Renewable-energy offers viable alternative to power woes

CALGARY, Sept. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, The School of Public Policy with authors G. Kent Fellows, Michal C. Moore and Blake Shaffer released a summary paper, highlighting the challenges of integrating renewable generation in the Alberta electricity market and the planning necessary to integrate it into the existing and future grid system in the province. The government's Climate Leadership Report suggests a target of 30% for renewables. But, is this a desirable approach?

According to Fellows, "Exact targets for renewable generation can often lead to poor outcomes. If we set a target of 30% and commit to doing whatever it takes to get there we could end up spending far too much. We need to focus on re-designing a market that properly values all aspects of electricity generation. The most cost effective approach shouldn't be to choose a specific target for a specific generation capacity (like wind and/or solar) but rather to set up a system that properly rewards the positive aspects of each technology, like low carbon emissions for wind and reliability of natural gas or hydro, while being mindful to appropriately account for costs. These alternatives can be economical, but we need to factor in the costs of back-up generation which will sit idle while the wind is blowing but will be in use when the wind isn't blowing."

Renewable-energy generation and its integration into the power grid are enjoying a growing consensus as to their value and potential performance. It is clear, however, that policy initiatives will not be a sufficient incentive without the interest from investors, landowners, independent power producers and utilities.

The paper can be downloaded at http://www.policyschool.ca/publications/

SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

For further information: Media Contact: Dana Fenech, 403.210.6508, dana.fenech@ucalgary.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ucalgary.ca/policystudies/

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