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Canada Fails to Make Top-Ten in Green Power Consumption

Annual review tracks the good news in solar and wind, and the bad news in biofuels for Canada and all countries around the world.

Ottawa, Canada, June 12, 2013 --( Canada consumed 19 TWh (terrawatt-hours) of electricity from renewable energy sources in 2012, an increase of 10.5% over 2011 and scored #11 around the world in the 62nd annual "BP Statistical Review of World Energy."

The United States scored in top place at 224 TWh of green power consumption, up 12.3% over 2011, while China increased 25.1% to consume 141 TWh. Rounding out the top-ten places were Germany (+8%); Spain (+18%); Brazil (+25%); Italy (+29%); India (+18%); UK (28%); Japan (+9%) and France (+23%).

A number of recent international reports have indicated that Canada is falling behind the balance of the developed world in its support for renewable energy, which causes concern for the canadian association for renewable energies (we c.a.r.e.). Executive Director Bill Eggertson noted the recent analysis from the International Energy Agency that the share of renewables (as a percent of total final energy consumption) has been slowly declining in Canada over the past 20 years while it is growing in virtually all other countries.

While the BP Review shows progress in Canada, Eggertson notes that the data pertain to green power consumption and do not reflect the potential from Green Heat technologies such as geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass heating systems. Green Heat has the potential to reduce GHG emissions in Canada by more than the output of all coal-fired generating plants in the country, adds Eggertson.

The world average consumption of green power increased 15% to 1,049 TWh in 2012. For solar electric, global consumption rose to 93 TWh while Canada’s consumption jumped 64.5% to 0.7 TWh. In wind energy, the world consumed 521 TWh while Canada’s consumption of wind energy rose 15.3% to 11.7 TWh.

The Review tracks the largest annual increase in US production of oil and natural gas ever recorded, and the largest annual decline in nuclear output. Coal remains the fastest-growing fossil fuel but rising natural gas output in the US resulted in the displacement of coal for power generation, causing the US to experience the largest decline of coal consumption in the world.

There was a drop in the annual growth of overall global energy consumption, to 1.8% in 2012 - down from 2.4% in 2011, partly due to the economic slowdown around the world but also due to increased energy efficiency, notes BP. Output from biofuels fell for the first time since 2000 and global carbon dioxide emissions from energy use continued to grow, but at a slower rate than in 2011.

“For those of us in the energy industry, the challenges are about how we respond to the big shifts we are seeing - a shift in demand towards emerging economies and a shift in supply towards a greater diversity of energy sources, including unconventionals,” says Bob Dudley of BP Group. “The data show there is ample energy available; our challenge as an industry is to make the best choices about where to invest.”

Data from the Review can be downloaded for analysis at:
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canadian association for renewable energies
Bill Eggertson

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