New Renewable Energy Alliance Wants To Make Good On Canada’s Clean Energy Potential

Canadian Prairies

By Arman Kazemi

May 14, 2015

Four Canadian lobby organizations recently announced an alliance to help promote the expansion of clean energy across the country.

The Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity was created late last week in the hopes of synthesizing policy recommendations, community outreach, and technological innovation under one public banner.

The council is a joint alliance made up of the Canadian Hydropower Association, the Canadian Solar Industries Association, the Canadian Wind Energy Association and Marine Renewables Canada. All four have come together in an effort to “raise the profile of wind, solar, hydro and marine energy opportunities” across Canada away from coal and gas, according to a press release.

“When it comes to renewable electricity resources, no province or territory is left out in the cold. Different sources of renewable electricity have different characteristics, and together they can complement each other to ensure we have clean, affordable, reliable electricity systems across Canada,” the statement claims.

The idea that Canada has all the renewable energy resources it needs but lacks a coordinated policy framework is not new. Last March, a panel of over 60 cross-disciplinary Canadian scholars found that 62 per cent of Canada’s energy already comes from renewable sources (thanks in part to extensive hydro capacity in provinces like B.C. and Quebec) while only 23 per cent comes from fossil fuels.

What the Council on Renewable Electricity hopes to address is the lack of a coherent national framework to leverage provincial renewable resources and promote policy innovations such as carbon taxing to control emissions from provinces lacking in renewable energy sources.

As early as last April, a different group of economists released another report outlining some actionable steps provinces could take, both individually and in unison, to help Canada meet it’s climate reduction goals by 2020.

The new Council intends to work with individual provinces and private sector players to help maximize Canada’s renewable electricity resources across provincial borders. At the same time it would promote technological innovation and legislative frameworks that future governments might adopt to meet Canada’s clean energy goals.

The joint statement claims that, “with abundant and diverse renewable electricity resources distributed across the country, Canada can lead the world in the shift to an increasingly electrified and de-carbonized economy.” “By working together and sharing ideas, the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity hopes to ensure our nation does just that.”