Canada is set to become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Speaking on behalf of the Canadian Government, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Kim Rudd made the announcement during the recent Clean Energy Ministerial in Copenhagen.
“Canada has been working hard, both at home and abroad, to lead the transition to a low-carbon future. Canada is a global leader in renewable energy, and today, we are pleased to take further steps to grow its production across the country,” Rudd said. “International collaboration in this area is vital, which is why we are pleased that Canada intends to formalize its long-standing and robust partnership with IRENA, the largest intergovernmental organization promoting the widespread deployment and sustainable use of renewable energy.”
Renewable energy accounts for two-thirds of Canada’s power generation and just under 20% of its total final energy supply, thanks largely to significant hydropower resources, which make it the second largest producer of hydropower in the world. Renewable power generation in Canada increased from 78 GW in 2009 to 99 GW in 2017. In addition to plentiful hydro resources, Canada also has significant wind, biomass, solar, marine, and geothermal energy potential. For example, wind currently accounts for 5% of electricity generation in Canada.
“Canada is an established energy powerhouse with tremendous potential to further scale up its vast renewable energy resources as part of its low-carbon growth agenda,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, commenting on the Canadian Government’s decision. “Through active engagement with IRENA and its members, Canada will be well-positioned to further strengthen its role in shaping the global energy transformation agenda and contribute its considerable knowledge and experience to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy future.
So far in 2018, in addition to welcoming three new member states (Ukraine, Paraguay, and Chad), Canada and Brazil have announced their intention to join the agency. Currently, 181 countries and the European Union are engaged in IRENA’s work.