Canada’s industry organization says net-zero climate goals can’t be met without massive renewables expansion

Ontario — Nearly 150 renewable energy operations leaders from across Canada gathered this week at the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)’s 2022 Operations Summit, the country’s largest wind, solar and energy-storage operations event.

This was the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that the CanREA Operations Summit has been held in-person. In 2021, the conference was held virtually.

“It has been more than two years since we met in this forum and there is not enough time to unpack what we have all been through in the time since we were last together,” said Phil McKay, CanREA’s Senior Operations Director, during his opening remarks on May 31.

“While we meet just over 8% of electricity demand in the country, we have demonstrated that our technologies can be operated reliably in extreme circumstances and are ready to take on a larger proportion of Canada’s energy needs. We must continue to provide affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy in every area of this country regardless of what lies ahead,” McKay told the crowd.

As the lowest-cost options for new electricity in Canada, wind and solar are expected to become the fastest-growing sources going forward.

However, in order to meet Canada’s net-zero targets, CanREA says Canada must expand at an unprecedented scale at about 3,800 MW of new wind-energy capacity and 1,600 MW of new solar-energy capacity every year from now until mid-century. This represents a 10-fold expansion by 2050.

Over the course of two days, attendees networked with colleagues and learned about wind and solar O&M tools, human factors, burnout prevention, growing the industry and workforce development.

“What we can do today with solar, wind, and energy-storage equipment far surpasses what our electricity system has seen in the past century, and we are limited only by our creativity to think beyond the mere replication of the status quo and to form a new system, using the experiences we have gained at the leading edge,” said McKay.

CanREA also expressed appreciation to its Media Partner (for the event)—pvbuzz.com.


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