Hydropower: A Key Canadian Asset in Tackling Climate Change
Canadian Hydropower Association
2016 Consultations on Climate Change
Canada has vast hydropower resources that can increase the supply of renewable nonemitting
energy to citizens and businesses, support the electrification of the economy,
facilitate the development of other renewable sources of power and play a key role in
tackling climate change. To support the development of this important resource,
I) A Pan-Canadian carbon pricing mechanism with broad sector coverage.
The carbon price should produce a clear and sufficient price signal in all regions of
Canada to drive a progressive and sustained shift toward a higher percentage of
renewable non-emitting power and to support electrification of the economy. To avoid
overlap and excessive administrative costs, the pan-Canadian carbon pricing mechanism
should accommodate the various existing provincial carbon pricing systems.
II) A Timely and Efficient Federal Environmental Assessment and Authorization Process
Canada’s vast hydropower resources represent a key asset in the fight to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Because hydropower is capital intensive and long to develop,
it is particularly sensitive to regulatory delays and uncertainty. The development of
Canada’s largest renewable power source requires timely, clear, efficient, and broadly
supported environmental assessment and authorization processes that recognize the
benefits of non-emitting power. This should be a government priority during the
upcoming reviews of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and Fisheries Act (FA).
III) Public Support for Action
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, shifting our energy sources
toward more renewable power and electrifying the economy will bring large air quality,
health and economic co-benefits. Promoting these co-benefits is important to maintain
public support for climate action.
IV) Awareness of the Role and Benefits of Hydropower and other Renewables
The government should continue to actively promote hydropower as a key Canadian
clean and renewable energy source domestically and abroad.
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