month moratorium on renewable energy development is scheduled to end. The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is expected to make recommendations to the Government of Alberta about land impact issues including land use, reclamation, and “pristine viewscapes.”

While Pembina Institute supports the responsible development of natural resources, we hold the position that the unprecedented moratorium itself unfairly targeted the renewable energy industry. We are looking forward to seeing evidence that the renewable energy sector, landowners, and communities who wish to benefit from this form of economic development are being treated consistently and fairly with other Alberta land uses. Following the moratorium, the renewable energy sector should not be subjected to stricter rules than other land uses that have a larger impact on the values mentioned.

When the renewable energy moratorium ends, the Pembina Institute will be evaluating if the Government of Alberta has made reasonable changes. We will consider the fairness of the outcomes in relation to its management of other sectors that are already having a demonstrably larger impact, through the following criteria:

  • Companies' ability to develop projects with willing landowners.
  • Reclamation security requirements.
  • Municipal government approval and objections from adjacent landowners, corporate interests and members of the public.
  • Pristine viewscapes.
  • Access to lands held by the Crown in Right of Alberta.
  • Access to the grid.
  • Access to Alberta’s unique open market.

A fair outcome is critical for all Albertans to be able to maximize the opportunities in the global transition to a clean economy. 


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