Accelerated Transition

“At between 7.6 and 9.4 cents per kilowatt hour, Ontario industrial customers were paying more for electricity than any other jurisdiction in North America. Some businesses were reportedly forced to relocate to neighboring provinces and the United States in order to remain competitive.”

Dawn Farrell, President and CEO, TransAlta

Some interest groups are advocating an accelerated shut down of coal plants in Alberta.

There are clear economic risks in accelerating this transition.

Power generation and the supporting infrastructure — as in all capital-intensive resource development industries — will grow in Alberta, requiring long-term vision and billions of dollars in investment in new capacity to replace old plants.

In Ontario, where the provincial government in the 1990s ordered the closure of all coal plants by 2007 (and revised that closure date several times), the clear evidence is that consumer costs rose dramatically.

Phasing out coal earlier than planned under current federal and provincial timetables is likely to have implications on consumer pricing, future asset investments and Alberta’s economic growth.

These are trade-offs that need to be carefully considered, with a full appreciation of the impact on jobs and Alberta’s economy.

TransAlta and others continue to invest in power infrastructure. We are already investing in energy efficiency, research and development and innovation, because that will help us move forward in a more responsible way aligned with the views and values of Albertans.

We believe that both environmental progress and economic sustainability can be achieved.