Harper Government Going All in On Oil Sands While China & India Lead in Solar Power by Jamie Gilcig

"It's all marketing. It's all big money. This oil is all going to China. It's not ours" Neil Young

359px-Ny-ottawa-jul-2006CFN –  Neil Young made a political statement participating in an event focused on First Nation’s treaties and the Oil Sands, but at the end of the day has the Harper Government gone all in on a losing bet?

High resource prices led to massive shut down of factories and industry; ie jobs, in Canada as the high Canadian dollar led to massive movement of industry offshore.

Presumably the jobs created in the oil sands were to offset; but that has never happened nor will it really ever happen.   Massive devastation to the environment around the sands also has occurred; some of which will never heal.

In the end who will buy the bitumen produced?  Even while the debate of massive pipelines across Canada is occurring the potential clients, China and Asia are rapidly developing sustainable power alternatives; chiefly Solar power which for odd reasons is scoffed at here in Canada.


China will add the equivalent of 27 nuclear reactors of solar capacity, and India will build 20 reactors’ worth (assuming an output of 1 million kilowatts per reactor).

In September, the Indian government unveiled plans for the world’s biggest solar plant: a 4 million kilowatt facility to be built in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. The first 1 million kilowatts of this so-called ultra-megasolar project is to be completed by 2016. Bharat Heavy Electricals and four other state-owned enterprises will run the facility as a joint venture. India has several other massive solar farms on the drawing board. Plans call for increasing the country’s photovoltaic generating capacity from less than 2 million kilowatts to 22 million kilowatts by 2022.

China is aiming even higher. The government in July raised its 2015 target for solar capacity from 21 million kilowatts to 35 million kilowatts — more than quadruple its existing stock.

Over the 20 years from 2010, China’s energy needs will rise by about 60% and India’s by around 90%, the International Energy Agency predicts. Both giants rely heavily on imported fossil fuels that could become dearer as other emerging markets’ appetites grow. And neither can afford to ignore the environment, hence the appeal of renewable energy.

And the trade war has begun over Solar Power as well.   LINK

Ever since the US imposed duties on solar panels from China, the industry has been waiting for retaliation, and now it’s here. India may also get into the act.

China announced it will impose tariffs on polysilicon imports from the US (up to 57%) and South Korea (up to 48.7%). 

And the end of the day if there is not a strong market for Bitumen based oil products and prices fall where does that leave our country and can we ever recover industry once we lose it to other countries?

In the meanwhile how many Canadians will be impacted by these policies?    While there are many arguments for and against oil sands development the bottom line is always money and at the end of the day where will we end up financially especially if not only can we not successfully export oil; but are behind our competitors when it comes to cheap renewable energy?

If a country like Denmark produces 45% of its power from renewable energy sources what will stop any country on the planet?

If we waive away the political arguments thrown against Neil Young and his cohorts then what are we debating from.    When it comes to dollars and cents it’s becoming more and more clear that the investment in the oil sands and pipelines are not good for Canadians or Canada; but in fact will be tying our hands for the future while creating devastation of our lands.

Does that make any sense?

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