Wind turbines and energy efficiency: not too fast with hydroelectric dams

Wind turbines and energy efficiency: not too fast with hydro dams ;electrical

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Quebec would benefit from focusing even more on wind energy and energy efficiency before embarking on the construction of new hydroelectric dams as requested by the CAQ, experts believe.

François Legault brought back the idea yesterday of reviving new hydroelectric dams in order to overcome the lack of electricity expected by 2030, without specifying which rivers could be harnessed. 

< p>To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Quebec will have to greatly increase its electricity production capacity, argues the CAQ. Hydro-Québec estimates that it will need 100 terawatt hours (TWh) more, an increase of 50% of its current production. 

If he is re-elected, François Legault intends to ask him to launch the studies necessary for the construction of new dams and to identify potential sites. 

It would also order the development of 3000 MW of wind power and an efficiency effort of 8 TWh.< /p>

Pierre-Olivier Pineau, holder of the Chair in Energy Sector Management, called François Legault's announcement “rehash” and “old approach”.

“It's as if Mr. Legault had an infused science and he knew that wind turbines were good for fun, but that dams were the real solution. This is not true at all,” he railed.

Hydro-Québec must analyze all the possible options before deciding, insists Mr. Pineau. Quebec, he recalls, already benefits from “extraordinary” hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, which easily integrate with wind power.

The director general of the Rivières Foundation is struggling to understand why the CAQ does not rely more on this generally greener and less expensive energy.

“It's Back to the future.It's as if we were going back on something that we had already settled […] And there, we come to say: “We need roadblocks.” Where does it come from? asks André Bélanger.

No project… yet

Hydro-Québec confirms that there are no new power plant projects. hydroelectric for the moment, but does not exclude that there will be some in the future. 

The state-owned company says it is continuing its evaluation of the sites that present the best development potential, without however confirm which ones.

In the past, the Petit Mécatina River, on the Lower North Shore, had already been mentioned for its hydroelectric capacity. The Grande-Baleine Complex, projected north of James Bay, was abandoned in 1994 after fierce opposition from the Crees.

François Legault also specified that any future projects should be carried out by consulting the Inuit and Aboriginal communities.

Energy performance

The CAQ should also be bolder on the issue of energy efficiency, according to experts .

Since heating is our main source of electricity consumption, Quebec should put in place measures, among other things, to renovate obsolete homes “which consume energy to send it outside”, insists Jean-François Blain, analyst in matters of energy.

What they said 

“I would like us to ask Mr. Legault which rivers he wants to harness to build his new dams. »

– Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

“François Legault plays in a black and white film, but the reality is in color. Today, as we speak, priority should be given to the question of energy saving, to the question of solar power and green hydrogen. »

– Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party

“We must open the door to electric dams […] But to promise all-out electric dams without starting with the first stage, which is to ensure energy efficiency, it seems to me that we are skipping a step here . »

– Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois

“Is there a potential increase in Hydro rates for Quebecers? What rivers does he intend to harness? Are these rivers on indigenous territories? »

– Éric Duhaime, leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec

– With Marc-André Gagnon, Patrick Bellerose, Annabelle Blais, Gabriel Côté and Nicolas Lachance

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