Lethbridge is in a fortunate position that we have access to non-renewable and renewable energy sources. Alberta has an abundance of renewable energy sources that are important as we transition our electricity grid and our economy. Our geographic location provides opportunities to invest and adapt to new technologies in renewable resources. There are currently a number of wind farms and solar microgeneration sites in the area surrounding Lethbridge, with more being planned. New incentives that have recently been announced by the provincial government will also help to increase the number of these projects. Greater investment by the provincial and municipal governments will increase our renewable energy capacity and encourage economic development, with related opportunities for employment and business investment.
In Lethbridge, the primary method of transportation is the private vehicle. Car pollution is one of the largest contributors to poor ground-level air quality, which can have negative impacts on human health and the environment.
Selecting more responsible sources of energy is a very complex task. We must also begin to encourage the installation of renewable energy technologies, changing the sources of energy that we use from fossil sources to low-carbon options. Increasing our capacity by providing subsidies or expertise for microgeneration energy is also important. As renewable energy technologies continue to become more affordable and widely accepted, home and community opportunities will grow. As stated in the introduction, energy is central to our lives. Transitioning from the current non-renewable sources of energy and the infrastructure developed to deliver this energy will require a dedicated effort by community leaders through investment, incentives and policy development.
1. That residents, businesses and the City Lethbridge continue to implement programs to reduce energy consumption in the city.
2. That we look for opportunities to take advantage of southern Alberta’s high potential for renewable energy, including reducing barriers for microgeneration.
3. Further research is needed to better understand the impact of local vehicle emissions.
4. That Lethbridge’s cycle network be expanded to encourage cycling as a safer, healthier mode of transportation.