A solar array that stretches over nearly 15 hectares of land just north of Métis Crossing in northeastern Alberta will produce enough electricity for 1,200 homes. (David Bajer/CBC)
  • Alberta is set to lift its moratorium on wind and solar projects at the end of February, aiming to secure its position as a leader in renewable energy.
  • The decision follows a comprehensive inquiry into land use and reclamation by the Alberta Utilities Commission.
  • This move marks a pivotal moment for the province's energy sector, promising a future where renewable sources play a crucial role in its energy mix.

After nearly seven months of a standstill, Alberta is poised to resume its march towards renewable energy leadership.

Premier Danielle Smith recently confirmed that the provincial government’s moratorium on approving new wind and solar power projects will lift on February 29, as originally planned. This announcement came during a statement made in Ottawa, where Premier Smith emphasized Alberta’s ambition to remain a premier destination for solar and wind investment within Canada.

The pause, referred to as a moratorium, began in August and was a response to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) launching an inquiry into land use and reclamation issues associated with electricity generation projects.

This inquiry aimed to address the broader impacts of renewable energy infrastructure on agricultural, recreational, and Crown lands, and to consider the imposition of securities for future site cleanup costs.

Some Context
Alberta’s energy landscape is at a critical juncture. The province is rich in traditional energy resources, such as oil and gas, but there has been a growing push towards diversifying its energy portfolio with renewable sources.

The government’s temporary halt on new projects reflected a cautious approach to this transition, aiming to balance the rapid growth of renewables with considerations for land use and environmental sustainability.


Marlaina Danielle Smith ECA is a Canadian politician and journalist who has been serving as the 19th premier of Alberta since October 11, 2022, and leader of the United Conservative Party since October 6, 2022. Smith entered provincial politics in 2009, becoming the leader of the Wildrose Party.

Premier Smith’s reminder of the challenges faced during extreme cold spells, where renewable energy’s reliability was tested, underscores the government’s priority on ensuring a resilient and affordable electricity system.

This emphasis on reliability and affordability resonates with concerns about energy security, especially during peak demand times in adverse weather conditions.

Implications of the Moratorium
The moratorium’s announcement took many by surprise, including developers and environmental groups.

President and CEO of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA), in an exclusive interview on pvbuzz, warned that the pause could jeopardize billions in investment and thousands of jobs.

On the other side of the debate, many farmers and rural municipalities saw the moratorium as an opportunity to address their concerns about the long-term impacts of renewable energy infrastructure on the land.

Looking Ahead
As the AUC wraps up its inquiry, with a report due at the end of February, the lifting of the moratorium signals a critical moment for Alberta’s energy sector.

It represents a balancing act between accelerating the growth of renewable energy and addressing the legitimate concerns of land use and environmental stewardship.

The findings and recommendations of the AUC’s report will likely shape the future of renewable energy development in Alberta, guiding both policy and practice towards more sustainable and community-friendly approaches.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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  1. […] Premier Danielle Smith announced on February 5 that the pause would conclude as scheduled on February 29, leaving many […]

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