Clean Energy From Canadian Perspective: a Call for Renewable Policies in Canada and a Global Review

“A New National Prize: Making Clean Energy the Next Oil Sands” by Clare Demerse and Dan Woynillowicz appears in the September October issue of Policy magazine. The article distills the findings of the UN-backed study, Pathways to Deep Decarbonization, in which research teams from 15 countries, including Canada, proposed strategies for national energy reform that will allow us to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees.

The report of the U.N.-based Pathways project was presented to the Secretary General in July, to support the UN Climate Summit in September. The press release and details of the Pathways project is at: http://unsdsn.org/news/2014/07/08/ddpp-press-release/.

The Demerse/Woynillowicz article summarizes the overall findings and focuses on the Canadian findings, including that by 2050, wind and solar sources could comprise 27% of Canadian electricity generation, up from 2% today. The article concludes by proposing two simple policy changes to kick off a stronger commitment to clean energy in Canada: more favourable tax treatment for power storage and solar technologies, and consumer incentives for electric vehicles. See “A New National Prize” at: http://policymagazine.ca/pdf/9/PolicyMagazineSeptember-October-14-DemerseWoynillowicz.pdf.

Citing the “wave of hope” generated by the People’s Climate March, on SeptTER-Global-Cover-300ember 21, Clean Energy Canada released its first-ever annual review, called Tracking the Energy Revolution: Global Edition at: http://cleanenergycanada.org/2014/09/21/tracking-energy-revolution-builds-surging-wave-hope/. With maps, photos and infographics, it is loaded with statistics that reveal the extent of the global shift to renewable energy by governments and businesses.

How can Renewable Energy Meet Future Needs in Canada?

A survey released in March by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Trottier Energy Futures Project states that Canada’s supplies of solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass energy are much larger than the current or forecast demand for fuel and electricity. It concludes that Canada can achieve an 80 % reduction in energy-related GHG emissions by 2050 by creating an integrated energy system which includes: a smart electricity grid which uses information technologies “to balance a wider range of supply sources, energy storage, interprovincial transfers of electricity and a wide variety of energy management and efficiency tools.” Still, the report sees “up to half of Canada’s energy demand would still be met by liquid fuels”. An Inventory of Low-Carbon Energy for Canada, released on March 27 at: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2013/03/renewable-energy-sources-can-drive-canadas-low-carbon-future-trottier-energy-fut/ is the second research report released by the Trottier Energy Futures Project.

IN THE U.S. 

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that current renewable energy technologies-wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower-could supply 80% of U.S. electricity in 2050, reliably and across the entire country. Such a conversion would require new power transmission lines, new technologies to store renewable energy and to create a “smart” grid, and economic policies to encourage energy efficiency and lower market barriers to renewable technologies. Read Ramping up Renewables: Energy you can Count on at:

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/clean_energy/Ramping-Up-Renewables-Energy-You-Can-Count-On.pdf 

IN NEW YORK STATE

A new study by Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi, published in the journal Energy Policy, proposes that New York State’s power needs could be met by solar, wind power, hydro and geothermal sources as early as 2030. See “Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State’s All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water, and Sunlight” in Energy Policy 2013 v. 57, at: http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/NewYorkWWSEnPolicy.pdf

 

IN EUROPE 

A newly released report from the World Future Council documents an October 2012 workshop in Denmark where representatives from around the world, including Canada, discussed strategies for implementing renewable energy, and shared successful examples from around Europe. From Vision to Action: A Workshop Report on 100% Renewable Energies in Europe is available at: http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Climate_and_Energy/From_Vision_to_Action_Policy_Recommendations_for_100__RE_in_European_Regions.pdf