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October 4, 2019 | Energy Status Quo is Being Upended. How will Canada Respond?

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

Excellent article in the Globe today on the opportunities urging Canada to evolve with the modern world.  There’s good growth here, if we can see it.  The price for resisting this turn–as many others have learned before us– is economic hardship and lost income.  If we embrace the evolution and position ourselves to benefit, the upside is enormous:  “If Canada takes just our pro-rata share…our clean-tech industry will dwarf our auto sector.”  See:  The energy status quo is being upended. How will Canada respond?:

With Canadian energy executives and politicians ensnared in endless regulatory and climate debates, global forces of technological disruption that respect no borders pose the real threat to Canadian economic health.

No policy or established incumbent could prevent, or even slow, prior tech disruptions such as the industrialization of agriculture, automation of manufacturing or digitization of communications. Global energy systems are today going through a similarly inevitable and deep disruption, driven by innovation and steep cost reductions in renewables and electric vehicles.

While we bicker about pipelines to tidewater and the effects of a tiny incremental price on carbon, the cost of solar and wind continue to plummet – driven by the inevitable declining cost curves associated with all technologies as they scale, from cellphones to drones. Batteries are doing the same. The threat these technologies pose to the status quo is based on (largely Western) innovations brought to industrial scale by an aggressive Chinese state. Neither the pace of innovation nor scale of production show any signs of slowing. Indeed, the opposite is true. Fast-forward a decade or two: Cleantech will take down incumbent energy industries that make the same old assumptions about demand for their product…

But we have to stop being distracted by the past. Incumbent industries hold our national narrative on energy in a headlock, defending yesterday’s success stories – not defining or shaping tomorrow’s. That dynamic doesn’t serve our long-term national interest.

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October 4th, 2019

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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