A couple of days ago, CBC had a interview with an advisor to President Obama on energy and climate change issues. The guy singled out Manitoba Premier Gary Doer and said he had been working with California on clean energy strategies. The Premier of Manitoba. He also said that Manitoba was positioning itself to be the clean energy (hydro and wind) Saudi Arabia to the United States.
Today, the Globe has a story about Saskatchewan possibly buying the federal government’s stake in AECL:
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he is keen to forge a partnership with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. to develop reactor technology and other business from the province’s vast uranium deposits. “It’s a natural fit. We are the Saudi Arabia of uranium for the world,” he said in an interview at his Saskatoon office. “We’d be open to different partnerships or dynamics with other levels of government or companies to make sure Saskatchewan is a leader in this regard.”
This is what it means to be an energy hub. Not just a few capital intensive but limited economic impact after the construction. Manitoba’s vision is to have thousands of megawatts of wind energy on the same grid that takes its hydro to the U.S. market today. If you throw in wind energy systems manufacturing and R&D, Manitoba could turn this into multi thousands of good paying jobs and hundreds of millions each year in new tax revenue. Nuclear energy is a high value business. Like it or not, nuclear engineers get paid more than regular engineers. Nuclear welders get paid far more than regular welders. Everything is on steroids in order to insure safety and security.
What is New Brunswick’s vision of an energy hub? 500 more jobs at the refinery in SJ and 300 more at a second reactor? My question would be how do we turn the energy hub concept into 25,000 jobs over the next 10-15 years and then work backwards from that.