Canadian Groups Form Renewable Energy Coalition

Coalition seeks to promote consumer green energy credit and broad tax investment incentives for green power.

Published: 27-Dec-2000

CALGARY, Dec. 27 /PRNewswire/ - Today, a coalition of corporate, environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), and municipal organizations was launched to accelerate development of Canada's renewable energy industry.

Led by founding partners, Suncor Energy Inc. and the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, the coalition is initially urging the federal government to implement two short-term mechanisms to help energy diversification, clean the air, improve people's health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that lead to climate change.

      Specifically, the coalition is seeking:        1. a Consumer Green Energy Credit to increase demand for 'green         power(i)'; and,      2. a broadening of the Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expense (CRCE)         or Investment Tax Credit (ITC) treatments for new capital spending to         support the supply of green power.        In addition to Suncor and the Pembina Institute, the coalition is      composed of a unique group of organizations, as follows:        - the Federation of Canadian Municipalities which has committed itself to        climate protection and includes sixty-one communities across the        country (representing 61% of the population in rural and urban centres)        acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and clean the air to        improve the health of their citizens;      - national and regionally significant environment organizations such as        Friends of the Earth (FOE); Pollution Probe; and, the Toronto        Environmental Alliance (TEA); and,      - energy firms who recognize the business potential of renewable energy        in the new economy including BC Hydro, BP Canada Energy Company,        Enbridge, Shell, Toronto Hydro Corporation, TransAlta, and Westcoast        Energy.  

The coalition is expected to grow in the coming weeks as like-minded organizations finalize their decisions to join.

Low impact renewable energy technologies are currently much less utilized in Canada than in many other industrialized countries. The initiatives being promoted by the coalition are designed to increase demand for green power from consumers of power - homeowners, small businesses, the industrial sector and government departments (like Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada) - and to address the relative costs of supply compared to conventional energy production.

"Aggressive implementation of low-impact energy technologies is an essential component of any credible national program to address air pollution and climate change," said David Pollack, executive director of the Pembina Institute. Fully 40% of Canada's Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change emission reductions for the energy sector for 2008-2012 can be met from projects started as a response to the government investing in the initiatives suggested.

In 1996, Canada obtained 0.02% of its electricity from major green power sources(ii). This is in contrast to the projection by Royal Dutch Shell that renewable energy sources could meet up to 50% of the world's energy needs by 2050. As a further example, Denmark, Germany and the United States all currently produce between 15 and 30 times more electricity from wind power than Canada. The fact that Canada is falling behind in the development and installation of these technologies has serious economic and broader implications.

"We cannot leave the risk and costs of innovation in renewables to other countries or we will not harvest the rewards of cleaner air, achievement of international GHG commitments, regional development, more diversified energy sources and international competitiveness," said Rick George, President and CEO of Suncor Energy Inc.

The coalition is mutually supportive of existing activities and organizations advocating and promoting low-impact renewable energy in Canada.

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