Energy Environment

Alberta province will see the fastest growth in renewable energy capacity as it phases out coal-fired energy, says report

Alberta Province is the biggest oil-producing region in Canada. As governments phase out coal combustion to produce electricity, the province is set to shift to cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, wind, and solar energy. According to a Canada Energy Regulator report, between 2018 and 2023, the grassland region will see the fastest growth in green energy.

By 2023, green energy sources will constitute twenty-six percent of the province’s electricity supply, a surge from sixteen percent in 2017. Saskatchewan province, which has more green energy capacity than Alberta, will record thirty percent renewable energy capacity a shoot from twenty-five percent in 2017.

The two Prairie provinces are replacing fossil fuels with low carbon energy sources such as Photovoltaic arrays, offshore and onshore wind farms, and natural gas. According to the forecast dubbed “Canada’s Renewable Power,” Alberta green energy sector will add approximately 2,000 megawatts (MW) of energy between 2017 and 2023. Saskatchewan, on the other hand, will accumulate an additional 587MW between that time.

Although the growth rate is expected to slow down from 2018 to 2023 compared to the rate from 2010 to 2017, Canada’s green energy capacity will hit a seventy percent high by 2023. This value is estimated at one hundred and six thousand and twenty-seven (106027) MW. As of 2018, the country’s renewables capacity was at sixty-seven percent. The report estimates the renewable energy sector’s growth to drop to 1.3 percent between 2018 and 2023, from a 2.9 percent high recorded between 2010 and 2017.

While the two savannah provinces have been known for fossil fuels, government projections indicate a significant shift to cleaner energy. “When people think about the prairies, many of them think about fossil fuels. Interestingly, our projections show they are actually now leading the way in renewable energy growth. At the same time, national levels will slow in the next three years,” said Darren Christie, chief economist at Canadian Energy Regulator.

A significant amount of electricity supplied by the Canadian grid comes from hydroelectric power plants in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec provinces. Canada is upholding its carbon emission reduction pledge by expanding its clean energy capacity and ditching fossil fuels. A hard decision seeing the North American country is one of the significant producers of oil and gas.

In 2018, Canada produced about 426,000 gigawatts-hours of electricity from renewables, contributing about sixty-seven percent of power to the national electricity grid. The country is the eighth largest renewable energy generator among the thirty-seven Organization for Economic, Cooperation, and Development (OECD) members.

Other provinces such as Ontario have been at the forefront of ditching coal plants to contribute to the country’s ambition to become carbon-zero by midcentury. “There is a bit of a passing of the baton from Ontario to Alberta and Saskatchewan,” added Christie.