The Government of Alberta continues to show increasing support for provincial geothermal energy exploration with the release of the 2021 – 2024 Budget, which includes C$28 Million for Geothermal Resource Development and the Mineral Strategy.
This budget announcement follows legislative discussions of the Geothermal Resource Development Act, which took place in October 2020, the purpose of which was to further clarify the rules for geothermal energy development in Alberta. This included outlining rules and processes for industry, establishing legislative authority for land use and liability management, and protecting landowners and mineral rights owners.
The 2021 Budget, presented in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on February 25, 2021, focuses on protecting livelihoods and promoting economic recovery in Alberta as we enter the second year of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The document clearly identifies the “large potential for geothermal energy to be a part of the green energy mix” (p. 112) in Alberta, which is anticipated to play a key role in short-term economic recovery and long-term prosperity for the province.
“The government sees geothermal energy as an opportunity for economic recovery of the province,” says Alexander Richter of Think GeoEnergy, “which has been struggling with challenges faced by its oil and gas sector.”
It’s been well documented that Alberta’s deep roots and extensive expertise in the oil and gas industry translates well into the opportunity for the province to become a future leader in the geothermal energy industry as well. Alberta’s existing oil and gas infrastructure and massive, skilled workforce give the province a leading edge when further exploring renewable energy opportunities in the form of geothermal potential.
The Government of Alberta’s decision to direct C$28 million of the 2021 – 2024 budget towards Geothermal Resource Development and Mineral Strategy represents a significant, exciting step towards the continued exploration of geothermal potential in our province!