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Community energy big renewable opportunity for rural Canada – Folio

by ahnationtalk on July 8, 2019116 Views

U of A project could inspire municipalities, landowners and Indigenous communities.

Rural Canadian communities aren’t usually at the centre of conversations about renewable energy, but a University of Alberta environmental sociologist is hoping to help change that.

John Parkins is examining how energy transitions have the potential to help rural communities struggling with shrinking populations, aging infrastructure and declining primary industries. The expert in rural development worries that these communities could be sidelined during a shift to renewables, leading to opposition, resentment and a widening political gap.

“As a resource, renewables can potentially provide a solution,” said Parkins. “But there’s no automatic benefit to communities, unless communities are engaged and deeply involved in the design and implementation of these projects.”

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