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Canada could help deliver on North American clean energy target

June 30, 2016 - Earlier this week, the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico committed to advance clean energy and integration of energy resources, including renewables, by setting a goal of 50 per cent clean power generation in North America by 2025. They also committed to support the development of cross-border transmission projects, including for renewable electricity, and to conduct a joint study on the opportunities and impacts of adding more renewables to the power grid on a North American basis.

The Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity says it applauds the efforts of Prime Minister Trudeau, President Obama and President Peña Nieto to capitalize on the important economic and environmental opportunities provided by increased use of renewable electricity.

“Having North America’s leaders make increased use of clean energy a priority clearly recognizes Canada’s renewable energy potential and illustrates how exporting some of that potential is good for Canada and North America, both environmentally and economically,” says Jacob Irving of the Canadian Hydropower Association.

In 2014, 64.5 per cent of Canadian electricity generation came from renewable energy resources.

“To build on today’s announcement a clear next step for Prime Minister Trudeau will be to work with provincial and territorial governments to develop a renewable electricity export strategy that capitalizes on Canada’s abundance of renewable energy resources,” adds Robert Hornung of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

The United States’ Clean Power Plan allows states to count imports from non-emitting sources toward their targets if the sources were developed after 2012.

Canadian exports to the U.S. could see a three-fold increase as a result of the Clean Power Plan’s implementation. Canadian electricity exports surpassed previous records in 2015, with net export volumes of almost 60 terawatt hours (TW.h) and net export revenues of $2.8 billion.