Hydro developers use wind as bargaining chip to get more capacity

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In their lobbying for government incentives for the development of new hydroelectric capacity, Canada's hydro developers are using the promise of wind power as a bargaining chip. "Hydropower's unique operational flexibility makes it the best source of electricity to support the development of other renewables such as wind energy," the Canadian Hydro Association says. Research conducted by Hydro-Quebec has shown that the seasonal distribution of wind energy not only closely matches electricity demand in Canada, but also complements water inflows, allowing utilities to save more water in their reservoirs. Although hydro supplies about 60% of Canada's electricity, few large scale projects have been developed over the past 12 years, mostly, says the association, because of a difficult environmental assessment process. The association wants governments to streamline and harmonise their environmental assessment requirements. It also wants new hydro projects to receive emissions reduction credits.

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