Solar PV near Coronation, Alberta. Photo: Lee Todd, Pembina Institute CALGARY — Paired with battery storage and energy efficiency, electricity from solar and wind is now capable of generating electricity with the same reliability and lower cost than gas plants, even in Alberta where natural gas is relatively inexpensive. That is the finding of new research released today by the Pembina Institute, a national, non-partisan think tank that advocates for effective policies to support Canada’s transition to clean energy. Pembina found that clean energy portfolios — which include solar, wind, battery storage, energy efficiency and demand flexibility — provide the same services as new gas plants even in peak demand scenarios. Pembina says this economic analysis is especially critical at a time when governments are preparing to replace polluting coal plants, or to meet changing demands of the electricity system, and are choosing between high- and low-carbon options. The study was conducted in Alberta, which has comparatively low natural-gas costs, and offers strong support to the oil and gas industry. Researchers also took into consideration Alberta’s abundant renewable energy resources. The analysis, which uses modelling provided by the Rocky Mountain Institute, shows that when the lifetime output from portfolios […]

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