Social Impact Assessment of Alternative Energy Production in Alberta

Energy production is a large part of Alberta's economy, with direct impacts on rural landscapes and host communities across the province. This report provides an analysis of social impacts from alternative energy production, with a focus on biofuels, solar, geothermal and wind power technologies. Using comparative case study methods, research includes key informant interviews, published literature and other sources of available data from project proponents and rural community sources. The report utilizes a common assessment framework that is based in community capacity and adaptation. Results point to the ways in which alternative energy can enhance community capacities through contributions to economic infrastructure, alternative sources of employment, human capital development and social mobilization. Research also notes the importance of public participation as a key aspect of project development, especially in the early planning and implementation phase of the project. Finally, research indicates that although renewable energy has great potential in Alberta, conventional sources of energy production are perceived to be adequate and cost effective in many ways, resulting in a reluctance to invest over the short term in somewhat expensive and controversial technologies.

Sprague, Cathryn
Parkins, John R.
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O21; O22; Q01; Q42
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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