On November 22, 2015, Alberta announced its climate leadership plan. The plan states that:
• Alberta will phase out all coal-fired electricity generation in the province by 2030.
• Approximately 1/3 of this capacity will be replaced with natural gas, and 2/3 with renewables (up to 30% of Alberta’s total production).
• In the interim, Alberta will impose a carbon tax of $20 a tonne in 2017, $30 a tonne in 2018, and increasing in real terms after that. For the electricity sector, this will apply to coal-fired emissions above what Alberta’s cleanest natural gas-fired plan would emit for the same amount of electricity production.
In November, 2016, the Government of Alberta announced the first competition for new renewable energy development will begin in early 2017 with the successful bidders awarded at the end of 2017. It will be for up to 400 MW of renewable energy. The Government of Alberta also announced major changes to the electricity system. This includes:
• An electricity price ceiling of 6.8 cents/KWh from June 2017 until June 2021
• Partial re-regulation of the Alberta energy market (details TBA)
• Introduction of a capacity market (paired with the existing generation market), to encourage development of renewable generation. The market will be in place by 2021.
• Plan to introduce Bill 34, the Electric Utilities Amendment Act, would allow the Balancing Pool to borrow money from the province to manage its funding obligations. This change, in conjunction with Ministerial Orders that allow the Balancing Pool to smooth price volatility over a longer period of time, would support electricity costs remaining low and stable.