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Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership - Backgrounder
November 6, 2006
Some Interesting Facts and Stats
On May 24, 2006, the provinces and territories agreed to support a Government of Canada framework of 5% renewable fuel by 2010.
Canada’s target for ethanol requires that 35% of gasoline should contain E10 (10% ethanol) by 2010, a level six times our current processing capacity. A new blended product, E85 (85% ethanol), and the flex fuel vehicles that can use this new blend are now available in the US. Collectively Chrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors have about 4.5 million cars and trucks with E85 compatibility in North America. (Alberta Agriculture Growth Strategy, Ethanol Overview, September 2006)
To date, Alberta does not have a bio-diesel production facility. Current consumption in Alberta of diesel is 5.1 billion litres annually and a B5 target (5% bio-diesel blend) for on road transportation will require approximately 255 million litres of bio-diesel. (Alberta Agriculture Growth Strategy, Bio-diesel Overview, September 2006)
At this point in time, there has been over 1000MW of wind energy projects commissioned in Canada with over 2000 MW awarded and under construction.
In their most recent draft of the 10 Year Plan, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) have included a scenario with 3200 MW of wind generation on the system. Each MW of installed capacity represents $2 million in investment, creates 2.5 direct, and 8 indirect person years of employment.
Over 100,000 people are employed in the wind industry in Denmark, Germany and Spain. Vestas (a turbine manufacturer) now has 30 people based in Pincher Creek to service projects in that area. These jobs require skilled labour. It is estimated that wind makes up approximately 25% of the tax revenue for the MD of Pincher Creek. (Pheonix Engineering, September 2006.)
Solar electricity or photovoltaics (PV), is the generation of electricity directly from sunlight.
The Canadian PV market has grown at an average rate of 13% per year between 1999 and 2004, while internationally sales grew by 28% annually during the same period. At the end of 2004, Canada's PV installed capacity is almost 14 MW, in comparison to other countries such as Japan (1,132 MW) and Germany (794 MW). In 2004, it is estimated that the Canadian PV industry generated revenue of $30 million and employed over 500 people.
Green heat technologies, including solar thermal technologies, could reduce GHG emissions by 84 MT - almost one-third of Canada's target – and cover a range of applications including hot water, swimming pools, residential and commercial building heating, and agriculture crop drying. (The Canadian Solar Industries Association Brochure, Solar Energy – Powerful, Proven, Practical)
Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership Advisory Committee
Committee members are representatives from the broad southwestern region and are stakeholders interested in alternative energy development for this area. The geographic boundaries that define this region cover the entire central/southwest of the province; from the BC border on the west, south to the U.S. border, as far east as Grassy Lake and north to include Vulcan County.
In particular, the committee’s role is to:
Review information on alternative energy opportunities and strategies specific to bio-energy, wind and solar energy
Identify barriers to development and recommend political lobbying strategies to support the growth of this sector in the region
Identify specific growth opportunities and make recommendations on developing industry interest
Recommend public consultation strategies to enhance broad-based awareness and understanding of the benefits and opportunities for developing alternative energy systems
Encourage local applications of alternative energy opportunities both at the municipal and individual stakeholder level.
The following Committee Members have agreed to serve in an advisory role for the first phase of the initiative, with a report due to the sponsoring boards in June of 2007.
Cor Van Ray
In September of 2006, Economic Development Lethbridge, Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance and Southgrow Regional Initiative signed a memorandum of understanding, the purpose of which is to “describe a cooperative framework, under which EDL, SouthGrow and Alberta Southwest will coordinate activities to support the research, and development of alternate energy opportunities for the region, specifically focused on solar, wind, and bio-energy development.”
The memorandum is signed by the board chairs of the three organizations. Additionally, the Board of Directors of each organizations has endorsed the Strategic Plan that will drive the implementation of this objective.
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