Not that I find it at all that surprising, but the International Energy Agency has pinpointed Canada as a laggard on energy efficiency in a report released a few days ago. The report targets Canada’s pulp and paper, iron and steel and cement industries, specifically. IEA analyst Ceclilia Tam told Canwest News that Canada’s performance isn’t just poor in comparison to the 29 other members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, but it ranks low on a worldwide basis. “The reason for this is that in many cases Canada is using older, less efficient technology, and significant improvement can be achieved by switching to current, best-available technology,” said Tam.
Compared to building new power plants the investment in industrial efficiency should be seen as low-hanging fruit to Canadian politicians, but sadly it’s not. This study gives us yet another reason to more aggressively embrace approaches such as co-generation as a way to lower Canada’s industrial emissions and become more globally competitive at the same time.
Is anybody listening? Sadly, when multinational industrial giants look to cut costs by shutting down facilities, where do they go first? They zero in on those facilities that are least competitive, and that means least efficient.