Alberta’s Skilled Workers and Renewable Energy Transition

Oil and gas infrastructure and training are highly transitionable to green technology

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How can Alberta move from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy? The truth is that the state already has the workforce, technical knowledge and infrastructure to make it happen.

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The engineering and tech genius that has long allowed Alberta companies to extract energy from oil sands is in great demand, says Money from the Alberta-based coalition Energy Futures Lab (EFL). Allison Cretney, Jing Director, said: Future energy system.

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“We also have the skills, infrastructure, and processes that are essential to get there,” she says.

For example, oil and gas drill holes represent both the infrastructure and expertise needed to maximize renewable geothermal energy deep in the soil.

As the transition to electric vehicles accelerates, manufacturers are trying to secure a supply of materials such as lithium, which will require the production of batteries.

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Alberta Skilled Workers 2
The Alberta Zero-Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) project will use Ballard Power System hydrogen fuel cells to power two transport trucks operated by Bison Transport. The pilot project is led by the Alberta Motor Transportation Association and funded by Emissions Reduction Alberta.Ballard Power Systems Co., Ltd.

“Oilfield wastewater contains a high concentration of lithium,” says Cretney. “We have worked extensively with the Canadian Battery Metals Association, formed from the EFL, to plan a nationwide supply chain for lithium. Supporting the supply of lithium to the energy sector in Alberta. I want to get it. “

Alberta is already one of the world’s largest producers of industrial hydrogen, used by the oil industry to refine oil and convert it to ammonia for fertilizer use. However, hydrogen also provides a clean fuel for large transportation such as trucks and trains, and also provides the opportunity to energize the state’s power grid. Combined with carbon recovery, hydrogen can be extracted cleanly from natural gas.

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Alberta workers are not left behind in a clean energy shift.

“Everyone currently involved in construction has the skills to increase demand as investment in green and renewable energy projects increases,” said Bill Ferreira, executive director of construction labor market information provider BuildForce Canada. .. “Building a wind project requires a heavy equipment operator, a mobile crane operator, a carpenter for formwork, and an electrician. The hydrogen pipeline was used to build a traditional pipeline. We need the same skilled workers (welders, watermill carpenters, plumbers, heavy equipment operators, mobile crane operators, carpenters, truck drivers). “

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Engineering large carbon recovery projects also leverages all the skills of the construction sector.

“Oil sands was a big bet 60 years ago and represents a very successful public-private partnership,” says Cretney. “We need to make similar bets on the future of renewable energy to find winners who can help us move to cleaner energy.”

This story was created by ContentWorks, Postmedia’s commercial content division.

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Alberta’s Skilled Workers and Renewable Energy Transition

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