On October 24, several renewable energy companies, industry associations and think-tanks released an Open Letter to the Alberta government, urging it to establish in law its commitment for renewables to supply at least 30 per cent of the province’s electricity by 2030. Amongst several arguments in the Letter is one related to job creation: “the fraction of construction jobs as well as head office jobs based in Alberta would be much higher and more stable under the larger market assured by a legislated target. Without the clarity of a legislated multiyear commitment, there is a risk that companies would keep Alberta operations to a minimum and with many of the jobs created in other jurisdictions.” The arguments are supported by other documents at Pembina Institute, including Cheaper renewables spur companies to buy clean energy directly from producers .
This may be of interest to the Energy Diversification Committee announced on October 13 , which is tasked to consult with Albertans and make recommendations in the fall of 2017 on how to increase the value of energy resources, create jobs and attract new investment. The press release gives examples of “value-added ideas” such as partial upgrading, refining, petrochemicals and chemicals manufacturing. Nothing about renewables. The Committee website names two Co-Chairs: Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour , along with Jeanette Patell, government affairs and policy leader at GE Canada . Warren Fraleigh, Executive director of the Building Trades of Alberta is a member, along with business and First Nations representatives.
On October 21, the government of Alberta announced that it will redirect $33 million to support medium- and long-term technologies that reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas, agriculture and landfill sectors, as well as projects to improve methane detection and quantification. This initiative springs from the commitment in the Climate Leadership Plan to reduce methane emissions by 45 per cent by 2025. The augmented funding , which will total $40 million, will be administered by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), which is the new name being given to the industry-sponsored Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation .