Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan calls for the phase-out of coal-fired electricity in the
province by 2030. Renewable power will replace two-thirds of this lost capacity, and 30
per cent of the province’s total installed and generating capacity will be provided by
renewables – also by 2030. As of 2016, coal contributes 39 per cent of Alberta’s power
by installed capacity and 39 by generation share, while renewables contribute 17 and 10,
respectively. 1 To meet the government’s stated objectives, the province’s installed
renewable capacity must grow by almost 150 per cent in just 14 years, while the
generation share from renewables must grow by 400 per cent. Wind, solar, biomass
(biopower), hydro, and geothermal are the candidates to replace this lost coal capacity.
This paper lays out a series of quantitative metrics to test key aspects of each resource’s
economic, environmental, and social feasibility in Alberta, offering comparative analysis
Frank, Brendan. (2016). Keeping the Lights On: Renewable Power in Alberta's Post-Coal Era ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.