Banff eyes plan to use 100% renewable energy by 2050

As the Alberta government moves to phase out coal, the town of Banff is also looking at ways it can run exclusively on renewable power.

$40K green energy strategy to be debated next month

Banff's environmental co-ordinator Chad Townsend says the mountain town will consider a plan to get Banff using only renewable energy by 2050. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

As the Alberta government moves to phase out coal, the town of Banff is also looking at ways it can run exclusively on renewable power.

It's considering setting a goal of using 100 per cent renewable energy sources by 2050.

But town council needs to approve a strategy first.

Karen Barkley is a long-time Banff resident and climate advocate.

She and a friend first presented the idea to council a year ago because she believes the mountain community has a potential to be a leader for protecting the environment.

"We're trying to protect the environment first and foremost, that's why this park was established," she said.

"And so to recognize the seriousness of climate change I think Banff would be well placed to be on the forefront of this."

Chad Townsend, the town's environmental coordinator, says there's a lot to work out before any plan is set in motion.

"Defining what renewable resources that the town has and best placed to take advantage of and which ones are considered green, acceptable and whether it's important that these sources be within the boundaries of the community," he said.

Solar panels already power Banff's municipal building. And an incentive program has seen more than a dozen homes in the town make the switch to solar power.

Banff council still needs to approve a $40,000 budget for the green energy strategy.

It will be discussed at their next meeting on Dec. 14.

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