While the province’s population grew by 40% between 1995 and 2011, energy use rose by 62% with most of that occurring in the industrial sector, states a study prepared by The School of Public Policy.
The oil and gas industry’s energy use catapulted by 355%, moving from 12% of the provincial share in 1995 to 48% in 2011, says the report “Energy Efficiency: Finding Leadership Opportunities.”
While the province has made efforts to increase efficiencies, it has a long ways to go, said report co-author Dr. Hamid Zareipour.
“We use more energy per capita than anywhere else in Canada,” he said.
The province was second last in spending on improving that rating, added Zareipour.
“The only province that spends less on energy efficiency is Saskatchewan,” he said.
Alberta’s second-highest energy user was the transportation sector, whose share, 26%, remained the same in those years, says the study.
An abundance of non-renewable resources and a cold climate, teamed with a growing oil and gas sector are among the reasons for the province’s rating, said Zareipour.
“We’ve never been concerned about energy security,” he said.
Alberta, said Zareipour, must set hard efficiency targets and then transparently monitor them, while also adopting power-smart building codes.
Promoting the repurposing of energy use through so-called co-generation should be another approach, he said, along with developing a natural gas-fueled transportation network.
Source: Sun News