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Second Annual Canadian Power Finance Conference: Audience Responses
27 May 2011
Energy policy, and not growth in domestic demand, is driving the growth of renewable energy according to attendees at Euromoney Seminars and Project Finances 2nd annual Canadian Power Finance Conference in Toronto. 64% voted that government policy was the main driver in an audience response survey sponsored by Vestas and conducted during the event.
The results are in line with the general market consensus on renewables in Canada and elsewhere. Without government mandates and support, for example Ontarios feed-in tariff programme, it is widely accepted that renewable energy projects would not be financially feasible. International Powers 48.6MW Pointe-Aux-Roches wind plant in Ontario was the first tariff project to reach close. Manulife closed on a C$117 million private placement for the facility in November 2010.
Government support for projects is not everything though according to the survey results. A plurality of attendees, 44%, voted that natural gas-fired power plants are the most profitable and financeable in Canada. Only 18% felt wind and 10% solar were both profitable and financeable. In addition, 48% felt that politics were the biggest risk factor to projects. Domestic content requirements were considered the second biggest risk with 28% of the vote.
Attendees at the power finance conference were overwhelmingly Canadian. Of the 175 delegates, 78% were from Canada with 53% from Ontario alone. The buy and sell side were also well represented, with 33% from project developers and 47% from lenders.
A detailed breakdown of the audience's responses can be found here