Canada’s energy strategy – where is the plan?
July 11, 2012
By Treena Hein
By Treena Hein
“We are fortunate in Canada to have an abundance of energy right across the country – so abundant that ‘big picture’ energy planning has never had to be consistent across the nation,” says 360 Energy’s Lisa Brodeur.
However, in the last couple of years, it has become increasingly evident that all provinces and territories will have to work together in order to accomplish a unified energy strategy that will improve the bottom line for all citizens of this country.
A key ingredient in this strategy-to-come must be market development. The Canada-Asia Energy Futures Task Force has released a report highlighting the need for Canada to diversify its energy portfolio, namely by being able to export energy to the Asian market.
With the US being Canada’s only energy export trading partner, suppliers do not receive top-notch market pricing – especially when US oil and gas supplies continue to grow. This limited market suppresses the incentive for producers to increase their research and development or improve upon their energy offerings. With that, comes limited job creation and economic growth for a country that heavily relies on its energy sector to provide a strong employment base.
However, at the same time opening up our energy export options would increase market prices for producers, it would also raise energy prices here in Canada. That is, if buyer from overseas are willing to pay more for the exact same product, producers will ship overseas.
Therefore, if Canadian citizens and businesses still require the same energy inputs they have in the past, they will need to pay higher prices to keep the energy here at home. In order for end users to then maintain their current energy expenditures, it will be necessary to find efficiencies in their usage. This, of course, includes the greenhouse industry.
Lisa Brodeur is a Quality Assurance Supervisor at 360 Energy.