Alberta less inclined to see clean energy future as affordable: Survey

Alberta, home to Canada's vast oil and gas industry, was the outlier among the regions surveyed.  (GETTY)

Alberta, home to Canada’s vast oil and gas industry, was the outlier among the regions surveyed. (GETTY)

Alberta is the only Canadian province where a majority believe an energy future based on fossil fuels is more cost-effective than one focused on clean energy, according to a new survey released by Clean Energy Canada.

The research team based at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University found that 64 percent of respondents in a survey of 1,500 Canadian adults conducted between Nov. 25 and Dec. 1 view clean energy as the most cost-effective path to life. own province.

Alberta, home to Canada’s vast oil and gas industry, was the outlier among the regions surveyed. 44% of respondents in that province say they believe a clean energy system including hydro, wind, solar and electric vehicles would be more cost-effective, compared with 56% who chose one based on oil, natural gas, coal, and gas cars.

Atlantic Canadians were the most convinced that clean energy would be lighter on their wallets, with 73% choosing hydro, wind, solar and electric over fossil fuels. BC and Quebec follow with 69% in both provinces choosing clean energy.

The findings come amid a heated debate about how to balance the urgent need to tackle climate change with energy security and convenience for consumers. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underlined the importance of secure access to fossil fuels in the near term, as energy costs rise in European nations that have invested heavily in the transition to renewable energy. At the same time, US President Joe Biden’s massive climate spending is having the knock-on effect of other governments ramping up climate spending plans.

While the US Inflation Reduction Act may be well known in political circles, only 54% of respondents to Clean Energy Canada’s survey say they have heard of the legislation. Approved in August, the bill includes $369 billion earmarked for energy security and climate change over 10 years.

Clean Energy Canada also asked respondents to choose which type of energy system, clean energy or fossil fuel, is safer, meaning prices are less controlled by global markets.

Across Canada, 68% have chosen clean energy, with the strongest support in Atlantic Canada (78%) and Quebec (72%). Albertans were more likely to choose fossil fuels, at 47 percent.

Methodology

The survey, funded by Clean Energy Canada, was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from November 25 to December 1, 2022. A random sample of panel members was invited to complete the survey from a number of partner panels based on the exchange platform Lucid . These partners are typically double opt-in survey groups, combined to handle potential data bias from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The data was weighted based on census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population across age, gender, education level, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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