Canada's affinity for innovation and green technology has made it a global steward for clean energy solutions. It's this reputation that has motivated renewable energy leaders within its borders to share their products and ideas with international markets in a bid to expand their footprint and promote environmental change.
“Globally, Canadian companies are viewed as being innovative and trustworthy, and we come by that honestly because we are very innovative in our approach,” notes Ryan Magee, Renewable Program Manager with Canadian Energy.
With experience sharing stored and renewable energy products beyond Canada's borders, Magee sees great potential for companies like Canadian Energy on the international stage. A number of countries are embracing and supporting the adoption of green energy technologies, increasing demand for battery storage, solar PV, and wind turbine products.
“We understand [the stored and renewable energy market] is a relatively young, but we also understand this is a huge market with a lot of potential which not a lot of people can service effectively,” says Magee, who has helped introduce clean energy technologies to regions such as Kenya, Chile, and Guam.
The ideal markets, he adds, are ones where the cost of localized energy is high, thereby creating a greater need for sustainable and reliable power. With plans to embark on similar projects within more communities in Africa, he notes, “There's an instant satisfaction that comes with working on these initiatives because you are genuinely benefitting these communities and customers. But not only that, we're getting an opportunity to make real progress on environmental issues, which in itself is just the right thing to do.”
Closer to home, North America is fast becoming another international market of value to Canadian clean energy providers. This due in part to the United State's focus on coal and South America's reliance on diesel fuels and bunker fuels, which makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in the market.
Here again, this is opening up opportunities for Canadian suppliers to come forward with greener, more efficient and – more importantly for some – cost-effective energy alternatives.
“There are certainly opportunities for Canadian technology in the US,” says Magee. “If you look at the solar energy, especially the energy storage market, everyone is focus in either the utility scale or residential application. Although our product can work in both applications, the larger market is the industrial/commercial application.”
Taking Canada's green technologies abroad can come with its own challenges. The renewable energy sector is still relatively young in comparison with established markets and therefore subject to evolving regulations and financing obstacles.
“Even though this industry is mature in some parts of the world, it's still relatively new in comparison to the automotive or construction industry where there are already so many different regulations established in different markets to follow, so we have to be very adept to that,” explains Magee, adding, “That's why we look at markets where our products are not only very suitable, but ones where we can operate in within their regulatory requirements.”
Nevertheless, opportunities await those who can navigate these barriers; both for customers who stand to gain from the benefits of stored and renewable energy products, and for Canadian companies who can grow their global presence by providing them.
Adds Magee: “For us, our main goal as a company is not just to sell solar panels or batteries; it's to promote renewable technology and help real people and communities save money, be more environmentally conscious, and – more importantly – energy independent.”