The federal government may have approved two crude-oil carrying pipelines – Kinder Morgan’s Trans Canada from Alberta to Burnaby and Enbridge’s Line 3 from Alberta to Wisconsin – but the people who invest in energy projects may have other plans.
About a year ago the price for crude oil dropped to a low not seen in decades, mainly because if there is any product oversupplied by the market, prices will drop.
That over production has been going on for about two years, to the point that some tankers had been sitting waiting to unload for several weeks because storage facilities were full to the brim.
Currently we have enough storage of crude and refined crude products to keep us going for almost six months if you take the strategic reserves into account (most countries have three months’ worth) if production was shut down suddenly on the whole planet.
Add to those numbers that crude use has been increasing less than production investments.
In 2015, the investment for fossil fuels was US$130 billion compared to US$286 billion for renewable energy.
And that renewal energy investment figure is six times higher than what it was in 2004.
The 2015 renewable investment figure breaks down to $156 billion for developing countries and only $130 billion for developed countries. China itself spent $103 billion, the US $44 billion, Japan $36 billion and India $102 billion.
Also bear in mind that the total renewal energy investment figure is six times higher than what it was in 2004.
But in Canada investment in renewable energy dropped slightly, perhaps because product prices have dropped so much over the last few years to the point that wind energy is now the least expensive of all energy systems and solar is getting closer even without taking into account that the ‘fuel’ is free.
According to Natural Resources Canada, renewable energy power production in 2015 was hydro 59.3 per cent and wind 3.5 per cent.
Wind and solar are the fastest growing sources in our country – the potential is about 200-300 per cent of what we currently use.