Bioenergy, Solar, Wind Power

Canadian Government to Increase Use of Renewable Energy

The government of Canada will rely more on renewable energy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent by 2010, compared with 1990 levels.

OTTAWA, Ontario, CA, 2001-06-07 [SolarAccess.com] “As the country’s single largest enterprise we have an obligation to show strong, visible leadership in reducing emissions,” says Natural Resources minister Ralph Goodale. “To reduce energy consumption, we will make energy efficiency improvements on buildings, put the federal garage in order, and buy more green power.” Goodale and Environment minister David Anderson have announced ‘The House in Order” that will involve C$44 million to reduce emissions. The initiative supplements the federal government’s ‘Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change’ that was released last October and involves the expenditure of $500 million over five years to reduce GHG emissions. The federal government owns or leases 25 million square metres of floor space and 23,000 on-road vehicles, as well as fleet vessels, aircraft, off-road vehicles and specialized military equipment. The Action Plan commits the government to purchase 20 percent of electricity for its facilities from emerging renewable sources. This initiative will develop those sources, increase production of green energy in Canada and encourage voluntary green power markets, while helping to lower the government’s GHG emissions. “A number of the initiatives we have put in place over the past few years, like the Alternative fuel Act, have not accomplished what they were designed to do,” explains Anderson. “We have got to set a better example and we will.” The latest Initiative includes greater use of wind and solar energy to replace most of the government’s carbon-based electricity, as well as support for on-site renewable energy projects. It includes a challenge to all federal departments and agencies to participate in emission reduction efforts through staff training and solid waste management, as well as GHG-responsible procurement practices. “High-carbon electricity sources, such as coal and oil, can be replaced with green power – cleaner sources of energy such as wind, solar and biomass,” say background document. The purchase of 20 percent of federal electricity requirements from emerging renewable sources represents an investment of $30 million in the renewable energy sector, and the federal government will work with its provincial counterparts, electricity suppliers and consumers to ensure the development of the voluntary market for green power. “In addition to the direct reductions from federal GHG emissions achieved by purchases of green power, this initiative will leverage the efforts of other governments and stakeholders in developing the alternative energy market for Canada,” it explains. It is part of a larger economy-wide initiative to support transformation of the electricity sector.” The initiative will enhance the existing Federal Buildings Initiative to provide additional planning and contracting assistance to increase the $26 million in annual energy savings achieved so far, and it will promote lifecycle costing for its vehicles and greater use of ethanol and alternative fuels. Eleven departments, which collectively emit 95 percent of federal pollution, will share the target. The remaining departments will be encouraged to follow best practices and report regularly on their progress. The House in Order is part of the government’s $1.1 billion commitment to climate change over the next five years and is built into the existing financial framework. The national Action Plan, when fully implemented, is expected to take Canada to one-third of its Kyoto targets. Under the 1997 agreement, Canada agreed to reduce its GHG emission to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Currently, emissions are 20 percent above the Kyoto goal and experts predict the level will rise to 44 percent if Canada expands its conventional energy market to supply the U.S. market.