Growth in Renewables Slows Down in Canada

Consumption of renewable energies in Canada will grow at a slower rate than the rest of the world over the next three decades, and will grow much slower than most other energy sources in the country, reports the Canadian Association for Renewable Energies based on forecasts released in the International Energy Outlook 2006 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

Canada’s consumption of renewable energies will increase 1% per year until 2030, slower than the 1.7% expected in the U.S. and the 2.4% annual growth in renewables around the world. The highest increases for renewables are expected in developing countries, but Canada lags behind the average for all OECD nations. “Every year, the data show Canada lagging behind our maligned neighbor to the south, our industrialized counterparts and virtually every other nation in the world,” said Bill Eggertson, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Renewable Energies (C.A.R.E.). “If you disaggregate large hydro and biomass from the figures, Canada barely shows on the chart.” The data reflect only the consumption of marketable energy and do not include green heat sources such as geothermal heat pumps and solar thermal, nor many green power sources such as off-grid solar panels and wind turbines. C.A.R.E. has previously estimated that non-valorized renewables are at least 50% of the level of marketed renewables. The Canadian government does not produce data or forecasts on renewables in Canada. “We have been warning for years that the market share for renewables in Canada is declining,” explains Eggertson. “We may be installing more wind turbines, but that smart growth is over-shadowed by the increased consumption from fossil fuels and ignores a number of policy issues such as Ontario’s re-commitment to nuclear and the federal decimation of a number of policies.”
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