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

  • Along Trans Mountain pipeline, opinions range from pro to protest

    Economic CBC News
    The Trans Mountain pipeline hasn't changed much since it was built in 1952. Carved out of the land between Alberta's oil country and the B.C. coast, it began moving about 300,000 barrels of crude a day across the Rockies the following year. Source
  • Free speech vs. copyright in Supreme Court battle between Google, B.C. firm

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A legal fight between Internet giant Google and a British Columbia technology company unfolds today in the Supreme Court of Canada, where they will duel over competing free speech and copyright infringement issues. Source
  • Asian stocks rise after record day on Wall Street

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG - Asian stocks rose Tuesday following another record day on Wall Street as investor optimism bounced back quickly after the Italian referendum. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.5 per cent to 18,370.83 and South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.2 per cent to 1,985.85. Source
  • Ikea to offer expanded parental leave

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK - Ikea's U.S. division is offering longer parental leave to employees who are new parents, following similar overtures from tech companies like Netflix as it strives to keep good workers in an improving job market. Source
  • Indians look for solutions only when toxic pollution soars

    Economic CTV News
    NEW DELHI -- The truth of New Delhi's toxic air finally hit home for Rakhi Singh when her 3-year-old son began to cough constantly early this year. She bought air purifiers for her home. When a thick, grey haze turned the view outside her home into a scene from a bad science fiction film last month, she bought pollution masks. Source
  • China appeals to U.S. to stop disrupting acquisitions

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING -- China has urged Washington to stop disrupting its foreign corporate acquisitions after President Barack Obama blocked the purchase of a German maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment as a security risk. The proposed acquisition of Aixtron SE by China's Fujian Grand Chip was "pure market behaviour," a foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said Monday. Source
  • Families to spend more on groceries, restaurants in 2017: report

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The typical Canadian family will spend up to $420 more on groceries and dining out next year, getting little relief from a recent drop in the cost of food, suggests a new report released Monday. Source
  • Notley aims to sell public on pipeline in B.C. in wake of protests

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Some observers say Alberta's premier will have a difficult job trying to convince British Columbians to support a controversial pipeline project between the provinces. Rachel Notley is in B.C. for two days speaking with various media outlets about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which received federal approval last week. Source
  • Oil industry says carbon pricing coming, pump revenues back into cleaner tech

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canada's petroleum industry lobby group told the federal government this summer that carbon tax revenues from oil and gas should be pumped back into the industry in order to "not only preserve, but enhance" the sector. Source
  • Wages, full-time work sliding for young Canadians, StatsCan says

    Economic CBC News
    Unemployment rates among young Canadians have held relatively steady when compared with the mid-1970s, but the proportion of full-time or permanent jobs has changed sharply over that time, says Statistics Canada. In a study released Monday that looks at changes in the youth labour market from 1976 to 2015, Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate for the 15 to 24 age group averaged 13.2 per cent in 2015, slightly higher than the rate of 12.4 per cent seen in 1976. Source