Second Government Agency Confirms Canada's Decline in Renewable Energy

A second federal agency has confirmed that output from emerging renewable energy sources in Canada declined significantly in 2013.

Domestic production from wind, solar and tidal sources last year declined 19.9% over 2012, according to the National Energy Board. The 33 petajoules produced from these three technologies was below the 37 PJ produced in 2011 and only slightly above the 32 PJ they contributed in 2010.

By contrast, total production from all sources of energy in 2013 rose 5.4% to 18,194 PJ, with the greatest increase (9.2%) from petroleum sources, while nuclear rose 8.4%, according to NEB's ‘Canadian Energy Overview 2013.'

This means that emerging renewable energy technologies (excluding hydro dams and biomass) provides less than 0.2% of Canada's energy, only marginally better than in 2009.

Statistics Canada data show that annual power output from solar panels declined 7.6% in 2013 while wind grew by 3% ... barely ahead of the 2.8% increase from all sources of electricity but behind the 6.6% increase in output from nuclear reactors. Canada's only tidal generating facility in the Bay of Fundy saw its output drop by 45%.

For electricity, wind supplied 1.5% of Canada's power last year while solar PV contributed 0.04%, according to the annual Stats Canada report.

The Canadian Association for Renewable Energies has been warning for some time that, while installed capacity of emerging renewables is growing, the output from solar panels and wind turbines has been declining.

"For both green power and green heat options, renewables are losing market share when we should be skyrocketing," says Bill Eggertson of we c.a.r.e. "The first quarter of 2014 shows solar up 32% in power output and 1.7% more electricity from wind, but nuclear output grew by 7.1% in Q1."

Statistical data from these two Canadian agencies underscore recent reports from the International Energy Agency, OECD, US Department of Energy, World Bank and private commercial organizations that Canada's adoption of emerging renewable energies will remain well below the growth rates of the United States and other developed countries.

The canadian association for renewable energies (we c.a.r.e.) was created in 1995 to promote feasible applications for green power, green fuels and green heat. It created the GreenHeat Partnership to exploit the potential for geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass thermal in space conditioning, and offers a daily newsfeed on developments in Canada on renewable energies.

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