Montréal, January 27, 2020
Hydro-Québec: Low-carbon EnergyEnergyzt Study Paid For the Gas Industry: Forget Climate Change and Keep Using Dirty Power
Today saw the release by the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY) and Sierra Club of yet another Energyzt “analysis” on Hydro-Québec’s energy. It’s not the first time this consultant has been hired by the fossil fuel industry to discredit a clean energy generator. But maybe in this case IPPNY’s consultant should have asked Hydro-Québec for the right figures, because they’ve gotten a lot of things wrong. Here are a few of the most outrageous tidbits:
- First, the very ironic statement “CHPE will not result in reduced global emissions”. Irony #1 because it comes from the fossil fuel industry, which is creating these carbon emissions in the first place. Irony #2 because they’re talking about North America’s largest generator of clean, renewable energy, providing 100% low-carbon power to its markets. The truth: Hydro-Québec’s exports displace dirty fossil fuel generation, close to 8 million metric tons in 2018 alone – that’s like taking 2 million cars off the roads.
- The report claims HQ doesn’t have enough energy to supply the Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line. False. In the coming years, Hydro-Québec can count on more than 40 million megawatt hours of energy, each year, available for sales to adjacent markets. Had Energyzt bothered to check, they would have seen that in an HQ press release from November 1, 2019. We were early movers in the clean energy transition, adding more than 5,000 MW to our generation fleet in the last 15 years – that’s more than twice the capacity of the Indian Point nuclear station that will cease operations in 2021. We’re fully committed to decarbonizing, in Québec and through our exports.
- The IPPNY-sponsored report claims that Hydro-Québec customers and neighboring markets might have to switch to fossil fuel if the company sells too much clean electricity to New York. False! (and a little preposterous…). Here’s why:
- Along with California, Québec is a member of the Western Climate Initiative – a cap and trade system for carbon emissions. Penalties apply if we use or import fossil fuel energy.
- Ontario has committed to reducing its emissions in line with Canada’s commitment to the Paris agreement.
- New Brunswick is actively looking to reduce its carbon footprint, not increase it. That Atlantic province recently signed a supply contract with Hydro-Québec to import more of our clean hydro.
CHPE would deliver clean energy where New York needs it most: downstate, where, after Indian Point closes, 95% of electricity will come from fossil fuel. Our hydropower has a carbon footprint that’s 50 times better than gas generators – and it emits no local air pollutants such as NOx that spew out of dirty fuel smokestacks and cause respiratory disease.
We hope IPPNY didn’t pay Energyzt too much for this. There’s a limit to flawed and biased reports, and in the race against the climate emergency, it’s shamefully irresponsible. Without clean energy projects like CHPE, how long is it going to take to get significant carbon reductions? The future of the energy sector is clean and renewable, and the fossil fuel generators are just going to have to get used to that.