Output from green power drops in Canada

Federal statistics show that the contribution from renewable energy sources continues to decline, compared with conventional carbon-based fuel sources.

Electricity generation from wind turbines and solar panels across Canada dropped more than 14% in the first five months of this year, according to Statistics Canada.

For the January-to-June period, the output from windfarms was 4,032,649 MWh and 127,507 MWh from solar PV, notes CANSIM table127-0002 on electric power statistics. This compares with 4,712,058 MWh from and 132,208 MWh from solar during the same period of 2012. By contrast, output from tidal power rose from 12,705 to 14,423 MWh for the five months.

As a result of the decline, the national share from wind and solar dropped to 1.4% of total electricity output during the period, compared its contribution of 1.6% for January-to-June 2012.

During all 2012, total wind output was 8,744,707 MWh, 259,715 MWh from solar panels and 27,128 MWh from tidal power, out of a national total of 594,875,004 MWh, says StatCan.

"While wind output dropped 14.4% and solar slipped 3.6%, Canada's total generation of electricity declined 0.8%, which means that renewables continue to lose share," notes Bill Eggertson, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Renewable Energies (we c.a.r.e.). "We've been warning for some time that the good news on the growth in renewables, is overshadowed by the even-greater growth in conventional energy output."

"The recent meeting of energy ministers in Yellowknife noted that green power capacity has grown at a rapid pace over the last decade and the trend is expected to continue, but that is not due to sources which many Canadians regard as truly renewable," adds Eggertson. "Feed-in tariffs and legislated renewable portfolio standards are key, but there must be stronger efforts to curtail the growth of conventional energy sources, or the share from renewables will continue to drop."

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