Renewable and Alternative Energy

 Reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable and alternative energy sources are key components of the Climate Leadership Planexternal link icon. To help achieve these goals, the government launchedexternal link iconthe Renewable Electricity Programexternal link icon, which will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030 and puts Alberta on a path to achieve a target of 30 per cent renewable energy by that time. The program consists of several stages to bring on line renewable electricity with bidders selected by a competitive process conducted by the Alberta Electric System Operatorexternal link icon. On December 13, 2017, the successful bidders of the first round were announced to add approximately 600 megawatts of renewable electricity at the lowest cost to consumers — enough to power up to 255,000 homes. The competition set a record for lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.

The next two rounds of the program were announcedon February 5, 2018. The second round of competition will see companies partner with Indigenous communities to provide 300 megawatts of renewable power while the third round will add about 400 megawatts of renewable electricity and follow the same open competition format as round one. Competition for the second and third rounds is now open.

The need to develop these resources will continue as demand for energy rises in Alberta. Since 1996, peak demand has increased by over 4,000 megawatts (MW), and the population has increased by 1.3 million. Both are expected to rise even more in the years to come.

Alberta’s Renewable Fuels Standardexternal link icon(RFS) requires commercial fuel producers to blend renewable products into their fuels, the program along with forms and reportsexternal link iconis available on the Environment and Parks website.

Differences between Renewable and Alternative Energy

Renewable energy comes from a source that is naturally occurring and replenishes after use.

  • biomass (biological sources) to produce bioenergy
  • geothermal
  • hydro
  • solar
  • wind

Alternative energy comes from non-renewable resources, but produces fewer emissions than conventional energy.

  • natural gas cogeneration
  • fuel cells
  • use of waste energy
  • electricity and natural gas used for transportation               

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