By Cole Parkinson
Westwind Weekly News
The push for renewable energy in Alberta is still very high across municipalities in the province. While oil and gas may have fallen on hard times in the past several years, this has led to municipalities searching for other opportunities.
One of those is in renewable energy and Alberta is developing renewable electricity generation to meet the goal of 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“I’m very excited about it. The technology is in a place now where the government is not subsidizing it and I think that was a big part of the prosperity we are seeing now,” said Joseph Schow, MLA for Cardston-Siksika. “The government is not picking winners or losers of these projects, and down in my neck of the woods in Cardston, you just need to look off to the horizon and see all kinds of windmills. Further north, there’s all sorts of solar projects and some windmills as well.”
The government has programs for Clean Energy Improvement, geothermal resource development, renewable electricity, and micro-generation. And with post-COVID recovery still being focused on, Schow sees this as a real way for the province to continue to build back up.
“They are popping up all over the place and I think it’s a great opportunity for investment in the province. We know that Alberta is unique in renewable resources like the sun and the wind — anybody who lives down here knows there’s always going to be wind and there are long days during the summer,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic and it’s great to see that companies are looking at Alberta as the best place to do it.”
Despite oil and gas not being the economic driver it once was, Schow doesn’t think it’s dead and buried whatsoever. With the need for plenty of economic diversity, Schow sees there being plenty of room for everyone.
“I think it’s part of a larger conversation. Oil and gas is a big part of our province and it will be for years and years to come — and I hope it is,” he said. “There are lots of great men and women who work in that industry and that industry pays mortgage-paying wages. It’s one of the things Alberta is built upon. In addition to that, renewable resources absolutely have a place in that and I’m excited to see municipalities leveraging their opportunities wherever possible to attract investment, whether that is in renewables or in anything else for that matter.”
For more information on renewable energy in Alberta, visit https://www.alberta.ca/renewable-and-alternative-energy-programs.aspx