WHEREAS the Government of Alberta relies on the Alberta Science and Research Authority (ASRA) to make decisions on research investment; AND WHEREAS the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) is a part of the Alberta Science and Research Authority and has been given the broad mandate of deciding how to invest funding ear-marked by the Alberta Government for Energy Research and how to manage that investment; AND WHEREAS our research is indicating that research and development dollars are required for alternate energy sources such as: Wind Energy, Geo Thermal Energy, Solar Energy, Biomass and Landfill Gas; AND WHEREAS a research paper by Energy/Net about ‘Unlocking Tomorrow’s Energy’ indicates that success in realizing a potential payoff for an integrated energy approach will depend on: significant long term investment in the order of $3 billion dollars over 20 years; and an unprecedented level of collaboration among industry, researchers in universities and government and the Federal and Provincial governments; and innovation in how we understand and approach energy challenges and in how we organize people and apply resources to meet them; AND WHEREAS the Alberta Government has significant extra surpluses from energy revenues;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urges the Government of Alberta to invest $3 billion dollars over the next twenty years in research and development funding for alternate energy sources.
The Province is experiencing unprecedented surpluses due to the existing various components of he energy industry in western Canada. These components are all interconnected and include conventional oil and natural gas, heavy oil, bitumen coal, coal bed methane, petro chemicals and renewable sources. The Province should be reinvesting some of these extraordinary energy revenues for the long term transition from a hydrocarbon economy to an economy based on some form of renewable energy (example – a hydrogen based infrastructure). The existing reliance on energy from hydrocarbon sources will disappear in future years since these sources are not renewable. Many years of research and development will be needed to overcome the cost, technology and infrastructure limitations to energy production from renewable resources. We need to focus on innovation and not just research and development. In parallel with innovation in established energy sectors such as oil, gas, oil sands, and coal, there is a need to explore the viability of large-scale “alternate energy” sources – especially those based on renewable resources. Consider work and investment is required in such areas as: – Emerging Fuel Cell Technology, including safe, reliable and economic methods of producing, distributing and storing fuel for the cells. – Use of hydrogen as an energy transport system, including development of environmentally and economically feasible ways of producing hydrogen. – Potential of biomass (renewable agricultural, forest and marine crops, municipal solid waste, waste wood and mill residues) as sources of hydrogen, electricity and bio fuels that can be combusted to produce energy or processed as feedstocks for the petro chemical industry. – New geothermal technologies that involve drilling deep into the earth and tapping natural underground heat sources to, for example, produce steam for oil sands upgrading or for domestic use. Research Material: – Shaping an Integrated Energy Future by Len Dolgen and eddy Isaacs. – A Clean Energy Future by Alberta Energy Research Institute. – Various Government of Ontario websites. – Various Web Quest websites on alternate energy sources, including: wind, energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, and biomass. – Energy/Net, Unlocking Tomorrow’s Energy. – Government of Alberta, Albertans & Climate Change ? Taking Action.
In July 2007, the Government of Alberta announced the Bio-Energy Producer Credit Program to encourage further investment in the province’s emerging bio-energy industry through financial incentives for producers, while advancing new markets for agricultural and forestry products. The credits will be available to eligible bio-energy products processed in Alberta between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2011. The Bio-Energy Producer Credit Program is the centrepiece of the Alberta Government’s $239-million Nine-Point Bio-Energy Plan. (Source: www.energy.alberta.ca) On February 1, 2008, the Government of Alberta announced the implementation of a micro-generation regulation. The micro-generation regulation allows Albertans who generate their own electricity to send excess power back into the grid through net metering and also encourages the use of renewable resources.