A New North American Clean Energy Plan

Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto, have made a joint announcement. As reported by NPR:

President Obama and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico are preparing to unveil an ambitious new goal for generating carbon-free power when they meet this week in Ottawa.

The three leaders are expected to set a target for North America to get 50 percent of its electricity from nonpolluting sources by 2025. That’s up from about 37 percent last year.

Aides acknowledge that’s a “stretch goal,” requiring commitments over and above what the three countries agreed to as part of the Paris climate agreement.

The news reports and press information about this event note that the US currently produces about a third of its energy from non fossil fuel sources. Mexico produces less than 20% of its power this way, and Canada is at about 81%. A big part of this shift will involve shutting down coal plants and expanding wind and solar. However, this mix, as well as the proposed 50% of “clean energy,” may include biofuels, which are very limited in their effectiveness in combating climate change, Nuclear, which is diminishing in its importance, and possibly “carbon capture” which is not an energy source and not likely to have much impact because it essentially doesn’t work at any meaningful scale because of physics.

So, we will need to see some clarification in this area.

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7 thoughts on “A New North American Clean Energy Plan

  1. If Canada produces 81% of its energy from non fossil fuel sources then haven’t they already achieved the 2025 target?

  2. A big part of this shift will involve shutting down coal plants and expanding wind and solar.

    What would a Trump administration make of this?

    After the right-wing coup that has just taken place in the UK, I am not especially optimistic that the US is going to avoid Trump come November.

  3. Laysej – most of that 81% is from Hydro Electric power – not as green as we once thought it to be. The submerged vegetation produces abundant quantities of methane as it decomposes. So we have a long way to go. Fortunately the new, somewhat socialist, government in Alberta is beginning to invest heavily in alternatives such as Geothermal. There is actually enough Geothermal potential in Canada – particularly BC and Alberta, to power all of North America many times over with 100 or so wells.

    If you are interested in this you can download the Geothermal energy resource potential of Canada report from http://geoscan.nrcan.gc.ca/starweb/geoscan/servlet.starweb?path=geoscan/fulle.web&search1=R=291488

  4. Layzej, the are talking bout reaching this goal north-america wide.

    Doug, I’m not sure if they are counting hydro as other than “clean.” (Not green, clean). That is the problem with the whole north american thing. They are not counting cleanness like one might count greeness, and can thus pad their numbers.

  5. There is actually enough Geothermal potential in Canada – particularly BC and Alberta, to power all of North America many times over with 100 or so wells.

    No there isn’t. Geothermal isn’t sustainable at the necessary rate of energy extraction.

    Why does nobody understand this?

  6. The very fact that Canada’s 81% energy production is from non-fossil fuels is pretty exasperating. I think the 2nd and 3rd world countries should really go green by using non-fossil fuels. Installation cost and ROI estimates from a solar farm can be derived from Helical Power and then its a smooth sail thereafter. Also, the maintenance price of a solar panel is not really that great. Considering that we harness less than 7% of the incident energy of sun, I think we have a long way to go before we can start being an energy independent country..

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