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Industry Profile

Renewable Energy

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan has provided the momentum to push this sector to new heights as the province moves toward renewable energy from sources like wind, solar power, hydro-electric, biomass and geothermal.

The time to grow the renewable energy sector in Alberta has arrived. Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan has provided the momentum to push this sector to new heights as the province moves toward renewable energy from sources like wind, solar power, hydro-electric, biomass and geothermal. Thirty per cent of Alberta’s electricity will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030. Alberta will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity through the Renewable Electricity Program. It's estimated $10.5 billion in new investment will flow into the provincial economy by 2030, creating at least 7,200 new jobs for Albertans as projects are built through this program.

Sub Sectors

Solar Power

Solar power generation in Alberta is largely done on a micro-scale and community-scale basis, however, larger scale projects of up to 15 MW are scheduled to come online by the end of 2017. As Canada’s sunniest province with over 333 days of sunshine a year, Alberta has an abundance of solar resources. Solar power has long been used in the province to power remote monitoring and control systems within the oil and gas industry. Steady cost reductions have now made solar power a very attractive option for systems tied into the grid. Tremendous potential exists for expansion of Alberta’s solar industry into new applications.

Funding has been allocated to provide solar panels on all new build and modernization school projects within the province. Grants for indigenous communities or organizations looking to transition to a lower carbon economy, including the installation of solar panels exists. Farmers, businesses and homeowners can all access incentives to adopt solar photovoltaic systems to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce electrical bills. The Alberta government has made it clear that renewable energy is a top priority for the province.


The Commercial and residential solar program alone, is estimated to support the creation of 900 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province by about half a million tonnes-the equivalent of taking 100,00 passenger vehicles off the road.

For information on solar programs, please visits: https://www.alberta.ca/renewable-electricity-program.aspx 


Alberta is the founder of wind energy in Canada, with over 20 years of experience in the industry and over 1400 megawatts of installed generation capacity. The province’s 901 wind turbines currently make up 6% of Alberta’s total energy generation capacity. Alberta has the third largest installed wind energy capacity in the country, and the industry is set to grow astronomically with Alberta’s commitment to renewable energy. Estimates show that for every 150 MW of new wind energy, there is; $316 million in investment, 140 full time equivalent jobs and 10 permanent jobs in operations. The 65 industries that have been identified in the wind value chain will play a crucial role in developing this industry in Alberta.


Alberta currently has almost 900 MW of installed capacity for hydroelectricity split amongst 9 units. The largest hydroelectric dam in Alberta is Brazeau Hydroelectric Dam on the North Saskatchewan River in Drayton Valley at 350 MW. Hydroelectricity makes up 6 per cent of Alberta’s total installed capacity. The Canadian Hydro Association estimates that there are 11,500 MW of remaining economic hydro potential including both reservoir and run of the river projects.


Alberta has a long history of supporting biomass produced electricity and biofuels. The installed capacity for biomass in Alberta is currently just over 400 MW, which makes up approximately 2.5 per cent of the total installed capacity. Alberta has 20 million tonnes of annual waste in potential biomass feedstock, creating a massive amount of untapped resources.

Related Content

Related Content


Renewable Electricity Program - https://www.aeso.ca/market/renewable-electricity-program/
The Renewable Electricity Program will solicit investment to add 5000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.


Bio Future Product & Tech. Commercialization - http://bio.albertainnovates.ca/funding/abf/product-and-technology-commercialization/
Funding is available for taking a new bio-product to commercialization – from $250,000 to $1 million in assistance.


Alberta bio-industrial opportunities - http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/All/bt14861
This area of Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides business development and technical services for businesses involved in bio-based innovation, development and commercialization.


Business energy efficiency program - https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/business-non-profit-and-institutional/
Rebates for efficient lighting, HVAC and water heating equipment.


Residential and commercial solar program - https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/solar/
The Residential and Commercial Solar Program offers rebates to homeowners, businesses and non-profits that install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.


Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) - https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-investor-tax-credit.aspx
AITC is a tax credit for investor to encourage investment in non-traditional sectors.


Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) - https://www.alberta.ca/capital-investment-tax-credit.aspx
CITC is a tax credit to encourage manufacturing, processing and tourism infrastructure companies to make capital investment in Alberta.


Growing Forward 2 - http://www.growingforward.alberta.ca/AboutGrowingForward/index.htm?contentId=CDF_ABT_GF2&useSecondary=true
A $3 billion dollar government investment focused on innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agriculture sectors.


Alberta Municipal Solar Program - http://www.mccac.ca/programs/AMSP
This program provides financial rebates to Alberta municipalities that install photovoltaic systems that are greater than or equal to 2 kilowatts and less than or equal to 1 megawatt on municipal land or facilities.


On Farm Solar program - http://www.growingforward.alberta.ca/Programs/index.htm?contentId=ON_FARM_SOLAR_PRG&useSecondary=true&active=no
The program provides funding towards installation of solar photovoltaic systems on Alberta farms.


Alberta’s Wind Turbine Technician Program - https://www.lethbridgecollege.ca/program/wind-turbine-technician
This Lethbridge College program provides graduates with the education to work with, service and maintain wind turbines to provide the industry with a constant source of new graduates to work on local or international wind projects.

Policy & Legislation

Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan - https://www.alberta.ca/climate-leadership-plan.aspx
Alberta’s plan to take action on climate change and protect the province’s health, environment and economy.


Canadian Solar Industries Association - http://www.cansia.ca/
An industry association promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of solar energy across Canada.


Canadian Wind Energy Association - http://canwea.ca/
An industry association that promotes the responsible and sustainable growth of the wind energy industry in Canada.


Municipal Climate Change Action Centre - http://mccac.ca
MCCAC provides funding, technical assistance, and education to support Alberta municipalities in addressing climate change.


Holly Driscoll, Senior Director, Environmental and Renewable Industries Unit
E-mail: holly.driscoll@gov.ab.ca
Phone: 780-427-6643