Towards a Renewable and Sustainable Energy Future / Canadian
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From: "janson2997" <janson1997@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 08:01:57 -0000
Subject: [fuelcell-energy] Towards a Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Towards a Renewable and Sustainable Energy Future :Renewable Energies
8.2.04 Pierre Fortin, Executive Director, Canadian Hydropower
Rob McMonagle, Executive Director, Canadian Solar Industries
Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association
How can the world meet its 21st century energy needs while protecting
the environment? This is the task before us, and only with affordable
and environmentally sound energy can we maintain our quality of life
and develop our economies.
This can be achieved with the implementation of energy efficiency and
conservation measures, and also the sustainable development of clean
and renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind energy, and
But to achieve the transition from a largely fossil-fuel based world
energy mix to a more sustainable and renewable energy scenario, we
must have a comprehensive long-term renewable energy strategy. Such a
strategy would take into account economic, social and environmental
aspects, would look at energy needs and available potential at
national and regional levels, and would build on the potential
synergies of different energy sources.
For example, a comprehensive energy strategy would consider the
following. As the production of electricity from intermittent sources
of green power increases, the need for complementary energy storage
systems will also increase. This we know. We also know that in
countries like Germany and Denmark, wind power is complemented
primarily by baseload production of fossil-fuel generated
electricity. Given the environmental degradation caused by the
burning of fossil fuels, we neither want nor need this solution for
Canada. Because hydropower is low emitting, clean, and renewable, as
well as uniquely flexible, it is the best source to support the
development of renewables such as wind and solar.
With renewable energies working together, what might a sustainable
energy future look like? In Canada today, hydropower supplies close
to 60 percent of current electricity production, and wind and solar
less than 1 percent -- but the potential for development is enormous.
We estimate the technical potential of wind power to be approximately
50,000 MW, solar power 70,000 MW, and hydropower 118,000 MW. I think
we need to rethink these potential numbers. Wind has much more than
50,000 MW of potential�..we say 50,000 because the much larger number
has not been quantified and 50,000 represents about 20% of
electricity supply � a level we feel an intermittent source can
easily meet without imposing huge costs on the system. I would
suggest that solar, as another intermittent source, needs to consider
a similar constraint.
A Renewable Energy Strategy
Sustainable development, whether local or global, demands an increase
in the use of all renewable energies. While it is important to set
targets for the development of renewables such as wind and solar, it
is equally important to recognize that hydropower, be it large or
small, run-of-river or storage, is a renewable energy source. .
Canada needs to develop a formal comprehensive strategy for the
future development of all renewables, addressing their needs and
including appropriate incentives for each renewable source of energy.
For example, some renewable energy technologies require additional
investment for more research and development before they can be
commercialized. Others have been on the market for decades but are
currently facing difficulties at remaining competitive due to the
rising cost of environmental impact assessment requirements and very
high capital costs.
A national renewable energy strategy would require all energy
technologies to be evaluated on a life-cycle basis, for a better
accounting of their positive and negative environmental aspects. This
national strategy would also build on the synergies of renewables by
including in assessments an analysis of the complementary nature of
renewables. Moreover, affordability would be redefined: the hidden
health, environmental and social costs of fossil-fuel based energy
should be reflected in the market price.
New assessment criteria, new energy technologies, new synergies, new
environmental issues, all of this calls for a central coordinating
mechanism within government devoted to the development and deployment
of renewable electricity sources. Such a mechanism can ensure that
all renewable energy sources receive appropriate federal government
support and incentives to pursue healthy development.
The development of renewable energies would not only reduce our
dependence on fossil fuels, leading to fewer greenhouse gas
emissions, making for cleaner air, and energy price stability, but it
would also generate new jobs in a wide range of sectors such as
research, manufacturing, and installation. In this way, Canada could
continue its tradition of being a world leader in energy expertise.
To reach this future, renewable energies, with good governance, must
continue working together. So we will.
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