Alberta entrepreneurs oppose expedited phase-out of coal generated electricity

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Survey data today that shows Alberta’s entrepreneurs oppose plans to accelerate the phase-out of all coal generated electricity. This follows reaction from Alberta’s Environment Minister to the federal government’s intention to eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity nationally by 2030. 

Coal generated electricity has historically been Alberta’s main source of power. Under existing federal rules, two-thirds of the province’s 18 coal-fired power plants are scheduled to be retired by 2030. 

However, the Alberta and now federal government are moving ahead with plans to phase-out all coal generated electricity by 2030, and in turn, many people are concerned it will mean added costs for taxpayers, job losses, and higher electricity bills for small and medium-sized business. 

Business owners across Alberta were asked: Should the Alberta Government phase-out all coal generated electricity by 2030 in order to transition to renewable energy?




 This survey was conducted from June 1st to July 15 2016. There were 656 responses from Alberta businesses. 

Background: Coal has traditionally been Alberta’s main source of electricity. Under existing federal regulations, coal-fired power plants must meet greenhouse gas emission standards or retire when they reach 50 years of operation. This means 12 of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired generating plants are scheduled to be retired by 2030. Some suggest the Alberta Government should phase out all coal generated electricity by 2030 in order to transition to renewable energy. Doing so would require that the remaining 6 plants shut down early, which may incur additional costs to government. 

Supporters say: It would reduce the amount of air pollution and improve air quality and health; Environmental leadership would give Alberta the credibility needed to attract investment in its renewable resources.                                                                    

Opponents say: It would lead to higher electricity rates as renewable resources (e.g. wind and solar) are more costly and often unreliable; People working in the coal mining and energy industry will lose their jobs.