The Canadian government has announced details of the C$1-billion (approximately $882 million) Clean Energy Fund, which will go to the development and advancement of clean energy technologies including carbon capture and storage (CSS) projects.
Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, during an address to the University of Alberta, said the fund invests C$850 million (approximately $750 million) in technology development and demonstration. This includes C$650 million (approximately $575.0 million) for large-scale CCS demonstration projects and C$200 million (approximately $177 million) for smaller-scale demonstration projects for renewable and alternative energy technologies.
Raitt also said C$150 million (approximately $132.0 million) will go toward research initiatives ranging from basic research to pre-demonstration pilot projects of technologies ranging from next-generation renewable and cleaner energy systems to new technologies to address environmental challenges in the oil sands such as water use and tailings.
The government has issued an initial request for proposals for small-scale demonstrations.
The Clean Energy Fund will also support Canada’s work with the United States in building a cleaner energy economy for North America through the Canada-U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue.
Governor Schweitzer of the state of Montana recently met with Canada’s Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to sign a memorandum of understanding to work together on a carbon capture project. The proposed $270-million project entails piping carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-fired power plant in southern Saskatchewan to Montana where it will be stored underground.
The Clean Energy Fund is part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan (2009), which includes new measures totaling almost C$2.4 billion (approximately $2.1 billion) to support a cleaner and more sustainable environment and meet Canada’s climate change objectives.
The latest investment should help offset criticism targeted at Canada’s environmental record. Environment Canada recently announced that Canada has one of the fastest growth rates of greenhouse gases in the world, and a record that is far worse than in the United States. The organization said carbon dioxide emissions in Canada rose to 747 million tons in 2007, up by 4 percent from 718 million tons the year before, and up 26 percent above their 1990 level, violating the Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions by 6 percent.
A group of Canadian green energy and technology companies recently met at a half-day event in Vancouver, British Columbia, to pitch for investment funding from the government stimulus package, reports Reuters.
Vicky Sharpe, chief executive of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which manages C$1.05 billion ($920 million) in Canadian federal government funding, said in the article that governments around the world are investing billions of dollars into renewable energy and energy-efficient products and services because they create jobs.
Several executives from publicly- traded companies said they expected business to grow from tougher environmental legislation and stimulus spending, including solar energy company Arise Technologies Corp., which hopes Ontario’s recently passed Green Energy Act encourages the installation of 100,000 residential solar panels on rooftops, reports Reuters.