Renewable energies | The time has come to act … concrete

The world is thirsty for renewable energy and Quebec has well -established expertise. As the province opens up to various energy sources, such as hydrogen, the industry is calling for concrete action.

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Emilie Laperriere

Emilie Laperriere
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The renewable energy sector is currently functioning well in Quebec. “It’s boiling,” said Gabriel Durany, president of the Quebec Association for Renewable Energy Production (AQPER). “In general, we are in a time with a good outlook. The companies are engaging and very optimistic.»

Nicolas Letendre, president of Letenda, a Quebec manufacturer of zero-emission buses, also feels the attraction. “We arrived at the right time with the right product,” he rejoices.

Force …

Quebec’s first major expertise was obviously in hydroelectricity. Over a century old, the market is very mature. “We tend to forget this, but biomass cogeneration is another of our strengths”, Gabriel Durany pointed out. The province has also developed deep expertise in wind energy in recent years.


PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Gabriel Durany, President of the Quebec Association for the Production of Renewable Energy

The liquid biofuels sector, such as hydrogen, needs to pick up speed. “We have made some very important moves this year. We feel that there is a real desire to generate activity ”, however, the AQPER president underlined.

Nicolas Letendre said for his part that the province can count on a very good education system in this sector. “Research centers are ready to work with companies for technology transfer. We also have a qualified labor pool, ”he said. He added that our network of grants for research and development is the envy of many countries.

… And challenges

Not wanting to play with words, Gabriel Durany believes the boat is “missing” when it comes to finding solutions for the maritime and aviation industries. “There is a tendency to leave low-carbon kerosenes in the equation. However, we have an aeronautical cluster in Montreal.»

However, the worst results come from solar. “We’re completely quitting, Gabriel Durany laments. Meanwhile, Vermont-which has the same climate and very similar energy profile to ours-announces new partners every year.»

The president of Letenda, for his part, finds it difficult to find investors with a good understanding of the industry.

A financial ecosystem that is better adapted to our sector will help us. The alignment between the needs, solutions and use of sustainable development projects remains refined.

Nicolas Letendre, President of Letenda

Because of this statement, Jean-François Béland, vice-president of Ressources Québec, a subsidiary of Investissement Québec, reacted. “Clean energy is in some cases not 100 years old, but the expertise is growing even when the community is very small,” he believes.

According to him, the problem mainly stems from the fact that in Quebec, “we only know hydroelectricity”. “Between technical reality and financial knowledge, tools increasingly exist despite risk factors.»

Ressources Québec has also implemented an energy strategy since last fall, based on the pillars of development. “We have no vocation to invest in recognized areas, but rather in the energy sectors that have a future here and need capital”, underlined Jean-François Béland. Solar energy, for example, could benefit from this initiative.

all united

Reducing greenhouse gases is a global issue, recalls Nicolas Letendre. Therefore, the competition is global. “Everyone wants to offer their solutions. It’s no longer just the business of young shoots. Even large companies are getting renewable energy,” he said.

What makes say to Gabriel Durany that needs to return to base. “We do all this for the climate. The performance index is the reduction in GHGs ”, assuring the believer that the discussion is not anchored. “Because we tell them our electricity is green, people forget that fossil fuels represent 60% of our energy consumption. This is a problem, ”he stressed.

Jean-François Béland agrees.

The brake on renewable energy in Quebec is the cost of energy. When the population pays the real price of energy, we will see innovative solutions.

Jean-François Béland, vice-president of Resources Quebec

Despite everything, the AQPER leader remains optimistic. “The increase in renewable energy production is within our reach. If we want to succeed in reaching the ambitious 2030 target, however, we must mobilize money and expertise, and take action. »

For Gabriel Durany, this means deploying initiatives in a predictable way so that “investors can pour in the hundreds of millions needed to build low-carbon fuel plants, hydrogen power plants, solar parks, cogeneration plants biomass, wind farm … ”All this, while respecting the details of the regions.

“You have to think of renewable energy as a terroir. Every region has its own possibilities. There is no single solution,” Mr. Durany believes.

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