Within 20 years, Alberta has the potential to drastically reduce its over-reliance on fossil fuels for power generation and replace it with renewable energy sources such as wind, sun, biomass, hydro and geothermal energy, according to a new report released today by Clean Energy Canada and the Pembina Institute.
New modelling conducted for the report—Power To Change: How Alberta Can Green its Grid and Embrace Clean Energy—also shows that increasing clean electricity production will actually cost consumers less in the long run than continuing to rely so heavily on coal or natural gas combustion.
The report finds that a large-scale shift to clean energy would slightly increase the average price paid for electricity in the near-term (6.3 per cent by 2023). Soon after, however, the price difference would begin to shrink and ultimately head in the opposite direction. By the year 2033, modelling shows, the cost of power would be four per cent lower than it would be if the province opted to continue to rely on carbon-based generation. The clean scenarios could also provide greater security for consumers against unexpected fuel price shocks.
The Pembina Institute and Clean Energy Canada produced Power to Change to inform Albertans that they have the resources, the know-how and the opportunity to become clean energy leaders, and to support the ongoing development of a provincial renewable energy framework.
“Alberta could cut its reliance on high-polluting energy dramatically, but the lack of a renewable policy framework has been a real barrier. The faster we begin that deliberate transition away from over-reliance on fossil fuels, the sooner Albertans will see the benefits of cleaner air, improved health, a more resilient energy system and, ultimately, less pressure on consumers’ electricity bills.”
— Ben Thibault, Electricity Program Director, Pembina Institute
“Polling tells us that the vast majority of Albertans are ready to reduce their reliance on coal power and transition to a renewable energy future. Now we know that a wholesale energy transformation is not only technically possible, but that in the long-run it will actually save Albertans money.”
— Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada
Download the Power to Change media backgrounder [.PDF, 91KB]