Canada's status as an "energy superpower" is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, according to a draft report from a federal government think-tank obtained by CBC News.
"It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap renewable electricity becomes the world's primary power source and fossil fuels are relegated to a minority status," reads the conclusion of the 32-page document, produced by Policy Horizons Canada.
The little-known government organization provides medium-term policy advice to the federal bureaucracy, specializing in forecasts that peer a decade or two into the future.
The document was obtained by CBC News under an access to information request and shared with two experts — one in Alberta, one in British Columbia — who study the energy industry.
Both experts described its forecasts for global energy markets as more or less in line with what a growing number of analysts believe.
"It's absolutely not pie in the sky," said Michal Moore from the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy. "These folks are being realistic — they may not be popular, but they're being realistic."
Marty Reed, CEO of Evok Innovations — a Vancouver-based cleantech fund created through a $100-million partnership with Cenovus and Suncor — had a similar take after reading the draft report.
"You could nit-pick a couple of items," he said. "But at a high level, I would say the vast, vast majority of what they wrote is not even controversial, it's very well accepted."
Canada's energy superpower status threatened as world shifts off fossil fuel, federal think-tank warns - Calgary - CBC News