The province announced its next steps in a long-term plan for renewable power on Tuesday and hopes to have 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030.

The Renewable Electricity Program (REP) is supported by revenues from the Climate Leadership Plan’s carbon pricing and fosters further partnerships with industry and Indigenous communities.

About 10 per cent of Alberta’s electricity currently comes from renewable energy and the program hopes to strengthen the province’s position as a leader in renewable energy.

Officials say the program set records in the first round of competition for the lowest renewable electricity prices in Canada and that all rounds of the program are required to use existing and planned transmission or distribution infrastructure.

Alberta and international companies invested $1 billion in the first round of competition, which is expected to create about 740 jobs.

Another $1.2 billion in private investment was brought forward in the second and third round of competition and officials say that will create about 1000 jobs.

The latest phase of the project includes plans for Indigenous participation to develop 1500 megawatts of power, which is enough to provide electricity to more than 700,000 homes.

“One of the things that investors tell us, one of the things that power companies tell us, and communities tell us, is they, I want that investor certainty over the long-term and so that’s what we’ve identified today. The other big piece is we’ve responded to Indigenous communities, to leaders, to elders and to Indigenous business interests who have asked us to specifically identify how many megawatts are in play for Indigenous benefit agreements and we’ve done that as well today,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks.

The REP program hopes to achieve the following goals by 2030:

  • 5,000 megawatts of green generation
  • $10 billion in new private investment
  • Creation of 7,000 jobs

AESO, the Alberta Electric System Operator, has been asked to compile recommendations for a fourth renewable electricity auction to add up to 400 megawatts to the system.

UCP Leader Jason Kenney has said that his party would not subsidize solar or wind energy and that he would repeal the carbon tax if elected.

The NDP says that’s a step in the wrong direction.

“I think that Albertans expect their leaders to be open to new economic opportunities, to make sure that we are taking advantage of diversification opportunities. I think that Albertans expect their leaders to understand renewables and I also think Albertans expect their leaders not to pedal YouTube conspiracy theories and dress that up as policy,” said Phillips.

Provincial officials say the need to develop renewable resources will continue as demand for energy rises in the years to come.

For more information on Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program, click HERE.