Canada falling behind in renewable energy investment, study says

Canada is dropping behind its major trading partners in renewable energy investment, according to a study from a clean energy advocacy group.

See Full Article

Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada suggests government-set targets and goals for wind and solar power in regional energy grids is the best way to spur that investment and keep Canada in the game.

"Clean energy is taking off around the world and in the countries that we consider our markets," she said. "This is really a wake-up call for Canada."

Clean Energy Canada, in a report released Monday, found 2015 was a record-breaking year for investment in clean energy such as solar and wind power.

Using figures from international agencies and business databases, the group found a total of $497 billion was invested in 2015. That's a seven per cent increase from the previous year despite competition from low-priced fossil fuels.

The largest chunk of that money -- $226 billion -- was spent in developing countries, the study found.

About $218 billion went toward solar energy and about $150 billion was spent on wind power, the two largest types of investment.

The list of countries and regions that increased spending on renewable energy is long.

U.S. spending was up seven per cent. In the U.K. and India, it went up 23 per cent. China spent 17 per cent more on renewables and Mexico increased its investments by 114 per cent.

Meanwhile, spending in Canada actually declined by about half, even though the country remains ranked eighth in the world in terms of absolute dollars.

The reason, said Smith, is the lack of new government targets and regulations for the use of renewable energy.

"(Clean energy) doesn't need subsidies, it needs policies that commit to targets," Smith said.

Most of the investment that resulted from Ontario's decision to purchase more renewable energy has already happened, she said. Provinces such as British Columbia haven't made such promises yet and those that have, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, have yet to come up with the details.

Alberta has promised to get just under a third of its power from renewables by 2030. Saskatchewan said by that year, half its electricity is expected to come from clean sources.

"We need to see that translated into policy this year," Smith said. "That will help boost Canada's investment.

"What we know is that good targets and good policy really help."

The first ministers' meeting on climate to be held this week in Vancouver could also help.

"One thing they could commit to is a clean energy plan for Canada that makes real, tangible clean energy commitments," she said.

Smith said that wind and solar power are becoming cheaper and more competitive with fossil fuels.

They're already cost-competitive in 30 countries, she said, adding that in a place such as Alberta, with large wind power potential, renewables can already compete with fossil fuels.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Employment scam tops BBB's list of top scams for 2016

    Economic CBC News
    Canadians lost a reported $90 million to scams last year, according the Better Business Bureau's list of the top ten scams of 2016 The list was compiled with information gathered from the Bureau's scam tracker website, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and concerns from community partners. Source
  • Air Miles sends belated apology to collectors after learning 'humbling lessons' in 2016

    Economic CBC News
    Air Miles wants to make amends with its members for a rough 2016, so it's emailing them an apology of sorts starting Wednesday morning. The year was "challenging" and "we learned very difficult, public and humbling lessons," Blair Cameron, head of Air Miles, says in the letter. Source
  • Hershey expects to cut 15 per cent of global workforce

    Economic CTV News
    HERSHEY, Pa. -- Hershey expects to cut its global workforce by about 15 per cent, with the reductions coming mostly from hourly employees outside the United States. The Pennsylvania chocolate maker also trimmed its forecast for long-term sales growth to between 2 per cent and 4 per cent, down from the previous 3 per cent to 5 per cent. Source
  • Women's retailer BCBG Max Azria seeks creditor protection, will close stores in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    Women's upscale fashion retail chain BCBG Max Azria is seeking protection from creditors in the North America, and plans to restructure, including closing all its standalone stores in Canada. The chain, founded in Los Angeles in 1989, has grown to 550 stores worldwide. Source
  • Uber CEO caught on video arguing about fares

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- Uber's CEO says he needs leadership help after a video has emerged of him arguing with a driver about fares. In a video obtained by Bloomberg News, Travis Kalanick is seen discussing Uber's business model with the driver. Source
  • Uber CEO, after outburst caught on video: 'I need leadership help'

    Economic CTV News
    Uber's CEO says he needs leadership help after a video has emerged of him arguing heatedly with a driver about fares. In the latest embarrassment to beset the ride-hailing company, CEO Travis Kalanick is seen discussing Uber's business model with the driver. Source
  • Ont. man denied $10,000 jackpot over casino 'self-exclusion' rule

    Economic CTV News
    An Ontario man was shocked when he recently won more than $10,000 at a casino, only to be told he wasn’t eligible to collect his winnings. John Marando, 82, recently thought he had met a run of great luck, when he won a jackpot while playing a slot machine at the Mohawk racetrack outside of Milton, Ont. Source
  • New York City's Waldorf Astoria closing for major makeover

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The word "grand" matched few hotels in the world better than New York City's Waldorf Astoria, but this bastion of gilded splendor is now closing for two to three years for a transformative makeover. Source
  • Cape Breton's underground coal mining resumes after 15 years

    Economic CTV News
    DONKIN, N.S. - Underground coal mining has restarted in Cape Breton, more than 15 years after the fossil fuel was last cut from a rock face beneath the island. A news release from a minority stakeholder in the operation says 64 employees and contractors have been working at the Donkin project site since Monday night. Source
  • With no rate change expected, analysts to scrutinize BoC's words

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- With the Bank of Canada widely expected to leave its benchmark interest rate untouched Wednesday, analysts will focus on the tone of an announcement that arrives amid significant uncertainty about U.S. economic proposals. Source