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Flipping the Switch: Policy that Supports Alternative Electricity Production in Alberta

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Alberta’s electricity sector has traditionally relied on coal and natural gas thermal plants to produce electricity. Alberta’s dependence on fossil fuel technology has meant that its electricity sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all other provinces in Canada combined. A shift toward clean electricity substitutes is limited by the competitive market structure of electricity in Alberta, which favours low-cost fossil fuels rather than alternatives. Government policy intervention is required if Alberta wishes to increase its clean electricity uptake in the next 10 years. Three case studies from Ontario, California, and British Columbia are undertaken to evaluate their polices to enhance clean energy investment. Expert interviews are conducted to assess the potential applicability of similar policies in the context of Alberta’s electricity sector. A Clean Electricity Standard that mandates a minimum proportion of clean electricity production is found to be the best of three policy options.
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