Coal phase-out plan up in the air amid election campaign

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Communities and enterprises affected by Alberta’s coal phase out will be watching election upshots closely Tuesday, wondering what the results will mean for an persistence already in transition.

Under the current NDP plan, coal-generated power is to be insinuated out entirely by 2030.

The UCP’s platform, meanwhile, doesn’t mention anything about remove out coal.

Instead, it intends to introduce stringent emissions targets that could vigour some plants to close or switch to a cleaner fuel to remain worthwhile.

Even if a new government removes the 2030 coal phase-out date, there are tranquillity federal phase-out dates.

“As long as at least the Trudeau government is in function, our coal plants would still be affected by the federal 2030 deadline,” UCP Chief Jason Kenney told journalists at a press conference where he disenthraled his party’s full platform.

That means 12 of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired power instills — which, combined, produce half of Alberta’s electricity — will be mask down in the next decade. The end-of-life dates for the remaining six range from 2036 to 2061.

Hanna, Alta., a community northeast of Calgary, is composed to Westmoreland’s Sheerness coal mine.

The mine employs about 100 people, while the the coal-fired fervency plant, owned jointly by ATCO and Transalta Utilities, employes another 100 people.

The bed out is scheduled to transition to natural gas generation.

Coal phase-out plan up in the air amid election campaign

Phasing out coal and converting the within reach power plant will cost the town of Hanna about 150 nuisances, says Mayor Chris Warwick. (Mark Matulis/CBC)

Phasing out coal and proselytizing the plant will cost the town about 150 jobs, judgements Mayor Chris Warwick.

“These are very well paid crimes,” Warwick told CBC. “That’s significant. That’s probably the equivalent of around 75,000 professions in Calgary, if you want to put it into perspective.”

Westmoreland did not respond to CBC’s interview solicitation. TransAlta said it would not comment at this time.

Hanna has already admitted funding from the province, about $70,000, to develop new agribusiness casts and to build seniors facilities to encourage people to retire in the town.

Warwick voiced some funding has been denied. Other funding was in the works, but did not get approved in the presence of the writ dropped. He is worried about what that could contemptible under the next government.

“I’m very concerned that whoever is the next regime, if it isn’t the NDP, they can just easily say to us: ‘Oh, we didn’t make these decisions, so we don’t fundamental to do anything for you,'” Warwick told CBC.

Hanna isn’t alone in its concerns. Wabamun and Leduc County order also lose hundreds of jobs as coal is phased out.

Renewable forcefulness

Coal phase-out plan up in the air amid election campaign

Solar panels generate power at Edmonton’s Queen Elizabeth Spacy School. (CBC)

Renewable energy companies are also wondering what thinks fitting happen next. The NDP has buoyed the industry with its commitment to have 30 per cent of tenseness generation from renewables by 2030.

“The policies of the Notley government have assuredly been good for the renewable energy industry in Alberta,” said Dan Balaban, president and CEO of Greengate Power, a Calgary-based actors with solar and wind farms in central and southern Alberta.

“Remaining the last four years, Alberta went from being a comparatively unrecognized market to one of the most exciting renewable energy markets in North America.”

The NDP’s renewable fervency program encouraged growth in the sector, allowing private companies to bid on layouts to generate for the Alberta Electric System Operator.

When those liquidate and solar farms start generating power, they will do it on a 20-year roll oneself at a guaranteed rate.

Any difference will be paid to the company through a renewable determination credit, which is funded by the carbon tax. The first projects under the renewable verve program are scheduled to come on line in late 2019.

In its platform, the UCP says it pleasure cancel the renewables program after the third round of project funding is terminated, instead favouring a “market-driven approach” to renewables.

That wouldn’t unavoidably spell the end of the renewables industry in Alberta. However, Balaban is hoping the next regulation will make decisions quickly to avoid leaving the industry halt.

“Costs have continued to come down and renewables are now at the point that they go sense on a free-market basis,” said Balaban.

“What we are really prospecting to see, from whoever forms the next government, is continuation of the free Stock Exchange in Alberta’s power sector, continuation of our commitment to phase out our coal-fired ardour and certainty around a price for carbon.”

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