Renewable and Alternative Energy
Reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable and alternative energy sources are key components of the Climate Leadership Plan . To help achieve these goals, the government launched the Renewable Electricity Program , the program 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 Operator . 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, or enough to power up to 255,000 homes. The competition set a record for lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada.
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 Standard (RFS) requires commercial fuel producers to blend renewable products into their fuels, the program along with forms and reports is 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
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
What we’re doing now
- Renewable and alternative energy programs provide development opportunities for forestry and agriculture sectors.
- Alberta has 20 million tonnes of annual waste in potential feedstock. Emerging technologies have the potential to convert this waste to bioenergy products, including renewable fuels.
- Alberta is also home to the world’s first waste-to-biofuels facility. The facility is owned and operated by Enerkem and converts solid municipal waste into biofuels and bio-chemicals.
- News Release, Strong investor interest in renewables program
- Bioenergy sources from biomass (Natural Resources Canada)
- Bioenergy projects map (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry)
- Advanced Biofuels Canada
- Geothermal gradient map under the Geothermal Regime in Western Canada section (Alberta Geological Survey under the AER)
- Canadian Hydro potential and capacity (Canadian Hydropower Association)
- Alberta Solar Systems map (Solar Energy Society of Alberta)
- Wind energy in Alberta (Canadian Wind Energy Association)