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Alberta pushing hard on renewable energy pedal
by Daniel J. Graeber
Edmonton, Alberta (UPI) Nov 4, 2016

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A competitive bidding process will help draw new investments to Alberta's economy and add momentum to renewable energy goals, its government said.

Alberta's energy ministry said it was looking for investors to provide new electricity from renewable energy resources. Draft commercial terms would come as early as next week and a full bidding process will start next year.

"The program will also complement the coal phase-out to ensure system reliability is maintained at all times," Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said in a statement.

According to a provincial overview of the energy portfolio, coal offers twice the energy potential of other non-renewable resources. The government said the type of coal found in Alberta is low in sulfur and burns "relatively clean" compared with other types of coal found around the world. Nevertheless, Alberta said pollution from coal-fired power will be eliminated by 2030 as natural gas and renewables move in to take the place of coal.

An electricity program for the province aims to draw on enough clean-power resources so that Alberta can meet its target of 30 percent renewables on the grid by 2030.

"Alberta is again leading the way, taking action on reducing emissions while diversifying our economy and creating jobs," Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said.

A five-member task force is working in Alberta to help steer research, development and deployment of technology that could be used to advance a low-carbon economy in Alberta.

The province lies at the heart of the Canadian oil sector and lower crude oil prices have resulted in a 3.7 percent contraction for the provincial economy. The government in September unveiled a $23 million package to help pay for long-term, locally developed projects meant to create jobs and diversify the provincial economy.

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