Is CleanTech Canada’s Answer to NAFTA Problem?

02/11/2018

Trump has threatened to pull out of NAFTA. Economists, trade specialists and politicians alike are unsure as to what's going to happen next. Now we don't what's going to happen either, but we thought it highlights an interesting problem that has plagued Canada for a while: an economic dependence on the U.S.A. Is it time for Canada to "pivot" into new economic markets?

When you think of the most powerful & fastest growing countries in the world there are a few similarities among their economic drivers: Technological innovation, manufacturing, and historically: energy. In recent times, however, countries that have relied on extracting fossil fuels (Russia, Canada and much of the Middle East) have been hit hard by the volatile price of oil.

There are currently 2 existing problems for Canada: 1) uncertainty in regards to trade with the USA 2) a long time dependence on oil resources.

It's time for Canada to double down on innovation - specifically on niche markets it has performed well. One of these markets being CleanTech, something in which the Government is already familiar with.

In April 2017, the Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian Government will be spending over $2 billion on innovation in the cleantech sector.

In particular, the Globe states that $1.8 billion will be spent on commercialization and market penetration on companies in the sector. This was further demonstrated when the Government announced in the summer that it would be investing $7.8 million in Quebec's cleantech sector, $15.5 million in Southern Ontario, and $4 million towards Atlantic Canada's cleantech industry.

That is a lot of money being invested in a specific sector, so what's the big deal with CleanTech? Well clean technology is already a $1 trillion global market. So there's that.

Perhaps more importantly, as Clean Energy Canada put it, "This global marketplace is a major economic opportunity for Canada, a country well-positioned to develop and export clean energy technologies and services. That fact was underscored in the federal budget released last week, which prioritized investing in clean energy innovation."

Further, Clean Energy Canada also reported that the world's three largest electricity markets-China, the U.S. and India-were collectively responsible for half of global clean energy investment in 2016, which totalled C$348 billion.

This makes sense, because we've seen it. Our CEO Devesh Bharadwaj was born and raised in India and on a recent visit, saw it firsthand. *INSERT QUOTE BY DEVESH HERE*

Clean Energy Canada continued to note India's involvement stating: "India is also emerging as a major destination for clean energy investment... Canada is well-position to take advantage of clean energy's global demand. Five Canadian clean energy tech companies cracked the 2016 Global Cleantech 100 list."

Canada's CleanTech Economy

All this investment is starting to take world notice, in fact the Cleantech Group ranked us 4th in the world as a cleantech innovator in 2017. This trend is looking to continue in 2018 being lead by companies like GHGSat, Ranovus, Opus One Solutions and of course... Pani Energy.

So What's Next?

There is no question that Canada is in tough shape in the U.S.A steps out of NAFTA (NAFTA partners do account for 77.8% of Canada's exports). So obviously CleanTech isn't the only answer, however, there is a massive opportunity for this global issue. This is an opportunity which really gets us excited at Pani Energy where we can help countries like India & China make their energy usage more efficient (and therefore reduce their carbon production). Long-term we are looking to help these same countries move their energy production and storage to clean and renewable energy.