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CANWEA 2017: Canada forecasts investment boom

CANADA: The country can expect to see close to C$100 billion ($80 billion) in new renewable energy investment between now and 2040, delegates attending the Canadian Wind Energy Association's (CANWEA) annual conference were told during the event's opening plenary session.

CanWEA president Robert Hornung opens the 2017 conference
CanWEA president Robert Hornung opens the 2017 conference

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts wind and solar PV to make up 72% of all new capacity additions over the period, as coal generation is phased out and the bulk of the country's ageing nuclear fleet is refurbished.

Although there will be significant gas-fired additions in the short term, wind's falling costs and the planned implementation of a national carbon price will help push fossil fuel generation out of the money, said BNEF's lead wind analyst for North America, Alex Morgan.

Wind is already a low-cost option for new build, said Morgan, and will be cheaper than existing coal-fired generation by 2025. By 2027, it will be less expensive than existing gas generation.

"In addition, we are expecting to see potentially record prices in Alberta's upcoming renewable energy auction," she said.

"If there's anything we've learned from other auctions, it's that the cost of renewables can be even lower than ancipated. So, consider this a conservative case."

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