Lost Opportunities: Canada and Renewable Energy

Publication - Sept. 1, 1999 - By Andrew Pape-Salmon

Canada, like most industrialized countries, currently uses only a small amount of non-hydroelectric renewable energy. In fact, Canada derived only 3.8% of its total energy needs from these renewable energy sources in 1996. The most environmentally benign renewable energy technologies are solar, wind, and micro-hydro (river, tidal, wave) power facilities, all of which can be used to generate electricity. This brief explains why Canada should make the development of renewable energy sources a priority, and identifies some of the main barriers that are blocking the implementation of these technologies. About half of the paper is devoted to comparing Canada's record with that of other developed countries in promoting and developing renewable energy technologies in the areas of regulatory mechanisms, fiscal mechanisms, and research, development and demonstration program


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