Alberta to invest US$3.58 million for clean energy jobs
- 08 February 2016
LONDON: The Canadian province of Alberta, which joined The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance during COP21 last December, has announced it will invest CA$5 million (US$3.58 million) to help local authorities and farmers install more solar panels on their buildings and fields.
In particular, municipalities will benefit from rebates of up to CA$0.75 (US$0.54) per watt for their solar projects and up to the CA$300,000 (US$215,000) per project, as part of the Alberta Municipal Solar Program. The new project, called On-Farm Solar Management, will also help local farmers conserve non-renewable fossil fuels while reducing carbon emissions.
Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group comments: “It is encouraging to see that within just a few months of joining The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance and announcing their new climate change strategy, Alberta are already demonstrating their commitment to tackling climate change through concrete action.”
ALBERTA CAN LEAD AGAIN
According to an IRENA report published last year, the renewable energy industry supported more than 9 million jobs in 2014. With this investment, Alberta continues its path to building a sustainable and resilient economy.
In fact, the province’s economy is heavily reliant on oil production, since its oil sands represent the third largest oil reserves in the world after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Alberta is also among the biggest producers of natural gas in the world.
However, in the last decade it has taken the right steps toward a low carbon economy, being among the first jurisdictions in North America to introduce a carbon tax – recently expanded to a new economy-wide price on carbon.
In a move to accelerate its transition to the inevitable low carbon economy, Alberta has also announced that it will replace two-thirds of coal-generated electricity with renewables by 2030.
“What matters to Alberta is ensuring that our energy economy is resilient for the challenges that come ahead,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, Alberta, in an exclusive Climate TV interview during last COP21.
“Certainly, that’s why we’ve undertaken very ambitious policies with respect to a price on carbon, our methane management strategy, our performance standards for large industrial emitters and our efficiency strategy.”
Today’s news further enhances the move of the biggest oil-producing province toward clean energy, because, as the Minister puts it, “we know that Alberta can lead again”, demonstrating the pivotal role of sub-national governments in spurring a clean revolution.
Minister Phillips adds: “We must take action at all levels in combatting climate change – federally, provincially and locally. This investment will spur economic growth and help with the transition to cleaner sources of electricity, which will protect our health.”