What Type of Sustainable Energy Can Canada Provide?
Currently, Canada is one of the leaders regarding renewable energy production (approximately 16.9% of Canadas energy is coming from renewable resources). With that being said, we are still mostly reliant on fossil fuels. Since sustainable energy sources are not at risk for depletion, they beg for more attention.
Wind is an incredible resource, that needs to be harnessed. Wind turbines can provide both mechanical energy (water pumping, mills etc.) and electricity. The provinces in which are at the forefront of wind power are; Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. With that being said, wind energy is only providing around 3% of the total energy output in Ontario. There is so much room for improvement.
Solar energy utilizes light and heat from the sun. This allows for buildings to be heated, and have electricity provided. There are two solar energy options;
- Solar Thermal panels: These panels allow for water or air to be heated for use in HVAC systems and domestic hot water.
- Solar photovoltaic technology: This technology converts energy from the sun into electricity.
Solar potential in Canada is highly promising, providing the best potential in central areas. Coastal regions tend to have higher cloud coverage. Canadas usage of solar energy has increased, but can still be improved upon.
This renewable energy source accounts for approximately 23% of our energy output within Ontario. Energy harnessed from falling or moving water is; clean, in-expensive and reliable. There are around 200 water power facilities within Ontario alone. Provinces vary in terms of their hydroelectric generation (e.g. 90% of British Columbias electricity is generated through hydroelectric means).
Although Ontario is a good distance from the coastal regions of Canada, tidal energy has so much potential. If you have ever visited the Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, you know how breath taking it is. It is not only beautiful to visit, it has the potential to produce 30,000 MW of energy. This energy is being produced everyday; just as naturally as the tides. It is up to us to begin harnessing it.