In the complex tapestry of our global energy needs, the threads of affordability and reliability are paramount. Yet, as we stare down the challenges of the 21st century, so is the need for sustainability and a forward-thinking approach to energy. Alberta finds itself at the crossroads of this crucial discussion. As we look at the broader picture, a clear message emerges: the energy future of Alberta – and indeed the world – isn’t about choosing between Oil & Gas or Renewables. It’s about leveraging both.
From a macro perspective, society is clearly echoing the benefits of green energy. The sun and wind, as inexhaustible power sources, beckon us with promises of cleaner, more sustainable energy. When we talk about combating climate change or reducing our carbon footprint, the imagery of spinning wind turbines and gleaming solar panels often occupies our collective imagination. And rightly so. If we can harness the power of these natural forces effectively, why shouldn’t we?
However, for regions like Alberta, where baseload power from hydroelectric or nuclear sources isn’t available, the energy narrative requires a bit more nuance.
The truth is, while renewables hold immense potential, they are not without their limitations. Solar and wind power are intermittent. The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. This intermittency demands a reliable backup – a stabilizing force that ensures the lights stay on even when nature is uncooperative.
Enter Oil & Gas.
The Oil & Gas industry has been Alberta’s backbone for decades. It has driven our economy, offered employment, and contributed significantly to our society. As we pivot towards a more sustainable future, it would be not just imprudent but also counterproductive to sideline this industry. Instead, a holistic strategy that acknowledges the strengths and limitations of both renewables and fossil fuels is needed.
Imagine a future where Alberta leads not just in Oil & Gas, but also in clean energy technology. A place where Oil & Gas doesn’t just mean extraction but also innovation – in carbon capture, cleaner burning technologies, and energy efficiency. And where renewables are not just an alternative, but an integrated part of our energy landscape.
The future is not about “either-or”. It’s about “and”. It’s about bringing together industries, stakeholders, and communities in crafting a united vision for Alberta’s energy future. It’s about recognizing that to truly have a solution-based outcome, we need all hands on deck. Affordability, reliability, and sustainability can coexist, but it requires collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to looking beyond divisive narratives.
How can affordability, reliability and sustainability co exist?
By harnessing data-informed strategies, such as the application of digital twins, Duke Energy is poised to allocate energy resources with unparalleled efficiency. As a leading utility, at the forefront of executing its clean energy transition, championing a smarter energy future for both its customers and communities. This not only aligns with demand projections and ensures utmost reliability.
It will leverage the cloud to run hundreds of millions of simulations of the entire grid on a regular basis to know how and where to spend.