Renewable Energy Industries

The time to grow the renewable energy sector in Alberta has arrived. Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan has provided the momentum to push this sector to new heights as the province moves toward renewable energy from sources like wind, solar power, hydro-electric and biomass.

The Government of Alberta has committed to a firm target of 30% of electricity use in Alberta to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

To help achieve this target, the Government of Alberta supports the Renewable Electricity Program. This program, run by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) which will add 5000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity for Albertans by attracting cost-effective investment that does not impact grid reliability.

The transition to a larger proportion of renewable energy in Alberta’s electricity market offers phenomenal business opportunities.

Wind

Alberta has over 15 years of experience in renewable wind energy with over 1400 megawatts of installed generation capacity. The province’s 958 wind turbines currently make up nine per cent of Alberta’s total energy generation capacity. Alberta has the third largest installed wind energy capacity in the country.

For more information on wind energy in Canada, visit the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

Solar Power

Solar power generation in Alberta is largely done on a micro-scale and community-scale basis, with the largest instillation producing two megawatts. As Canada’s sunniest province with over 333 days of sunshine a year, Alberta has an abundance of solar resources. In fact, Alberta has more sunshine annually than any other province or territory in Canada (312 days). Solar power has long been used in the province to power remote monitoring and control systems within the oil and gas industry. Steady cost reductions have now made solar power a very attractive option for systems tied into the grid. Tremendous potential exists for expansion of Alberta’s solar industry into new applications.

For more information on solar energy in Canada, visit the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA).

Hydro-Electric

Alberta currently has almost 900 MW of installed capacity for hydroelectricity split amongst 9 units. The largest hydroelectric dam in Alberta is Brazeau Hydroelectric Dam on the North Saskatchewan River in Drayton Valley at 350 MW. Hydroelectricity makes up 6 per cent of Alberta’s total installed capacity.

Biomass

The installed capacity for biomass in Alberta is currently just over 400 MW which makes up approximately 2.5 per cent of the total installed capacity.


Contact

Holly Driscoll, Manager, Renewable Energy

Larry Ottewell, Industry Development Officer