President, WaterPower Canada
With fires and extreme weather events becoming more common, the effects of climate change are becoming clear to Canadians. More than ever, we must take aggressive action to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Our federal government has set ambitious net-zero emissions goals. One of the best ways to achieve this is to continue investing in renewable energy that is reliable and utilizes proven technology. On this score, waterpower is the winner.
All a hydro plant needs to operate is water, something Canada has in abundance. Wind and solar only produce when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. In Canada, waterpower already provides more than 60 per cent of our electricity supply, with tens of thousands of megawatts of potential.
Reliable and clean energy
WaterPower Canada, the country’s waterpower industry association, is a leading advocate for responsible development and use of hydropower to meet our electricity needs in a sustainable manner.
“Hydro generation is a natural complement to other renewable generation,” says Gilbert Bennett, President, WaterPower Canada. “But hydro has unique capabilities that other renewables don’t, and these capabilities are essential for delivering reliable service to customers.”
With water in the reservoir, waterpower can be counted on to deliver reliable power, filling the gap when wind and solar cannot generate the power required by customers. During periods of low demand, hydro generation can reduce production and store energy for later use. Reservoir storage gives waterpower operators the ability to adjust production to meet customers’ needs and to accommodate variations in rain and snowfall from one year to the next. The storage capability available with hydropower is far greater than can be provided by batteries.
Waterpower is the backstop for other renewables, and this capability will be more important in the future as utilities add more variable renewable generation to the grid.
Bennett adds that most Canadians understand the need to move to a renewable future, and successfully doing so means that we need to use all non-emitting technologies to get there. “Our path to net zero will be defined by a portfolio of generation alternatives based on reliability, economic, and environmental considerations. Wind and solar, nuclear, and of course, hydropower all have a role in getting us there,” he says.
Hydropower will lead our path to net zero, learn more at waterpowercanada.ca.