[Image in on-line article shows 65% of Canada's electricity generation
in 2013 came from renewables, and just 20% from fossil fuels. With the
phase-out of coal-fired generation in Ontario in early 2014, the
situation is actually better now. Other reports have indicated that
Canada could be at less than 5% fossil-fuel generation by 2030 with
concerted will and using off-the-shelf technology.]
Canadian renewable energy report released prior to First Ministers’ Meeting
OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada
By Gregory B. Poindexter Associate Editor
The Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CCRE) today released its
report, “Canada’s Advantage: A Vision for Renewable Electricity in
Canada,” which identifies renewable electricity resources that will cut
carbon pollution as Canada shifts from fossil fuels to clean energy.
CCRE released the report in advance of Canadian Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau hosting a First Ministers’ Meeting and a meeting with First
Nations, Inuit, and Metis leaders today in the country’s capital city of
Ottawa, in Ontario, to discuss amongst other things, clean energy growth
and climate change.
CCRE said in the report that one of the ways in which Canada will reduce
its use of fossil fuels involves using smart grids and cites information
that conveys, “Renewable power is not only a key factor in driving the
need for a smart grid, but also in making a better grid possible.”
In its mention of key factors driving the need for a smart grid, the
report says, “Canada has a critical advantage over many other
jurisdictions to help smooth over variability issues [related to smart
grids]: substantial hydropower resources.
“Electricity grids have always required storage and flexible resources,
and hydro power is the only large scale, dispatchable non-emitting
resource that can both store electricity and very rapidly ramp up and
down (increase or reduce its supply) in response to changing requirements."
Abundant renewable electricity resources offer the country a competitive
advantage in global efforts to cut carbon pollution and deliver clean
growth, and can power Canada’s economy as it shifts from fossil fuels to
clean energy, according to the report.
The report offers the following recommendations:
Aim for a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2050 — Implement policies
to phase-out practically all emitting generation sources by 2050 and
ensure the sustained growth of the share of generation produced by
Shifting from fossil fuels to clean electricity — Commit to
increasing the use of electricity in our energy system to over 50% of
all energy used in Canada by 2050, by shifting from fossil fuels to
clean electricity for buildings, transportation and industry; and
A renewable energy export strategy — Prioritize the development of
a renewable energy export strategy, including work on streamlining of
cross-border transmission projects, and efforts to increase the export
of renewable electricity technologies and services.
Hydropower industry executives added their thoughts related to the
report and the need for clean energy growth in Canada.
“Different sources of renewable electricity have different attributes
that, when put together, can complement each other to ensure we have
clean, reliable and affordable electricity across Canada,” said Elisa
Obermann, Marine Renewables Canada executive director.
“Canada is a trading nation, and the renewable electricity sector can
step up its contribution to clean growth,” said Jacob Irving, Canadian
Hydropower Association president. “From exporting clean electricity to
the United States, to sharing our technologies and know-how with
countries around the world, we can compete in the fast-growing global
market for clean energy solutions.”
According to CCRE, renewable energy sources such as sun, wind, and water
currently meet 65% of Canada’s electricity needs. Canada also has the
cleanest, most renewable electricity generation system in the G7 and the
fourth-largest renewable energy capacity in the world.
The federal government’s recently released “Mid-Century Long-Term
Low-Greenhouse Gas Development Strategy” includes increased
electrification of all end-use application that currently rely on fossil
fuels, continued decarbonization of the electricity sector, and
increased interprovincial and intercontinental cooperation on
Established in 2015, the CCRE is a non-partisan organization that allows
Canada’s leading national renewable electricity industry associations to
collaborate, educate and pursue common opportunities as a solutions
provider to the critical challenge of decarbonizing the North American
energy system while bolstering economic growth.
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