Alberta Weighs Legislated Clean Energy Target
The Alberta government is considering legislation to enshrine its nominal target of procuring 30% of the province’s electricity from clean sources by 2030, in line with a suggestion this week in an appeal from a dozen renewable energy companies and associations, Clean Energy Canada, and the Edmonton-based Pembina Institute.
Reuters cites Alberta’s Minister Responsible for the Climate Change, Shannon Phillips, speaking “in response” to the open letter.
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Noting that “the Alberta government is developing implementation mechanisms for [its] Climate Leadership Plan,” the letter stated that “legislated mandates turn informal commitments into formal obligations; any deviation from this commitment will require legislative action to unwind the scheduled increase in renewable energy penetration. This provides much greater certainty and a clear market signal.”
Asserting that “markets are most efficient where clear signals exist,” the organizations say legislating a long-term goal for clean energy penetration in Alberta’s electricity market will deliver a number of benefits. These include a less volatile energy market with increased competition among renewable providers, leading to lower power costs overall, as well as “more stable, long-term, and good paying jobs” for Albertans.
Dribbling out small annual procurements with no long-term commitment—as the province has done so far—translates into a “boom or bust strategy that will limit competition and not lead to lowest-cost renewables,” the groups warn.