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For the first time, Alberta did not need coal for its electricity

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar15,2024

For the first time, Alberta did not did not need coal for its electricity

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Alberta's last coal-fired power plants will be converted to natural gas by the end of the year.


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A first in Alberta this month last. For a few hours, the province did not need coal for its electricity, whereas less than a decade ago, more than half of the electricity consumed came from coal-fired power stations.

This first took place on February 2, according to data from the provincial electricity distribution network manager (AESO).

On that day, For eleven hours, Alberta's electricity grid was not powered by the province's two still-open coal-fired power plants.

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A similar situation took place in March, according to Blake Shaffer, a University of Calgary economist specializing in the electricity market in Alberta.

For him, this is an important step in Alberta's energy transition. He recalls that the province has long been dominated technically and politically by coal.

In 2015, when the Notley government announced its goal of getting rid of coal by 2030, the industry protested that it was impossible, he argues.

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I think everyone agreed that phasing out [coal] by 2030 would be a real challenge, and yet here we are.

A quote from Blake Shaffer, Professor of Economics, University of Calgary

Natural gas has replaced coal as the province’s primary energy source. Some coal plants have been converted to gas plants, while others have been closed and replaced with new natural gas plants.

L& #x27;increasing use of renewable energies has also made it possible to get there.

By 2024, more than 16% of the province's electricity came from renewable sources, according to AESO.

Coal phase-out is ahead of schedule The remaining coal-fired plants, Genesee 1 and Genesee 2, located west of Edmonton, are expected to be converted to gas-fired plants by the end of the year .

A dual-fuel plant, which can burn both natural gas and coal, will remain open after that point, but Blake Shaffer believes the The objective of moving away from coal will nevertheless be achieved.

It is more than likely that it uses gas, he says. It may deplete some coal stocks, but it is certain that coal is no longer being mined specifically for this plant.

With information from Robson Fletcher

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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