The Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) was implemented in Alberta to reduce carbon emissions. However, two components of this plan, the coal phase-out and the installation of 5,000 MW of renewable energy, could impact the economy in the province by producing changes to the demand of natural gas through the installation of natural gas based capacity.
The results of this study suggest that the coal-phase out encourages the increase of natural gas demand, but the installation of renewables works in the opposite direction. Overall there is an increase in natural gas-fired generation but this is reduced the more aggressive are the policies to expand the use of renewables. Given the larger investment and employment impacts associated with increases in natural gas based generation compared to that for renewables, this factor should be taken into account in setting renewable energy policy goals.