Why Canada Should Make Clean Energy the "Next Oil Sands"

Back in the 1990s, Canada’s federal government supported the start-up of Alberta’s oil sands sector on the basis that the resource represented a “national prize.” In reality, the economic benefits of oil sands development overwhelmingly accrue to Alberta.

In contrast, the opportunities for Canada in the global low-carbon goods and services sector are far more diverse—with strengths to build on in all regions of the country.

It’s time for a compelling new energy vision to motivate governments again—this time with a new national prize in mind: a prosperous and competitive clean energy economy.

Our senior policy advisor, Clare Demerse, and director of policy and partnerships Dan Woynillowicz make the case in “A New National Prize: Making Clean Energy the Next Oil Sands,” [PDF, 1.2 MB] in the latest edition of Policy Magazine.

Here’s an excerpt:

It took a critical mass of innovation, commercial viability and political will to make Alberta’s oil sands the focus of Ottawa’s energy policy. The same factors are converging now to make clean energy the next energy industry Cinderella story. Canadians have said they want cleaner energy, and they’ve said they’ll pay for it, which should make the political argument clear. The rest is about vision.

Check out the full issue of Policy, which is jam-packed with energy policy analysis, from electric vehicles to how Canada’s policy stacks up against that of the United States.

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