Canada’s anti-energy development policies are widening the global supply gap

Yogi Schulz: Energy insecurity looms as Canada refuses to step up

The world is not investing enough in developing energy sources to meet increasing demand. This growing gap between energy consumption and supply results in several critical issues: high consumer energy prices, slower economic growth, and a heightened risk of energy insecurity.

Conversely, this gap presents an opportunity for Canada to supply more energy resources, especially since many of the world’s consumers value the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) leadership in the Canadian energy sector.

Acknowledging the continued importance of fossil fuels during the energy transition is crucial to ensuring energy security. This involves reducing the costs and timelines for obtaining permits for energy projects, minimizing government interference that increases investor risk, and opposing efforts by environmental groups to halt financing and insurance for fossil fuel projects.

Additionally, overcoming the unfounded fear of nuclear energy, promoting energy conservation, and constructing more interconnections among electrical grids to optimize available capacity are vital steps.

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Evidence suggests an impending energy gap, with organizations like the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting record demand. Global primary energy consumption is expected to grow significantly as billions of people move out of poverty and increase their energy use. Although renewable energy consumption is also expected to grow, fossil fuels will continue to dominate due to several factors: inadequate infrastructure for renewables, political instability deterring long-term investment, and the lower cost and familiarity of fossil fuels.

If the world is to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, it must quadruple its global wind and solar generation capacity within a decade. This will require trillions of dollars in investment, which is currently lacking.

Furthermore, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, do not produce a consistent and reliable amount of energy at all times because they depend on weather conditions. For example, solar power requires sunlight and wind power requires wind. This variability makes it more difficult to rely solely on these sources for a steady energy supply, complicating efforts to meet energy demands and achieve environmental goals.

While there have been modest increases in investment in the energy sector, these are clearly insufficient to meet global demand and achieve net zero goals. This modest growth in investment is likely to continue, which will only worsen the future gap between demand and supply. The oil and natural gas industry, which is crucial for meeting current energy needs, has seen a decline in investment. Factors contributing to this decline include permitting delays, increased perceived risk by investors, and government interventions that reduce returns. This trend threatens to widen the gap, leading to higher consumer prices and greater energy insecurity.

The key to displacing fossil fuels is significantly increasing global clean energy investment. And even though recent investments have grown, they still fall short of the levels needed to meet demand and reduce fossil fuel dependence. European energy companies are not investing due to EU policies promoting a rapid energy transition. Russian geopolitical actions have deterred investment, and U.S. policies under the Biden administration have been inconsistent, further reducing investment confidence.

To avoid the looming risk of energy insecurity, nations must be realistic about the energy transition timeline. Key actions include reducing hurdles for energy development project approvals, increasing energy conservation, transitioning industries to low-carbon technologies, and encouraging modest lifestyle changes. Additionally, governments should avoid massive subsidies that may not effectively accelerate the energy transition. By addressing these challenges and making strategic investments, we can mitigate the risks associated with the global energy gap and ensure a stable, sustainable energy future.

Moreover, building more interconnects among electrical grids to better utilize available generation capacity is essential. This infrastructure improvement can lead to more efficient energy distribution, making renewable energy sources more viable. Encouraging households and businesses to adopt energy-efficient practices can also play a significant role in balancing demand and supply. For instance, simple measures like using energy-efficient appliances and improving insulation in buildings can substantially reduce overall energy consumption.

Furthermore, revising anti-energy development policies could lead to increased economic prosperity for Canada. By embracing a balanced approach that includes both renewable and fossil fuel energy sources, Canada can become a leading energy supplier while adhering to ESG principles. This dual strategy not only meets current energy demands but also ensures a more secure and sustainable energy future.

As we look ahead, it is clear that a multi-faceted approach is necessary to address the global energy gap. Investment in infrastructure, policy reform, and a realistic timeline for the energy transition are crucial. By recognizing the complex interplay of these factors and taking proactive measures, we can work towards a future where energy supply meets demand, fostering economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of information technology experience in various industries. Yogi works extensively in the petroleum industry. He manages projects that arise from changes in business requirements, the need to leverage technology opportunities, and mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy and project management.

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