Clean & Affordable Energy

If we are to meet the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement we will have to radically reduce our use of fossil fuels. The transition to low-carbon energy calls for the development of renewable alternatives and major investments in insulation and infrastructure.

Energy in Canada

Like the Netherlands, Canada is also on the brink of an energy transition. Canada has committed to the Paris Agreement and aims to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2005. The federal government has asked the provinces to close down coal power stations by 2030.

Canada is a producer of both fossil fuels and renewable energy. It is the world’s fifth leading oil producer, and its fourth leading producer of gas. The country also has ample access to every major alternative energy source such as wind energy, solar energy and hydroelectric power. The United States is Canada’s main export market, accounting for around 98% of Canada’s total energy exports.

Opportunities in Canada

Shale gas production has grown rapidly in Canada and presents opportunities for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is regarded as a transition fuel in Canada. Shell Canada is working in West Canada on preparations for an LNG plant which will serve 5% to 10% of the world market when it comes into operation.

The fossil fuel sector in Canada is looking at foreign (including Dutch) innovations to make their own production processes more sustainable. There are also a number of sectors where Canada and the Dutch energy top sector can cooperate in bringing about the energy transition. See below.

Wind energy

In Canada, wind could be the new oil. Canada is among the world’s top ten producers of wind energy. In 2016 Canada had a total capacity of 11,898 MW, meeting 6% of its energy needs. Capacity is currently greatest in East Canada (the province of Ontario with 4,781 MW and the province of Quebec with 3,510 MW).

But West Canada is also making progress. The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan present many opportunities for the sector, given their climate and provincial government plans. In Alberta, two wind farm projects are expected to be put out to tender in 2018 (for 300 and 400 MW respectively). But wind farm projects are likely to increase considerably in Alberta in the years to come, given that the province wants to phase out its coal power stations by 2030.

Energy conservation in the built environment

Many initiatives have also been launched at city level to reduce energy use in the built environment. Vancouver is a prime example with its Greenest City Action Plan. Following the North American method, buildings are rated according to the LEED system, with the newest homes needing a LEED gold or LEED platinum rating. Vancouver, like the Netherlands, wants to reduce consumption of natural gas and is committed to more widespread use of electric heating, since the city’s electricity is generated sustainably by hydropower. There is also a growing interest in the passive house construction concept – energy-efficient homes that retain heat in the winter but remain cool in the summer. This concept is also being applied in the Netherlands.

Biomass resources Canada
Biomass resources Canada


Canada has 9% of the world’s forests and 40% of its certified forests. In the past 15 years, it has become a major exporter of biomass in the form of wood pellets. However, the Canadian government is looking for methods of creating biomass with more added value. In partnership with international initiatives launched by businesses like SkyNRG, it is working on the production of sustainable commercial aviation biofuels. The first flights on camelina-based bio jet fuel have already been carried out.

Initiatives like Canada's Clean Growth Program use open tender systems to encourage funding of clean technology projects.

Opportunities for The Netherlands in Canada

CETA and Clean & Affordable Energy

CETA is the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. It eliminates import tariffs on practically all products. It also makes it easier to supply services abroad and to obtain work permits for staff members. Benefits for the energy sector include:

  • zero charges on exports of sustainable energy products;
  • a framework to abolish unnecessary double testing of equipment, building products, machines and machine parts;
  • easier entry for employees, so that equipment can be installed by a company’s own specialists;
  • easier investment in the Canadian energy sector;
  • Dutch companies can bid for Canadian government contracts.

More information on the implications of CETA for your business and opportunities in Canada.


  • 10% of the petroleum imported by Canada comes from the Netherlands.
  • 60% of Canadian energy is generated by hydropower.
  • Shell led the largest private investment project in Canada (LNG).
  • From 2019, the Canadian government has been awarding grants for sustainable projects in Canada, including to European companies.
  • CETA eliminates all import tariffs on clean-tech products traded between the EU and Canada.
  • The Canadian government will be making considerable investments in clean technology in the next few years, and Dutch companies will be eligible for Canadian grants and can bid for government contracts in this field.
  • CETA contains a provision ensuring sustainable growth of trade.
  • CETA eliminates import tariffs on energy products and machine parts.

Contact us

If your business operates in one or more of the above sectors and you are interested in exporting to or doing business in Canada, contact one of our economic departments in Canada.