A new report released by the Pembina Institute says that despite a “go slow” approach to clean-energy development, Canada remains relatively competitive globally, but risks falling behind. The report, “Competing in Clean Energy” highlights the findings of previous studies, but also included information gathered by interviews with leading entrepreneurs and academics across Canada.
The “go slow” approach to developing a clean-energy sector is characterized by a hesitancy to pass on costs to either industry or consumers. It is contrasted by a “go fast” approach, as demonstrated by Norway and Germany, and a “go smart” approach taken on by say, Australia, which means making modest, cost-effective steps to create low-carbon energy options.
The Pembina report sites the Pew Charitable Trust's 2011 edition of its Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? which ranked Canada’s finance and investment in clean energy eleventh in the G-20. It also sites a 2012 study by the Cleantech Group LLC and the WWF in which Canada placed seventh out of 38 countries in in the ability to produce clean technology innovations over the next ten years. The Pembina Institute’s interviews confirmed both of those studies.
There are currently more than 700 companies in the Canadian clean-tech sector. These drove 11 percent employment growth between 2008 and 2010.
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