New energy vision integrates conventional resource development, efficiency, conservation
A document released by Alberta Energy Minister Greg Melchin immediately prior to the annual Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference presents an integrated approach to developing the province's conventional resources while encouraging new sources along with energy efficiency and conservation. Alberta's Integrated Energy Vision provides a new direction for the energy sector, built on four essential pillars: vast and diverse energy resources; environmentally responsible energy development; energy expertise; and competitive energy attitude.
"Traditionally we've looked at Alberta's resource wealth from the perspective of a series of stand-alone projects. By taking an integrated approach to energy development, efficiency, and conservation we can help the industry reach its full potential, and provide enhanced long-term economic benefits and value-added jobs for Albertans," said Melchin.
In addition to outlining the long-term benefits of transforming hydrocarbons into a vast array of value-added end products, future energy development in Alberta must build on the strengths of its renewable resources such as water, wind, solar, and biomass energy resources. The document shows how innovation, attitude and a sustainable, integrated approach to Alberta's vast and diverse energy resources are key to future success.
The Vision document emphasizes that future policies must include integration and alignment of environmental and land stewardship; human resource training and development; infrastructure, research and technology efforts; and overall economic planning. It focuses on renewable as well as non-renewable resources and the opportunities to build more value-added opportunities.
Alberta's conventional energy resource base is both vast and diverse, offering a wide range of development opportunities and long-term benefits. In addition to building on the strengths of these resources, however, the paper calls for the integration of renewable water, wind, solar and biomass energy resources into the province's energy future.
Equally important to the Integrated Energy Vision is environmentally responsible energy development, in which the concepts of sound long-term stewardship and full life cycle management will be applied to all aspects of energy development, both renewable and non-renewable. Planning for protection of the environment will be integrated with energy development decision-making, says the paper, adding that reclamation, remediation and the management of cumulative effects are integral elements of responsible energy stewardship.
Alberta is home to a world-leading level of energy resource development expertise, knowledge and experience, cited as the third pillar of the vision. The fourth pillar, described as a competitive energy attitude, consists of a group of factors that together encourage future investment in exploration and resource development. Its vast and diverse resource base is supported by a well-developed and sophisticated pipeline and petrochemical infrastructure, as well as superior environmental technology.
Alberta's Energy Department has committed to collaborating with other ministries, industry and stakeholder groups in developing strategies and policies to support implementation of the vision. The Integrated Energy Vision document may be viewed on the department's Web site, www.energy.gov.ab.ca. An on-line form is available for submission of public comments.