Federal Government Actions to Promote Renewable Energy Development

The Government of Canada is committed to taking action to encourage the development of low-impact renewable energy in Canada. Actions taken by the Government of Canada include:

  • A Budget 2004 commitment of $1 billion over seven years in support of environmental technologies. Of this amount, $800 million over five years (beginning in 2006/07) will be invested to support the development and commercialization of promising environmental technologies in such key areas as renewable energy, alternative fuels, clean coal, carbon dioxide sequestration, and cellulose ethanol technologies. $200 million is being invested in Sustainable Development Technology Canada, an arm's length foundation that supports the development and demonstration of environmental technologies.
  • A commitment from the October 2004 Speech from the Throne of at least a further $1 billion for the development and deployment of environmental technologies. This investment will be drawn from the proceeds of the Petro-Canada sale.
  • The extension of the Renewable Energy Deployment Initiative (REDI) to March 31, 2007. This program promotes the use of renewable energy technologies (for space and water heating and cooling) among commercial, industrial and institutional organizations, through marketing initiatives, infrastructure development, and financial incentives.
  • A commitment under the Climate Change Plan for Canada to purchase 20 per cent of the electricity needed for federal operations from emerging renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. For example, in Alberta, Environment Canada and NRCan purchase 100 per cent of their facilities' electricity from emerging low-impact renewable energy sources. Also, federal offices and laboratories in Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island now obtain almost half of their electricity from wind power. The Government of Canada is about one-third of the way towards achieving the 20% commitment so far.
  • $25-million for the Market Incentive Program (MIP) to encourage residential and small- business and institutional customers to buy low-impact renewable energy where it is available. So far, about 20,000 Canadians and Canadian organizations choose to buy low-impact renewable energy.
  • The creation of the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas, a large database of high resolution wind statistics for the entire national territory. This tool enables wind farms to be situated with greater precision and, by reducing the need for extensive field studies to verify wind conditions in a given area, development of new projects can move much more quickly.
  • A $30-million investment in the development and demonstration of decentralized energy production systems. These systems make more efficient use of locally available energy resources and renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power as well as landfill gas. They can be used in residential, commercial and industrial applications, and in combined heat and power applications.
  • Two tax incentives aimed mainly at promoting investment in renewable energy projects: Capital Cost Allowance Class 43.1 in the Income Tax Act, and the Canadian Renewable Conservation Expense (CRCE).
  • $30.7-million for the Aboriginal and Northern Communities Action Plan, to help Aboriginal and northern communities increase their energy efficiency and their use of renewable electricity.