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Based on our available natural resources, existing expertise and established developments, the initiative focuses on three streams of alternative energy:
- Bio-Energy – (including ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-mass).
The true potential for alternative energy development will be determined through the gathering and analysis of information regarding current technologies, regulations and business models that are currently being used or developed. The information collection and analysis requires a number of individual studies/projects in order to understand the full scope of recommendations for potential implementation moving forward.
To support the communication and awareness of the initiative, the sponsoring organizations established an Advisory Committee consisting of 15 members from the region who are focusing on activity in five key areas.
The committee will:
- Review information on alternative energy opportunities and strategies specific to bio-energy, wind and solar energy
- Identify development barriers 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 committee will also work together to:
- Gather information and research on the targeted alternative energy systems
- Channel information through the various potential stakeholders; developers, residents, businesses, government etc., creating a better understanding and acceptance of alternative energy systems for the region.
- Provide a long-term, comprehensive strategic plan that will build these systems in a sustainable manner.
- Secure the addition and expansion of related businesses and industry, in order to provide sustainable economic development.
- Identify and support the development of systems that will provide energy directly to the individuals and organizations in the region, vs the traditional utility companies.
- Commence activities that will meet the stated objective of becoming the “Leader in Alternative Energy Production and Manufacturing in the World”.
The SAAEP partnership of the three sponsor organizations (Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, Economic Development Lethbridge and SouthGrow Regional Initiative) represents a collaboration of 38 communities that has achieved some notable successes and a positive impact in creating increased awareness and business development related to alternative and renewable energy. These successes include but are not limited to:
- Conducting an extensive public consultation process throughout the entire region which is documented in the “Green Growth Plan”
- Completing more than $400,000 on local projects, events, and research over the last four years; key studies, maps and information are listed on this site
- Developing a website to support our collaboration and networks;
- Participating at trade shows, building valuable connections with industry and and increasing visibility and awareness of our region nationally and internationally
- Sharing information with educational institutions, agencies and national organizations on renewable energy as an economic driver, which has spin-off positive impact on conservation and education
- Developing a communications plan through industry consultation and partnership-building
- Supporting more than $1.15 billion in new capital investment and industry development
The SAAEP sponsor organizations look forward to future and more robust collaboration and demonstrated interest from other parties who can benefit from this work; future plans may include:
- Implementing strategic communications and industry development plans
- Building the presence and content of the website
- Supporting the potential development of wind, solar and bio opportunities to the region
- Building a positive reputation for Alberta’s diversified energy portfolio
In November 2011, the parties sent a letter to Alberta Premier Alison Redford and key ministers encouraging further policy and investment in renewable energy industry development.
Pending a response, Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, Economic Development Lethbridge and SouthGrow Regional Initiative continue to work together and are exploring further opportunities with the Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta.
View the 2011 Letter
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