A few months back, the Canadian Renewable Energy Association announced that Canada’s solar energy, wind energy, and energy storage sectors finished very strong last year. Furthermore, they are ready to gain more momentum in 2021 with the growth of net metering.

A Word from the President of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association

Robert Hornung, CEO and President of the association said that Canada finished last year with an aggregate wind capacity of 13,588 Megawatts, an aggregate solar capacity of roughly 3,000 Megawatts alongside evident growth in energy storage, and a positive outlook for 2021, despite the challenges triggered by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

He also said that there were greater corporate demands and policy commitments from all levels of government in 2020. All these things point towards a rapid and surging growth for our clean technologies in 2021 and subsequent years.

The Resilience of Canada’s Energy Sector

The effects of the global pandemic delayed several green energy projects from being completed in 2020. For example, disrupting supply chains, fluctuating energy demands, and triggering health concerns for the country’s workforce stalled the progress. However, despite all these, Canada continued experiencing progress in the massive construction of solar energy and wind energy projects in 2021.

A minimum solar PV capacity of 70 Megawatts has been installed alongside 166 Megawatts generated from wind power. This year in January, power generation from the sun and the wind constituted 40% of the power demand in Prince Edward Island and 18% in Nova Scotia. In other Canadian provinces, this energy demand is quickly pushing 10%.

As of January this year, there were large-scale energy projects under construction across Canada, precisely 240 Megawatts for Solar energy and 745 Megawatts for Wind energy. With this in view, Canada speculates a great deal of expansion in 2022. Canada also expects an aggregate energy generation of roughly 2 gigawatts of solar and wind projects to be constructed or installed in 2021.

Furthermore, solar and wind energy projects have provided more power to the installed electricity-generating capacity of Canada than any other technology over the past ten years. A large chunk of this contribution is credited to the significant reductions in cost, a perk of revolutionary technological enhancements.

The Growth of Canada’s Field of Energy Storage

Canada’s Field of Energy Storage is experiencing rapid growth. As of January this year, Canada had an overall utility-scale energy-storage capacity of over 130 Megawatts/250 MWh, 10 percent of which became active last year.

The costs are consistently decreasing. Apart from that, the emergence of regulations and market structures will allow for increased energy-storage deployment. As a result, large-scale and small-scale energy-storage options will likely experience further expansion this year.

For instance, operators and regulators of the electricity system are currently working on options for integrating storage on the grid. This includes provinces such as Alberta and Ontario reviewing market rules and pioneer projects in Saskatchewan and Quebec.

Regardless of the challenges faced due to the pandemic, last year had the potential for new, big opportunities from all tiers of government. For example, the Saskatchewan province and the City of Edmonton began acquisition processes, with the province expecting feedback on battery storage projects within its territory. On the other hand, the Canadian government and the provincial government of Quebec both announced their intention to acquire cost-effective, non-emitting electrical energy in the near future.

The Role of Renewable Energy in Reducing Carbon Emissions

2020 ended strong with the Canadian government stating a new climate plan in December and the province of Quebec unveiling its new electrification strategy in November. Wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage are predicted to function in a significant role to ensure commitments are met to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Throughout last year, renewable energy consistently came through as an alternative power source for firms such as RBC that wanted to lessen their carbon emissions. As a result, this company signed a contract to directly acquire green energy from BluEarth Renewables, Capital Power, and Bullfrog Power.

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