When it comes to investment in renewable energy, Canada is among the world’s top 10, according to Ernst & Young’s Renewable energy country attractiveness indices.
TORONTO: When it comes to investment in renewable energy, Canada is among the world’s top 10, according to Ernst & Young’s Renewable energy country attractiveness indices.
The Toronto-based consulting firm’s indices, which score national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and their suitability for individual technologies, put Canada in ninth position out of 29 countries. The top 10 as of February 2010 are China with a score of 71 out of 100, the US (67), Germany (63), India (63), UK (62), Italy (62), France (58), Spain (55), Canada (54), and Portugal (52).
Ernst & Young says new investment in clean energy reached unprecedented levels last year, climbing 30% to US$243 billion.
“But some countries and technologies are still finding economic conditions deeply challenging, leaving the global market in an overall state of flux,” said Stephen Lewis, leader of Ernst & Young’s renewable energy advisory practice in Canada.
Canada is well positioned to thrive in the marketplace but there are some challenges ahead.
On the plus side, Ernst and Young notes the US has approved a one-year extension of the US Treasury grant scheme, providing respite to the American market and providing near-term stability across North America, which means greater certainty for Canadian export opportunities.
In Canada, a little provincial unity has resulted in a $6.2 billion deal between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador to develop transmission assets from the 824-megawatt Muskrat Falls hydroelectric power facility.
Ontario’s renewable energy market continues to grow, with new contract offers from the Ontario Power Authority and a number of projects passing the notice-to-proceed stage, while Canada’s wind power sector is attracting financing, notably the Glen Dhu wind farm in Nova Scotia and the Mont Louis wind farm in Quebec last year.
And the merger between Magma Energy Corp. and Plutonic Power Corp. to create Alterra Power Corp. creates a geothermal and onshore wind development company that reduces market risk while leveraging synergistic project development skills, says the consulting company analysis.
But there are concerns China’s rapidly expanding renewable energy market can sustain the momentum, which could create additional competition for Canadian businesses, particularly in the wind sector where some domestically focused suppliers may seek international alternatives to maintain growth.
Ernst & Young’s indices are updated on a regular basis.