Renewable energy, retrofits touted as job-creating alternative to oil sector devastation

More renewable energy projects could create jobs and economic activity to partly offset the oil industry downturn following the COVID-19 pandemic, say advocates. (Kham/Reuters) With a barrel of Canadian oil now going for the same price as a cup of coffee, some renewable energy experts say it’s time for a different approach to building Canada’s energy sector. They say the massive job losses and economic turmoil hammering the oil industry could be at least partly offset by a more aggressive shift toward renewables, energy-efficiency retrofits and other sustainable infrastructure. "There are very practical reasons it would make sense," said Martin Boucher, of the University of Saskatchewan’s Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Western Canadian Select crude oil has been selling for less than $5 a barrel since the coronavirus-imposed travel bans and business shutdowns caused demand to plummet more than a month ago. Even last week’s deal between OPEC and other world powers to cut supply by 10 per cent failed to ignite crude prices. On Friday, WCS was listed at $2.87. "Only gradual increases in crude oil prices are expected through all of 2020 as these factors persist, which could lead to record levels of expected global […]

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