Effective July 1, 2020, the Canadian Renewable Energy Association is the new multi-technology industry association that provides a unified voice for solar energy, wind energy, and energy storage in Canada. It has been created by uniting the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) into a new, expanded association that also includes energy storage.

The new association is being launched against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has fueled a debate about Canada’s energy future and the acceleration of the ongoing transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy.

“The Canadian Renewable Energy Association will be advocating for investment in wind energy, solar energy and energy storage projects that can deliver both jobs and economic benefits today, as well as the infrastructure that will provide a foundation for significantly more investment in the jobs, economic activity and energy solutions of tomorrow,” said Robert Hornung, the founding president and CEO of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association. “While this has been a time of tremendous challenge for our country, the pandemic also presents Canada with an opportunity to invest in sustainable pathways for addressing economic and environmental challenges.”

If Canada is to meet its target of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, a significantly expanded non-emitting electricity grid will be needed to support increased use of electricity in transportation, buildings and industry. Success will require wind energy, solar energy and energy storage technologies to play a critical role in this effort.

In Canada and around the world, electricity systems are rapidly innovating and modernizing to leverage new technologies and wind energy, solar energy and energy storage are rapidly becoming the low-cost solution for Canada’s future electricity needs. The rapid growth of wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions around the world is also enhancing the reliability, flexibility and scalability of energy production and use.

According to this new association, renewable technologies present exciting new opportunities for investment, citing Bloomberg projections of US $9.5 trillion in global investment in wind and solar energy between 2018 and 2050 and almost US $1 trillion more in batteries for energy storage. These figures represent 77 per cent of the total projected global investment in power generation over that period.

“The 300+ members of our new Association will advocate for policies – federally and provincially – that facilitate and enable delivery of the low-cost, non-emitting solutions increasingly sought by Canadian electricity consumers,” said Michelle Chislett, interim board chair of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, and managing director for Canada & U.S. Development at Northland Power. “Our members are ready and willing to help Canada capture the synergies that connect wind energy, solar energy and energy storage technologies.”

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