This article originally appeared in the Financial Post.
By Philip Cross, February 15, 2023
I recently attended a conference in England where participants wrestled with the question of dealing with the multiple crises we face, including ageing populations, climate change, growing inequality, the lingering effects of COVID and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
One theme of particular interest to Canadians was the transition to so-called “green energy” sources to slow climate change. Changes in our dominant energy source are hardly new. Over the past two centuries, Canada has shifted from animal power and wood to coal, then electricity, followed by oil and gas.
These past energy transitions were driven by the lower cost of the new sources of energy. Governments did not have to direct them. Households’ and businesses’ unrelenting striving for lower costs pushed the adoption of new energy sources in the marketplace.