Electricity Facts

To reduce emissions and increase the use of renewables to generate electricity in Alberta, the government launchedexternal link icon the Renewable Electricity Programexternal ink icon . This programexternal link icon will add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030 using a competitive process, administered by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), and puts Alberta on a path to achieve a target of 30 per cent renewable energy by that time.

As of August 2015, Alberta has 16,242 megawatts (MW) of installed electricity generation capacity as well as of 26,000 kilometres of transmission lines. Together, this system continuously delivers electricity to homes, farms and businesses in every corner of the province.

In 2015, about 38 per cent of Alberta’s installed electricity generation capacity was from coal and almost 44 per cent from natural gas. Alberta also uses water, wind, biomass and waste heat as forms of electricity generation.

Over 9,000 MW of new generation facilities have been built in Alberta since 1998.

Livestock manure is currently being used for biomass power generation at one facility in Alberta.

Alberta’s micro-generation policy makes it easier for individual Albertans to generate their own environmentally-friendly electricity and allows them to receive credit for any power they don’t use and send to the electricity grid. This gives Albertans more options when it comes to managing their electricity needs.

As of December 2014, Alberta has over 4,600 MW of cogeneration (30 per cent of the total installed generation capacity).  Economically speaking, cogeneration makes considerably more efficient use of an input fuel such as natural gas or biomass to simultaneously generate both electricity and steam/heat for industrial process.  Cogeneration is also environmentally efficient as it substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Access to reliable electricity is important to all Albertans.  It is an essential service and most common type of energy we consume at the individual level as well as in the commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors.  It is the most convenient type of energy we consume in our everyday lives and is the fastest type of energy to supply to consumers.

If you had a lightbulb on the moon, connected to a switch in your home, it would take only 1.3 seconds for that bulb to light up over 380,000 kilometres away.

Much of the electrical terminology used today comes from the names of the scientists who made electric breakthroughs, such as: James Watt, Alessandro Volta, Andre Marie Ampere, and James Joule.