An Update from Canada

Not to give too much away, but I’m currently working on an update on the state of hydropower development in Canada for December’s issue of Hydro Review magazine.

In putting the story together, I’ve relied heavily on discussions with a number of industry leaders and advocates. And though their opinions on various individual factors affecting the industry have varied significantly, it’s been reassuring that their overall assessments regarding the future of Canadian hydro power have all generally been positive.

I’d mentioned to Canadian Hydropower Association president Jacob Irving that, in my observation at least, it doesn’t seem like Canada’s waterpower development sparks the same kind of opposition it does in many parts of the world. Whether that’s the result of hydro’s long history in Canada or not, it’s a marked difference from a number of other countries I’ve covered in recent months (looking at you, Brazil).

“I think the stakeholders in Canada are seeing commitments being made and commitments being adhered to,” Irving said. “The developers have built trust with the communities and the communities have built trust with the developers, and things are starting to proceed more from a partnership perspective.

“That’s what it really boils down to, and it’s perhaps the reason why compared to other parts of the world, you might not see as much conflict or confrontation.”

In doing research, I’ve heard a lot of really positive stories about project development, proactive stakeholder interaction and good environmental and social stewardship, but I’m still interested in hearing more.

So, if you’ve got one you’d like to share, shoot me an email.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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