Video: in conversation with Carolina Rinfret, President and CEO of WaterPower Canada
On the final day of Canadian Waterpower Week on Friday 23 September in Toronto, Debbie Gray, Climate Policy Manager at the International Hydropower Association, met with Carolina Rinfret, the newly appointed President and CEO of WaterPower Canada.
Ahead of Global Hydropower Day on 11 October, Carolina and Debbie discussed how people in Canada have benefited from hydropower development, and how the country’s experience in implementing the technology can provide an example for other regions of the world.
You can watch the conversation in full here:
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As the conversation begins, Carolina explains the crucial role that hydropower plays in Canada, which was one of the first countries to invest in it. “60% of the electricity that is generated in Canada is produced from hydroelectricity,” she explains.
Carolina highlighted the stability that hydropower has brought to Canada’s grid, and how it has supported economic growth: “We also benefit from the fact that’s it’s a renewable source of energy; it’s also clean, and it’s also affordable. Canadians can trust the reliable electricity that we have. They’re not afraid of blackouts.
“It also significantly contributes to GDP, and hundreds of thousands of jobs in Canada. It is part of the DNA of Canadians.”
Carolina says that hydropower has an even more crucial role to play to ensure the energy transition in years to come. “Hydropower is the backbone of electricity system in Canada,” she says. “It will play an important role as more intermittent energies are integrated. We have to balance out the system.”
As a country that has benefited from early investment in hydropower, Canada’s experience provides an example for decision-makers around the world seeking to step up their net zero ambitions. “We have gained a lot of expertise on how to construct hydroelectric facilities, especially dams, but also environmental stewardship,” says Carolina. “A lot has been done to understand and mitigate the impacts of constructions. We have become experts in that field, and I think we can showcase that around the world.”
You can find out more about WaterPower Canada’s work at waterpowercanada.ca.