Canada Hydropower: Liquid Cornerstone

Canada Hydropower: Liquid Cornerstone

By Russell Ray, Senior Associate Editor, Hydro Review
April 21, 2011   | from Renewable Energy World

IMAGE - Canada Hydropower: Liquid CornerstoneCanada — Canada is already the world’s second-largest hydropower producer behind China. But Canada is bent on producing more, driven by its vast potential for hydropower generation and demands for more clean energy in the U.S.

It’s a major element of Canada’s plan to boost its economy, as lawmakers attempt to wean the country off coal-fired power through landmark legislation that encourages the development of renewable energy, especially hydropower.

“The federal government is intending to introduce legislation to reduce emissions pretty significantly from coal-fired plants,” said Colin Clark, chairman of the Canadian Hydropower Association. “I think that creates an opportunity for hydropower.”

In the U.S., where restrictions on carbon emissions are anticipated and demand is growing, there’s a big market for Canada’s hydropower resources. A handful of deals to export that power to the U.S. have already been made and more are looming.

“The U.S. is constrained in how it can develop its own generation systems because of uncertainty around carbon,” said Dan McCarthy, president and chief executive officer of Black & Veatch Water. “Canadian hydro companies have an opportunity to take advantage of that uncertainty and get some power purchase agreements in place.”

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