oil & Gas
The energy industry is the largest contributor to Alberta’s GDP, capital investments and exports, making it the province’s key engine of growth.
Alberta has the third largest crude oil reserves in the world and is home to 98% of Canada’s total oil reserves, and in 2014, Alberta produced approximately 78% of Canada’s crude oil and 67% of its natural gas.
Edmonton is the closest major centre to Alberta’s Oil Sands, making it a strategic base for many industries that support the oil and gas sector such as manufacturing, construction, and engineering. In addition, two of Alberta’s four refineries are located in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region:
- The Strathcona Imperial Oil Refinery produces ultra-low sulphur diesel at a capacity of 187,200 barrels of crude oil per day.
- Suncor’s Edmonton Refinery produces a high yield of light oils from oil sands-based feedstocks at a capacity of 142,000 barrels per day. (Canadian Centre for Energy Information, 2014)
The oil and gas industry is always evolving and innovating. The University of Alberta, located in Edmonton, is a main source for technical innovation in the industry in areas such as emission reduction, water treatment, and land reclamation, along with new extraction techniques.
The alternative energy industry is on the rise, creating new opportunities for a more sustainable future and greater control over energy supply, costs and environmental impact for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.
Through Edmonton’s Renewable Energy Task Force, the City is taking steps to engage and encourage alternative energy industry growth, creating a welcoming climate for anyone interested in entering the field.
Within Canada, biomass is the third largest source of renewable energy after hydroelectricity and wind, with consumption more than doubling in Alberta from 1990 to 2014.
Edmonton is home to the world’s first industrial-scale municipal waste-to-biofuel facility that converts approximately 100,000 tonnes of sorted municipal solid waste into 38 million litres of ethanol annually. In addition to Edmonton’s recycling and compositing programs, this waste-to-biofuel facility enables the city to have a waste diversion rate of 90%.
With large resources in forestry and agriculture, Alberta’s biomass growth potential is promising. Alberta has approximately 20 million tonnes of annual waste in potential feedstock, which could be converted to biofuel. With the growing demand for energy, biomass could lead the way for Alberta’s alternative energy source.
Alberta has a high potential for solar energy and Edmonton’s solar potential exceeds most Canadian cities and many areas of the world.
Northern Alberta municipalities are regularly ranked as some of the sunniest in Canada, with Edmonton consistently in the top three for major Canadian cities that have the greatest percentage of sunshine each day (Environment Canada, 2010).
Additionally, an opportunity exists in Edmonton as cold temperatures make solar photovoltaic more efficient.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES EDUCATION & INNOVATION
The North Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), located in Edmonton, offers a two-year Alternative Energy Technology program, which educates students on a broad range of alternative energy sources including solar, geothermal, biofuels, hydro and wind. The program’s goal is to create an educated workforce that will be able to design and install a broad range of green technologies to help meet the increasing demand for renewable energy