Canada is planning to boost hydro power exports to the U.S., after president Joe Biden cancelled the KXL pipeline project, but also pushes to achieve a carbon-free electrical grid by 2035.
According to a Reuters analysis, after the KXL cancellation, Canadian crude exports took a hit, as the U.S. is the main client for Canada energy. Therefore, Ottawa is looking for a way to increase its renewables sales to the southern neighbor.
Firstly, Canada is the world’s third-largest hydro power producer; and this type of energy is the largest portion of its renewable mix. Consequently, this type of energy exports are indeed a window for trading and business.
This notion was confirmed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after he told the news agency last week that the U.S. was actually looking to boost their hydro imports. Jonathan Wilkinson, Environmental Minister, also said that combining solar, wind, and energy from water was a priority of the new administration in the U.S.
“We do think that’s a big economic opportunity,” Wilkinson told Reuters. Also, a White House spokesperson said that the U.S. was “leaving no sources of renewable energy off the table.”
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In addition, Matthew Hansen, form Canada Energy Regulator, said electricity exports to the U.S. dropped to a six-year low record in 2019. Firstly, influenced by domestic demand, and secondly by factor like water levels.
On the other hand, hydro power production in 2020 held a record of 440 billion kilowatt hours. Which is half of its maximum installed capacity. Therefore, Canada would hold the scale to boost exports to the U.S. from hydro power.
Nevertheless, the U.S. is still lacking from infrastructure to receive such energy. It will have to boost infrastructure investment to meet the demand, and to keep the energy affordable, said Steve Clemmer; director of energy research of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Still, there are important projects that will bring hydro power from Canada to the U.S.; like the New England Clean Energy Connect, in Maine. As we reported previously, it is a transmission line to bring power from Hydro Quebec.
Finally, HC is the largest electricity producer in Canada; and it will play a major role in the ongoing interconnection, especially for New England and New York.