Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

A TransAlta wind farm stands near Pincher Creek, Alta., on March 9, 2016.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Power generator TransAlta Corp . says it has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 60 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030.

The 2050 target means the company will fully offset all carbon dioxide released from its activities with avoided emissions or by capturing emissions, chief operating officer John Kousinioris said on a conference call to discuss the company’s fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.

Mr. Kousinioris, who is to take over as chief executive at the end of March from retiring CEO Dawn Farrell, added achieving the 2050 goal will not require game-changing new technologies.

Story continues below advertisement

“We talk about it as an aspirational goal, but we don’t need … out of the box technical solutions that are just kind of a twinkle in someone’s eye to be able to get there. We see pathways to get there,” he said.

The Calgary-based utility is in the process of retiring its Edmonton-area thermal coal mining operations and converting all of its coal power generation in Canada to natural gas by the end of 2021, while eliminating its last coal generation unit at a facility in Washington State by the end of 2025.

It completed the conversion of one of its Alberta coal power units to natural gas earlier this month and plans to convert three more this year at a cost of about $35-million each.

Those units will reach the end of their expected life in the mid- to late-2030s, Mr. Kousinioris said.

TransAlta has cut its emissions by about 60 per cent since 2005, but Ms. Farrell said on the call those advances haven’t helped the overall national emissions picture.

“All of TransAlta’s heavy lifting has been taken up by other emissions,” she said, adding Canada needs to invest about $20-billion a year in carbon reduction to meet its goal of a 30-per-cent reduction below 2005 levels by 2030.

She called on the federal government to invest heavily in carbon capture and storage, carbon utilization, and hydrogen and carbon transportation solutions in Alberta.

Story continues below advertisement

TransAlta reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $167-million on revenue of $544-million for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a net profit of $66-million on $609-million in the same period of 2019.

Analysts had expected a loss of $102-million on revenue of $492-million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The 2020 losses were affected by depreciation and writeoffs related to TransAlta’s accelerated coal-to-gas power plant conversions and the coal mine shutdown.

It’s fourth-quarter comparable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $234-million, compared with $243-million for the same period in 2019.

TransAlta said it expects EBITDA in 2021 of between $960-million and $1.08-billion, up from full-year 2020′s $927-million, owing to stronger power prices.

ATB Capital Markets analyst Nate Heywood said in a report that the guidance exceeded both his and consensus expectations.

Story continues below advertisement

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies