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 icon the Renewable Electricity Programexternal link icon , 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 Operatorexternal link icon . On December 13, 2017, the successful bidders of the first roundexternal link icon 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 Standardexternal link icon (RFS) requires commercial fuel producers to blend renewable products into their fuels, the program along with forms and reportsexternal link icon 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
  • 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

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.

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