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The SouthGrow Clean Energy Primer for Communities
Before planning your community’s renewable energy project, you should be fully informed about the various energy options available. Different regions of Alberta have different capabilities, each dependent on the region’s topography, geology, local industries, or sunlight hours.
Invest a few hours to fully explore the information. It will save you time and effort by helping to direct your financial and human resources in the right direction right from the start.
What Are Your Goals?
Different communities will have different reasons for investing in RE. Identifying a goal or goals before planning will help you identify the resources you need and the path you will need to follow to achieve your objectives.
Give consideration to each of the following questions, and decide which ones are most appropriate for your RE project.
- Be a part of the renewable energy revolution?
- Become energy-independent and protect yourself against energy price increases?
- Reduce energy bills and consumption costs?
- Contribute to a cleaner environment?
- Make money from a rapidly expanding sector?
- Participate in a shift to distributed generation, with ownership by communities and individuals rather than large centralized plants?
- Bring new jobs and additional energy dollars to the local economy?
- Own the means of energy production?
- Play with new technology?
- Learn new skills?
What Is Your State of Readiness?
Before planning your Renewable Energy Strategy, ask yourself these questions.
- What renewable energy sources are available in your area?
- Is there renewable energy development expertise in your region? In what renewable energy sector?
- Is there a community willingness to support or live with a renewable energy project?
- Do you know what renewable energy is, and what feedstocks might be needed for the renewable energy sources?
- Have you done research to develop your basic understanding of renewable energy?
- Are there others in the same region with similar development interests as you?
Some communities in Alberta are better suited to activating a RE strategy than other communities. Additionally, some regions of the province are richer in sources for one type of RE, while other regions are richer in sources for other types of RE.
Since each region is different, it can be helpful to identify each community’s state of readiness prior to planning your region’s RE strategy. This might be best accomplished by simultaneously identifying the potential for the best sources of RE in each community.