Now owners of small solar PV and wind in Alberta can get paid for their carbon emissions reductions
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
In February 2022, we launched Solar Offset, a new program for to allow the owners of small-scale solar panel and wind power systems to get paid for the greenhouse gas emission reductions they are making.
So, how does this work? Well, owners of large renewable energy systems have been doing this since 2007, when Alberta first established greenhouse gas emissions targets for industry in the province. Since then, every year, large Alberta industrial sites have been required to submit a report showing that they met their emission reduction targets. If they don’t, they have to buy “Fund Credits” from the government.
Alternatively, they can buy "Offset Credits" from the owners of greenhouse gas reduction projects. A single Offset Credit represents one tonne of Alberta-based voluntary greenhouse gas emission reductions. One way to create an Offset Credits is by generating clean electricity from non-emitting solar or wind power, which offsets Alberta’s fossil fuel intensive grid electricity.
However, to create Offset Credits, the government requires rigorous data collection, calculation, storage, reporting, and independent audit to ensure the greenhouse gas emission reductions are real. This is good for the environment but has meant that creating Offset Credits is both too complex and too costly for small-scale systems to participate in the Alberta carbon market.
Solar Offset changes this. By aggregating small-scale producers into a larger pool, the administrative costs of claiming these credits is shared, creating profit for everyone in the pool.
More information on this program is available at www.solaroffset.ca, where you can check your eligibility and get a custom estimate on how much ($) the Offset Credits from your system could be worth.