Canadian Government to Define Renewable Energy

The Canadian government has issued a draft regulation to encourage the use of renewable energy sources.

OTTAWA, Ontario, CA, 2001-12-11 [] A guideline to define electricity generated from renewable energy sources with low environmental impact will be released by the government on December 8 for a 90-day public comment period. Once finalized, the Guideline on Renewable Low-Impact Electricity will formalize licensing and certification criteria under the federal Environmental Choice Program. Twenty percent of power generation in Canada comes from high-carbon sources such as coal, oil and natural gas. This output contributes 17 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The new guideline will establish criteria for the certification and licensing of renewable low-impact electricity to encourage a shift in the market from high carbon sources to renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biogas and biomass. In 1998, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Canadian Gas Association, Solar Energy Society of Canada, Canadian Solar Industries Association and Canadian Environmental Industries Association asked the federal Ministers of the Environment and of Natural Resources to develop a national definition of eco-friendly power to facilitate policy development and to avoid confusion in the marketplace. The Ministers proposed that a new Guideline being developed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act for Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program, which manages the EcoLogo, would fill that need. An informal consultation process to develop a guideline resulted in recommendations which have been before the government for two years. After the latest comments are reviewed, it can be published as a Guideline under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and establish national criteria for renewable low-impact electricity. To receive certification under the EcoLogo program, power generation must meet environmental criteria and contribute to reduced greenhouse gases. The program will allow consumers to identify sources of electricity which have a lower impact on the environment. Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Public Works & Government Services Canada are encouraging greater use of emerging, non-emitting sources of electricity by purchasing 20 percent of federal power from green energy sources, almost exclusively wind. The government will also tighten emission limits for key air pollutants from new fossil fuel power plants. Following a separate consultation process, Environment Canada will issue the new emission guidelines next summer under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. “Many of the pollutants that cause climate change and dirty air come from the same energy sources, so solutions to one are often solutions to the other,” says environment minister David Anderson. “These two new draft guidelines will tackle these issues from both a pollution prevention and a pollution control perspective.” The ‘Thermal Power Generation Emissions – National Guidelines for New Sources’ will provide national emission standards for new coal, oil and gas-fired power plants, including emission limits for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and total particulate matter. The proposed limits would mean a 60 percent reduction in NOx emission limits, 70 percent for PM and a 70 percent reduction in SO2 emissions.
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