Financial Impacts And Incentives Of Renewable Energy In Alberta's Economy

Environment   Mar 7, 2017 by Christopher Pratt

Hi there everyone,

My name is Christopher Pratt and I'm just one of the amazing group of people that I have the privilege to be working with at Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC) on our inquiry and action and within Climate Action 150. We're looking forward to meeting everybody else from across the nation that is also working on this nation-wide project!

So far, our group has done some basic research regarding climate change in Alberta. We have looked into alternative professions that could become available if we, as a province, shifted towards more sustainable and renewable energy sources, as well as how our education might need to change in order for the next generation to be employed by such ventures. We've also looked at the cost surrounding renewable energy (both financially and also to the environment, just to see how less of an impact Renewable Energy would have on our surrounding environment). As Alberta's economy is firmly rooted right now in the fossil fuels we also wanted to get an idea of how much of our province exactly revolves around the oil industry.

In the middle of all this research is our main three questions which are:

1. How will the individual financial status of Albertan's be affected if the province, as a whole, moves towards more renewable energy sources and bases its economy off of more environmentally sustainable industries?

2. Would other possible jobs be available to Albertans if the province put in motion the process of slowly phasing out our oil sands production?

3. How do we begin to educate the next generations in Alberta so that they are ready for such a transition, should it happen?

We've found some really encouraging and interesting information so far. For example, through our talks with Jeff Reading, an epic former teacher with the CBE who now is heavily involved in helping to mitigate climate change, we learned that there are numerous clean energy startups based in Alberta, with more popping up every day! This could be the alternative industry to the oil and gas sector.

In order for this change in the industry to happen, though, we must change our education system to suit this. As well, climate change must be addressed in schools, which all of us feel certainly isn't being done under the current Alberta Education curriculum. Many of the next generation are unaware of the issues climate change poses to society.

That is a very quick summary of all our research to date. We hope to have another progress report up soon to further state our research and answers into the main three questions above and also to lay out a rough plan of how we're going to take our research and put it into action.

Until then!

-ADLC Climate Action 150 Group

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6 Comment(s)

Kainah Huckle
Apr 5, 2017

I would like to say that I completely agree with changing the education in schools to help woth the environment because people listen to what they are taught and teaching ways to save the environment in schools would be a huge success I believe.

Mir Ziemkiewicz
Mar 28, 2017

This has been really great so far. You have a clear idea of what your doing and researched quite a lot. What you've pointed out was quite informative and I'd love to hear more about what you've found out. As you've said, your post was a 'very quick summary', I look forward to further updates and the expansion of your research. d(O.o)b

Mar 26, 2017

Hello Christopher, I really found your blog effective and eye opening. What I found most interesting in your piece, was that you mentioned the Alberta Oil sands. I feel that this is one of the major contributors of GHG emissions because these oil sands are influencing more people to obtain oil and contribute to more pollution from oil burning. I believe this can be reduced by simply, raising prices on oil, and also raising the carbon tax. By doing this, people will eventually have to find a cheaper alternative, and when imposing this higher pricing, you can simultaneously promote greener alternatives, such as cheaper hybrid cars, or even cheaper bus fare rates. This would make the people feel like they have a cheaper option which won't necessarily mean they have to change their lifestyle completely. Our inquiries show a similarity in a way because as you wrote about the problems of the oil sands, I wrote about the Toronto transportation & Infrastructure contributing to climate change. This shows relations as Toronto runs their transportation majorly from Alberta’s oil. The difference in our inquiries was more based on our questions. You focused more on how Alberta's economy will be affected by phasing out oil sands, and mine was more about Toronto’s success in the alternatives already being used instead of fossil fuels. So yours is about what the result would be, and mine is what the results are presently.

Jessica Karafilov
Mar 20, 2017

Hi Chris and team,

It sounds like you guys are off to a great start!

I will keep an eye out for updates, and look forward to reading what you come up with.


Jessica (program assistant @ GreenLearning)

Mar 15, 2017

To answer the second question: I believe that as many of the jobs close on oil rigs, lots will become available for the operation and maintenance of the renewable energy sources. Especially since these new sources of energy are becoming more popular, many of the jobs will be in high command. So basically, some of the jobs that are lost from the oil sands can then be replaced in the renewable energy sector.

Courtney Allison
Mar 10, 2017

What are clean energy startups and how can they be an alternative for the oil and gas industry? if the climate were to keep accelerating, would that affect the oil rigs?