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Canadian Prime Minister Announces C$1.5 Billion for Renewable Energy Initiative

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.


Rafael Seidl

Well, at least they're investing the windfall revenue from their tar sands developments in renewables. C$1.5 billion is a very substantial amount for a country of some 30 million inhabitants.

Considering the country's wide open spaces low hanging fruit wrt hydro is already gone, a focus on (forestry) biomass utilization and solar power would make sense. Any surplus solar power could be buffered using the existing hydro dams or else, turned into hydrogen using efficient high-temperature electrolysis and used to boost biofuel yields. Canada will depend on ICEs even longer than others, because BEVs don't offer the range nor the cold weather capability required (Zebra batteries do, but they're expensive for the power and capacity offered).

What is a little disappointing is that virtually all of the money is going towards new power plants and so little toward conservation. Heat pumps, including Vuilleumier machines and absorption-based systems, can drastically reduce the energy footprint of space heating. To make it work in the very harsh Canadian winters, it may be necessary to apply reverse operation in summer to build up underground stores of latent heat. I'm assuming most Canadian buildings are already quite well insulated, with double or triple glazing and all that. Other areas ripe for significant conservation efforts are lighting and, electric motors in industrial machinery (this is true pretty much everywhere in the OECD).

FYI co2

Certainly money better spent than the $1.4 billion Halliburton Overcharges Classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported

Michael G. Richard

Lets wait and see.

The conservatives have been getting hammered on the environment in the past year and now an election is coming...

It's encouraging to see that polls in the country show the environment as the #1 issue for the majority of people, even above healthcare. That's the first time I see that.


Thats great that a country with the largest ozone layer depletion problem wants to make the hole bigger by emitting more hydrogen gas into the air.


"Thats great that a country with the largest ozone layer depletion problem wants to make the hole bigger by emitting more hydrogen gas into the air.

There are so many "if"s, and "maybe"s in that report I'm not going to worry about the hydrogen.

Hell, if 10% of the gas does leak out like they predict there's a bigger problem - a waste of money - that someone will fix ASAP!


"Thats great that a country with the largest ozone layer depletion problem wants to make the hole bigger by emitting more hydrogen gas into the air.

Where does this article mention anything about hydrogen? Also, it's important to remember that right now, we don't seem to be getting any closer to cold fusion. Basically, we can't produce hydrogen economically on a large scale because electrolysis is energy inefficient. So don't worry about the hydrogen economy just yet, because it'll be a while before we get to that point. Focus on other renewables for the time being :)


"Thats great that a country with the largest ozone layer depletion problem wants to make the hole bigger by emitting more hydrogen gas into the air."

How exactly did you come up with this comment? Canada is not the country with the largest ozone layer depletion problem (the ozone hole is not anywhere above Canada)- Australia definitely has far more to worry about (and skin cancer instances have been very high there since the 70's due to the ozone hole). Canada was also the the site of the signing of the 1989 Montreal Accord that forced the phase out of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons- the chemicals that cause ozone layer depletion). Hydrogen is not known to be a chemical that depletes ozone (not yet at least) and even if it were, then I would be more concerned with refineries that emit their fuel gas directly to the atmosphere in Africa and the Middle East.

Also you sited two articles that were written in 2003, and these concerns have not been current issues (partly because hydrogen and fuel cells have dropped off the radar somewhat due to technology and infrastructure issues preventing significant development). Even George W. Bush has shifted his opinions (or someone has told him to) away from hydrogen to 2nd generation biofuels and hybrids.

The article about Canada's renewable energy development does not deal with hydrogen at all instead it deals with "wind, biomass, small hydro and ocean energy" and "the adoption of clean renewable thermal technologies for water and space heating in buildings".

Canada could do a lot to increase renewable energy and alternative fuels as well as to increase efficiency of space heating (especially air conditioning in summer and inefficient or over-heating in winter), but hydrogen leakage to the atmosphere is not an issue at present or any time in the next ten years (if it ever will be). Canadian's should worry a lot more about climate change, global energy security and energy supply issues (more so than domestic concerns) and the future costs of fuels and energy. Canada is easily affected by US politics and energy concerns (particularly Ontario and the other non-Alberta provinces), so global issues would affect Canada, despite its wealth of tar-sands oil.


I was responding to Raffy's comments on Fuelcell - I thought it was part of the story.( Story was so short otherwise).
If hydrogen does affect the ozone which I showed that it does then we should not use it.
There is no way to keep a tank of hydrogen at high pressure from leaking as this is a requirement for the hydrogen tanks for safety purposes.
If Hydrogen were to come from another country in huge ships - one false move and we have 20 hiroshimas on our ports from one of these tankers.
Hydrogen enbrittles any element on this planet which means frequent and expensive hydrogen tank and hydrogen pipeline changes. Exxon spills will be nothing compared to Hydrogen spills.
A fuelcell car is less fuel efficient with methane usage then a natural gas car.

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