Incentives in the recent federal budget announced by Finance Minister Paul Martin will help kick-start “green power” by encouraging more investment in low-impact renewable energy, says an Alberta-based clean-air coalition.
The budget proposes to pay an incentive to encourage the production of electricity from wind energy.
“It puts Canada on the radar screen for global investors in renewable energy,” said Rick George, president and CEO of Suncor Energy. Suncor is a co-founder of the Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition, a group of corporate, environmental, non-governmental and municipal organizations launched to speed development of Canada’s renewable energy industry.
Robert Hornung, director of policy for the Pembina Institute, said low-impact renewable energy can provide a significant part of Canada’s energy needs without exhausting energy resources or having an impact on the environment.
According to the coalition, the $4-billion global wind power industry is growing at a rate of 30 per cent a year.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association also welcomed the news, noting wind-generated energy is more secure than other sources because it is indigenous and widely distributed.
Starting in April, the federal government will offer an initial 1.2 cents per kilowatt hour of production incentives for eligible projects commissioned after March 31, 2002 and before April 1, 2007, an amount which will gradually be reduced to a base rate of 0.8 cents.
Further details of the $260-million production incentive announced by Martin that be released shortly.