Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced more than C$1.5 billion (US$1.3 billion) in funding for the ecoENERGY Renewable Initiative to boost Canada’s renewable energy supplies.
The first component of the initiative, ecoENERGY for Renewable Power, will invest C$1.48 billion to boost Canada’s supply of clean electricity from renewable sources like wind, biomass, small hydro and ocean energy. A ten-year incentive program will be established to fund eligible projects to be constructed over the next four years.
The second component, ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat, will provide more than $35 million in incentives and industry support to increase the adoption of clean renewable thermal technologies for water and space heating in buildings—e.g., solar air and hot water heating. In addition, projects for residential solar heating technologies will be explored with partners such as utilities and community organizations.
This investment will create up to 4,000 MW of renewable energy and is expected to deliver greenhouse gas emissions reductions equivalent to taking one million cars off the road, as well as significant reductions in other air pollutants, according to the government.
The announcement was the second major clean energy funding announcement of the week. Earlier, the government said it is investing C$230 million (US$196 million) over four years in its ecoENERGY Technology Initiative for research into clean technologies.
Canada is an emerging energy superpower. But our real challenge is to be a clean-energy superpower. To do this, we must address the fact that the greatest source of untapped energy is the energy we waste. We must also increase our use of renewable energy and develop the science and technology to make conventional energy cleaner.—Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources
The new Initiative is focused on carbon dioxide sequestration, clean coal, clean oil sands production and renewable energy. Priorities will be further developed with provinces and industry partners through consultations, according to the government.