Case study - Renewable Energy in Canada

It seems that renewable energy has become and it's continuously a topic that is brought up many times in the parliament because the non-renewable resources have reached critical low amounts in the last years. Governments are looking for affordable ways through which they will be able to harness the sun's and wind's energy and make them available to the masses. Below you will find some of the measures that governments have take in order to support and promote renewable energy.

What do governments do to promote renewable energy? Is it as important in all countries?

1. In Canada in 2004 a budget of one billion dollars has been offer on a period of 7 years in order to support technologies that will allow for harnessing the energy of the wind and sun. Out of this money, eight hundred million dollars is going to be invested to support the commercialization and development of environmental technologies in areas like cellulose ethanol technologies, CO2 sequestration, clean coal, alternative fuels and renewable energy. The rest of the money (two hundred million dollars) is invested in a foundation called Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which supports the demonstration and development of environmental friendly technologies.

2. Another step towards supporting green energy comes from the Speech from the Throne of at least another one billion dollars, which was discussed and agreed on in October of 2004.

3. There have been introduced 2 tax incentives which are promoting investments in renewable energy projects. They number the CRCE and the CCAC 43.1, which can easily be found in the Income Tax Act.

4. The government also invested thirty million dollars in the demonstration and development of decentralized energy production systems. These are special systems that allow people to take advantage even more effectively of renewable energy sources and energy resources available locally, like landfill gas, solar and wind power. They can easily be implemented and used in industrial, commercial and of course, residential applications.

5. Another way through which the governments support renewable energy is through the creation of the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas. This is a massive database of high resolution wind statistics for the whole country. Using it experts can easily pinpoint the best place to situate wind farms. Because they allow for them to be placed with enhanced precision, the need for long field studies is decreased a lot, thus allowing new projects to quickly move forward.

6. The government also offered a twenty five million dollars incentive for the MIP or Market Incentive Program in order to encourage institutional customers, small business customers and residential customers to purchase low-impact green energy where available. It seems that so far around twenty thousand individuals and organizations from Canada choose to purchase such energy.

The governments play a major role in the way people perceive and also are able to use renewable energy. Even though this is an important development for any country, not all countries are ready to take this step. Renewable energy costs a lot of money and this is the main factor that inhibits other countries to walk on the steps of the more developed countries in the world.