VANCOUVER — Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the B.C. Speech from the Throne:
“Today’s throne speech emphasized just how much the government is still banking on LNG exports, even though B.C’s chances of success are dropping.
“Renewable energy technology keeps getting cheaper—analysts expect North American LNG exports may increasingly struggle to compete as markets shift off gas and onto cleaner, cheaper renewable energy sources.
“Last year, China built 10 times more renewable electricity capacity than natural gas, and three times more renewable electricity than coal-fired power, investing US$110 billion in clean energy. Meantime, India invested US$10.9 billion in clean energy last year, and has some of the most aggressive renewable energy growth targets in the world.
“Locking into a 20-year contract to export LNG now looks riskier than ever. And if China or India can move from coal-fired power to zero-emission renewable energy, selling LNG as a climate solution doesn’t hold. Natural gas may be better than coal, but it can’t beat renewables—which means LNG could be outcompeted on both economic and environmental grounds.
“While the business case for LNG erodes, the case for clean energy exports is gaining ground—and that’s where B.C. should turn its focus if it wants to remain competitive and relevant in a world demanding clean energy and technology.
“British Columbia has abundant clean energy resources—like the hydropower we could export to Alberta—and bright minds working to grow our clean technology sector. The B.C. government is right to look at how we can create jobs in these sectors and further develop and export our energy and technology solutions. It’s a much stronger business strategy than banking on LNG.”
China built 10 times more renewable electricity capacity than natural gas last year, and three times more renewable electricity than coal-fired power. (Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 2016.)
B.C. is expected to see 29,000 new jobs created in renewables, biofuels and manufacturing by 2025 as it takes action on climate change. (Source: Navius Research, 2015.)
- The global market for clean energy technology was valued at US$790 billion 2013, and is expected to grow to US$1.8 trillion by 2022. (Source: Analytica Advisors, 2015)