A report released on June 15 calculates that, with supportive government policies, 67,200 jobs could be created in Alberta by 2030 in four key areas: renewable electricity; transit and electric vehicle infrastructure; energy efficiency in buildings and industry; and environmental cleanup and methane reduction in the oil and gas industry. Alberta’s Emerging Economy: A blueprint for job creation through 2030 was funded by the Alberta Federation of Labour and written by researchers at the Pembina Institute. It provides detailed data for each of the four sectors, along with well-informed policy discussion. Notably, the number of jobs forecast represents a significant diversification of the labour market for the province: 67,200 jobs is equal to 67% of the total workforce of the mining, and oil and gas extraction industry in 2019.
Alberta’s Hydrogen initiative
Alberta’s Emerging Economy does not consider the potential jobs from new technologies such as carbon capture and storage, or hydrogen production. Fundamental to understanding that technology is the difference between “grey hydrogen”, “blue” hydrogen and “green” hydrogen”- explained by an expert at the International Energy Agency here , or in Green Tech Media in “The Reality Behind Green Hydrogen’s Soaring Hype”.
On May 14, the Alberta Industrial Heartland Hydrogen Task Force was launched as “an independent working group created to develop a framework to implement a hydrogen economy in the region” and “produce a public report detailing the approach and steps needed to advance a zero-emission fuel economy in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.” The Task Force includes local mayors from Alberta and Saskatchewan (including Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson). The full list of Task Force members and advisors is here , and is organized by Transition Accelerator – itself launched in 2019, by the University of Calgary research group CESAR. A recent report in their “The Future of Freight” series, Implications for Alberta of Alternatives for Diesel advocates for “blue hydrogen” production (hydrogen made from natural gas by steam-methane reforming (SMR) coupled to carbon capture and storage (CCS)).
Hydrogen production is described in the Globe and Mail on June 14, “Ottawa, Alberta develop new hydrogen strategies” . An overview in Corporate Knights magazine on May 14 claims “Hydrogen can make Canada an energy superpower again”. It concludes:
We live in Alberta, so know the danger in including the words ‘national’ and ‘energy’ in the same sentence. But picture a Canada where hydrogen is the focus of a pan-Canadian strategy that would have all provinces working together for a net-zero emission energy future that revitalizes our economy and again positions Canada as an energy superpower.