Alberta Considers Renewable Energy Along with a Lobby for Keystone

Alberta Considers Renewable Energy Along with a Lobby for Keystone

Alberta Considers Renewable Energy Along with a Lobby for Keystone

Alberta is considering encouraging the use of renewable energy to lessen carbon dioxide emission as it pushes for the approval of US officials of the Keystone XL pipeline of TransCanada Corp.

Alberta is considering encouraging the use of renewable energy to lessen carbon dioxide emission as it pushes for the approval of US officials of the Keystone XL pipeline of TransCanada Corp.

The officials of the province are discussing with water and wind turbine power producing companies of ways to best speed up the development. This is according to Ken Hughes, Energy Minister of Alberta in an interview from his office in Edmonton. He said that the options include policy amendment to increase wind and hydro power capacity as well as the importation of hydroelectric power from Manitoba.

Hughes added that he has posed a challenge to the renewable industry for it to present ideas and proposals that could help in continuing the greening of the grid. They are also receptive to any specific proposals, including policies advancing the use of renewable power.

Alberta is exerting efforts to assure US officials that the province’s attempts to cut carbon dioxide emission are reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Alison Redford, Alberta’s Premier concludes a week-long visit to the US Capital to lobby for the TransCanada Corp.’s keystone XL pipeline, which would transport bitumen from Alberta’s deposits of oil-sands to refineries on the Golf Coast of America. The $5.3 billion venture is being review by the State Department of the United States because the project is expected to traverse an international border.

Companies supplying wind turbines and hydro power equipment that will benefit from this move of Alberta are Vestas Wind System of Denmark, General Electric Co., and Alstom SA of France.

According to Pembina Institute, an environmental consultancy and research group based in Calgary Alberta, Canada’s western province is the fourth most densely-populated. It is accountable for one third of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, and Alberta’s oil sands are one of the rapidly growing sources.

Cutting down emission from the coal power plants of Alberta by advancing renewable energy is expected to change the impression of Alberta’s attempts to deal with climate change. This is according to the director of climate change of Pembina, Matt Horne.

Horne added that one of the impetuses to this move for Alberta to deal with carbon emission is the pressure on Keystone XL. Coal is largely to blame for the emission problem since the biggest emission sources in Canada are three of Alberta’s coal fired plants. He believes that an action on the level of Ontario’s move to phase-out coal will positively change the public perception.

Alberta in the only Canadian province with an electricity generation system that is deregulated, and power suppliers such as TransAlta Corp. generates power and sells it directly to users. Alberta has not made available any major encouragement and incentive to encourage the development of hydro, solar or wind power facilities. On the other hand, in 2009 Ontario has implemented tariff for a feed-in of renewable energy and also plans to totally abolish power generation from coal.

Although Alberta’s recent reliance on coal for power generation has decreased to 40{82e5879b62f9f0cbb622da6aeaafa5e16d37c32fcd77ff762e12cec7a1007225} compared to 66{82e5879b62f9f0cbb622da6aeaafa5e16d37c32fcd77ff762e12cec7a1007225} of the previous years, the province has shunned from policies offering subsidies and incentives to renewable energy generation.

A spokesperson for 350.org. an environmental group that is against the keystone XL pipeline, Daniel Kessler said that if the provincial government is genuinely sincere about their environmental custodianship they should focus on having oil underground. He added that the government should run after the coal industry since it presents the biggest problem.

Alberta’s solar and wind resources are some of the best in Canada. It ranks third as the region with the most wind generation capacity installed after Quebec and Ontario, as per report of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. Wind power make up 6{82e5879b62f9f0cbb622da6aeaafa5e16d37c32fcd77ff762e12cec7a1007225} of Alberta’s power capacity. Alberta also has an additional 6 gigawatt potential of hydro power output, equivalent to almost 50{82e5879b62f9f0cbb622da6aeaafa5e16d37c32fcd77ff762e12cec7a1007225} of the province’s current power generation capacity, as per report of the provincial government.

The province is imposing a C$15 per ton of carbon emission by large coal energy companies as part of its policy on climate change. Alberta is also investing on two storage and carbon capture project amounting to C$1.3 billion for the removal and burying underground of gas emission produced as fossil fuel is processed.

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