Media release from the Pembina Institute:
January 14, 2009 – Alberta’s growing demand for electricity can be entirely met by tapping into the province’s vast renewable energy resources, thus painting Alberta’s brown electricity supply system green and creating new jobs and opportunities in the clean energy industries of the future.
The Pembina Institute report, Greening the Grid: Powering Alberta’s Future with Renewable Energy, presents a comprehensive analysis of Alberta’s power production and energy efficiency opportunities that demonstrates the dominant role that renewable energy and improved efficiency can play in seriously reducing pollution and meeting future power demand.
“This is quite exciting. Our research confirms Alberta could dramatically diversify its electricity supply system, cut pollution and diversify the economy at the same time,” says Marlo Raynolds, the Pembina Institute’s Executive Director.
Today Alberta has the most polluting electricity system in Canada, with coal-fired power plants accounting for 23 per cent of Alberta’s greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. With the demand for electricity set to double in the next 20 years the most polluting electricity system in Canada could get twice as bad.
The Pembina analysis of green electricity scenarios released today clearly demonstrates Alberta has incredible potential to become a leader in green power production and energy efficiency and doesn’t have to rely on dirty fuels.
The report’s conservative analysis assesses how today’s proven renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and Alberta’s vast renewable energy resource can meet increasing power demand.
The report outlines two green scenarios. One is a “pale green” scenario that relies on renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet all new growth in Alberta’s electricity supply with clean technologies. The other, a more aggressive “green” scenario, shows that Alberta could go from 70 per cent coal to 70 per cent renewable energy and energy efficiency in just 20 years.
“The Government of Alberta has placed huge emphasis on carbon capture and storage and plans to spend $2 billion to subsidize coal-fired power and oil sands companies to reduce their pollution,” notes Tim Weis, Director of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
“To responsibly meet future power demand in Alberta it would be very prudent to invest an equal or greater amount in renewable energy and efficiency technologies that don’t produce this pollution in the first place,” says Weis.
The scenarios include a portfolio of proven clean energy and energy efficiency technologies that operate from the micro scale to large scale.
Download the full report – Greening the Grid.