‘We’re very excited’: Canada’s clean energy firms eye soaring EU electricity prices

·2 min read
The European Union is reportedly preparing fast-track permits for clean energy projects to help replace Russian fossil fuels. REUTERS/Andreas Mortensen

Canadian clean energy producers say they’re benefiting from European electricity rates that prompted some governments to roll out measures to shield consumers and businesses from rising prices.

Kingsey Falls, Que.-based Boralex (BLX.TO) and Toronto-based Northland Power (NPI.TO) reported first-quarter financial results on Wednesday. In both cases, management noted the dual impacts of high electricity rates in Europe, as well as the push among nations on the continent to sever energy ties to Russia.

“We’re very excited about the new opportunities that are arising as a result of rising electricity prices, and the European push for energy security,” Northland CEO Mike Crawley told analysts on a post-earnings conference call on Wednesday. He said “higher market prices” from its Gemini wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands helped the company top analyst expectations in its latest quarter.

Boralex CEO Patrick Decostre pointed to a “sharp rise in energy prices” in France, mainly attributed to extended outages at many of the country’s nuclear reactors. The company is France’s largest independent producer of onshore wind power with more than 60 farms in operation scattered across the country, according to company’s website.

“The other good news is that the price in the UK has also increased a lot. So the demand for electricity is even higher,” Decostre said on a call with analysts. Boralex has plans for a 90 megawatt wind project in the highlands of Scotland.

EU nations including Germany, France, Italy and Spain have announced plans to cut taxes or issue rebates in a bid to soften the blow of higher energy prices. At the same time, the 27-member bloc is reportedly preparing fast-track permits for renewable projects to help replace Russian fossil fuels.

“Countries such as Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands have specifically higher targets for off-shore wind,” Crawley said. “Northland is well-positioned, we believe, to achieve these objectives.”

Toronto-listed Northland shares climbed 1.81 per cent to $38.34 at 1:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Boralex added 1.66 per cent to $38.04.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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