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Keith Hirsche, Founder/President RenuWell Energy Solutions Inc

Keith HirscheKeith is a fourth-generation Albertan and second-generation in the oil and gas industry. In 1977, he began a geoscience research career that focused on improving recovery from oil and gas fields in Alberta and internationally. Keith’s work experience includes research support for in-situ oilsands projects, software development and Canada’s first CO2 sequestration/EOR project. In 2003, while visiting extended family in Denmark, he was introduced to renewable energy technology. Shortly afterwards, Keith founded Elemental Energy Inc to explore how conventional and renewable energy systems can be combined for a more sustainable future. 

Since early 2016, Keith has worked with key stakeholders to realize the potential of using abandoned oil and gas sites as a foundation for solar energy development. This RenuWell Project has slowly developed and matured through ongoing discussions with the oil and gas industry, renewable energy developers, landowners and Alberta’s regulatory agencies. 

During the early stages of the RenuWell Project, Keith learned about Iron and Earth and recognized the vital role the organization plays in preparing oil and gas workers to be part of the ongoing energy transition. Iron and Earth has been a key part of the RenuWell Project since its inception.

Iron & Earth was founded and operates on Indigenous land within Treaty Six Territory and Métis Region 4 in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (in Nehiyawewin/Cree), so-called Edmonton. The home of many Indigenous Peoples including the Nehiyawak/Cree, Tsuut’ina, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, Dene Suliné, Anishinaabe/Ojibway/Saulteaux, and the Inuk/Inuit.

We pay our respects to all Indigenous Peoples of this land. Through their spiritual and practical relationships with the land, a rich heritage for our learning and our life as a community has been created and maintained. We recognize that the transition to a low-carbon future must be led by Indigenous Peoples and that there will be no justice unless we acknowledge and repair our relationship with the land.

We are committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and acknowledge that we are always learning and unlearning practices that minimize harm and lead to the development of trust between us and Indigenous Peoples across Nations and urban centers.