Alberta’s power needs can be met entirely on renewable energy, even if electricity consumption doubles over the next 20 years, says a new report released by the Pembina Institute Wednesday.
The report says Alberta can harness the green energy with “proven technologies” that are already in use in the province and elsewhere.
Alberta also has the worst polluting electrical system in the country with coal-fired power plants making up 23 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions, said the report.
And the province has a chance to create new jobs in the renewable energy sector while ending its demand on “dirty” energy sources, the report said.
“We did the math on it and we found out there is much more renewable potential to power the entire province,” said report co-author Tim Wells in an interview with Metro Wednesday.
Wells says the province can make the suggestion in the report a reality based on what other countries have already done.
“There is more here than just wind, much more resource than we ever need to power Alberta,” said Wells.
Jason Chance, a spokesman with Alberta’s energy ministry, says powering the entire province on just renewable energy is unrealistic.
“To meet the future needs of the province, we’ll need to have a mix of both renewables and non-renewables,” said Chance.
“That is the most cost-effective way of providing reliable electricity service to Albertans.”
Energy Minister Mel Knight, who is on a trip in London promoting Alberta’s energy sector, was unavailable for comment.
The government has announced billions of dollars in spending towards carbon capturing technologies to help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Wells says the province must focus on renewable energy, rather than adding to its “brown” electricity supply system.
“It would be very prudent to invest an equal or greater amount in renewable energy and efficient technologies that don’t produce this pollution in the first place,” said Wells.