26. Clean energy entrepreneurs

Tags: Renewable Energy

Published January 15, 2013

Blog: What Canada needs to do to become a clean energy superpower

Canada as clean energy superpower – It’s an alluring sound bite. One that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has used, but sadly Canada is more like a gifted but lazy student when it comes to using its powers for good.

Canada has half the population yet is just behind Germany as the sixth largest electricity generation market in the world. Germany is also is the undisputed world heavyweight champion of green energy. In 2012 they installed 32.5 GW of solar and in 2011 they installed 29 GW of wind capacity. In 2011 Canada had one per cent as much, or 289 megawatts of solar capacity, total.

While Germany is a dominant force in the cleantech world, Canada has also only captured one per cent of the $1 trillion worldwide market. And it’s not like we’re not trying. Canada has more than 700 cleantech companies and has a history of being a centre of innovation.

Canada also has plentiful solar, wind, tidal and geothermal resources, Canada has the engineering know-how to follow through and Canada has the entrepreneurial chutzpah to pull it off. And unlike other industries where you might be able to hang back and let another, more ambitious country step into the breech we can’t afford to stand idly by.

Nick Parker is one of the originals when it comes to cleantech investing. The list of organizations, groups and companies he’s been involved in would be too much to go through, but suffice to say he is veteran in the cleantech field. More…

Podcast: How Canada can get a piece of the $1 trillion dollar cleantech pie

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When you start talking to leading cleantech entrepreneurs, academics and executives it becomes pretty clear that are some broad strokes that can be done immediately to ensure Canada gets to see a part of the global transition to low-carbon economy. Level the playing field, institute a price on carbon and make it easier for for entrepreneurs to access capital. 

Get the details from the 22 experts that were interviewed for this story on this week's podcast at Green Energy Futures.


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Competing in Clean Energy - The Report

In Competing in Clean Energy we ask nearly two dozen clean energy entrepreneurs, executives, investors and academics about what Canada needs to do in order compete in the global race for clean energy. GO >

Tags: Renewable Energy


National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, Measuring up: Benchmarking Canada’s competitiveness in a low carbon world (2010)

The Pew Charitable Trusts, Who’s winning the clean energy race? 2011 edition, (2012)

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, Too late for two degrees? Low carbon economy index 2012 

Stewart Elgie and Alex Wood, “Building a low-carbon, high octane Canadian Economy,” in The Canada we want in 2020 – Towards a strategic policy roadmap for the federal government, (Canada 2020, 2011)

Tatiana Khanberg and Robert Joshi, Smarter and Stronger – Taking charge of Canada’s energy technology future (The Mowat Centre, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto, 2012)

Vince Knowles, Stefan Henningsson, Richard Youngman and Amanda Faulkner, Coming Clean: The global cleantech innovation index 2012, (Cleantech Group LLC and WWF)