Aside from the hydroelectric dams throughout the country, Canada is not known for having a large amount of renewable energy generation. However, over the last few years, the government in Canada has expressed an increasing desire to increase the overall percentage of Canadian electricity that is produced using sources of renewable energy.
1) Ontario Legislature Sings Green Energy Act. In 2009, the legislature in the province of Ontario passed the Green Energy Act. The act is said to increase new investment into the area for renewable energy, create a number of jobs within the green economy sector, and increase sustainability throughout the environment. This act, as well as a number of complimentary regulations and policies, will supply the government with ample tools that will guarantee a place for Ontario as a leader within the North American renewable energy sector, as well as create a society where government, schools, industries, and homeowners embrace the concept of energy efficiency. Some of the elements include mandatory home energy audits prior to sale, the development of a feed-in tariff system, and new programs to assist with diverting costs on renewable energy projects.
2) Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance. The Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance, or CanREA as it is more commonly known as, is a civil society organization that seeks to promote a worldwide transition to the use of low-impact renewable energy sources as well as energy conservation and efficiency. Items CanREA explores include global climate change, pollution, human security, global energy supply, and economic sustainability. CanREA’s world vision includes ones where “energy needs are minimized through energy conservation and energy efficiency, and in which low-impact renewable energy is consistently the first choice to meet energy needs.” CanREA works alongside the government to make necessary transitions.
3) CanmetENERGY. CanmetENERGY, part of National Resources Canada is the leader in research and development of clean energy technologies. The group consists of more than 450 scientists, technicians, and engineers and has become the center for expertise in clean energy technologies. They are the largest energy science and technology organization around. The aim is to guarantee that Canada stands as a leader in clean energy technologies, as well as decrease greenhouse gas emissions around the country and improve the overall health of Canada’s citizens. CanmetENERGY’s job is to “manage science and technology programs and services, support the development energy policy, codes and regulations, act as a window to federal financing and work with our partners to develop more energy efficient and cleaner technologies in [a number of areas]” which includes bio energy, renewable, transportation, and clean fossil fuels.
4) Canada is a Place for Renewable Energy Investment. Canada is seen as a great location for renewable energy investment. It has a great infrastructure, long term “green policies,” a number of tax incentives, and the fact the sector is in line to grow exponentially. Canada has a lot to offer investors, such as the country is the largest producer of hydropower, has the most access to resources for biomass in the world, a fast growing wind sector, and is the leader in solar air collector manufacturing and commercialization.
5) Canadian Renewable Energy Academy. The Canadian Renewable Energy Academy is located in the province of Ontario assists with the growing clean energy sector by establishing a nationally accepted training standard for Canadian workers in the sector of renewable energy. The standards include “an academic accreditation system that monitors, assesses and evaluates the quality of education delivery and a national certification system for graduates.” The goals of the academy include offering top quality education, assisting in responsible growth of the renewable energy sector, and assisting businesses advance within the renewable energy industry.
6) Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation Task Force. The Canadian Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation Task Force focuses on technologies and applications that would allow renewable energy applications to be cost competitive through three main areas – deployment, market enabling, and research development and demonstration projects. These will assist in making renewable energy and distributed generation more affordable across the country. Some of the objectives include facilitating the deployment and demonstration of renewable energy technologies, identify the needs of the province, collaboration promotion, and support cooperative projects.
7) MaRs. Located in Toronto, Ontario is MaRs. MaRs is a cleantech cluster, and was listed as one of the top global cleantech clusters of 2010. It is a mission-driven center for innovation. The focus of the cluster is to continue building up Canada’s cleantech sector. MaRs has worked with more than 250 cleantech companies across the country and provided them with business advice, mentorship, entrepreneurship education, market intelligence, seed capital, and access to a network of partners. MaRs has three strategic goals – to create great companies, to develop a working innovation hub, and to increase the strength of Canada’s global brand of innovation.
8 ) Advancements in Bioenergy. One of the most targeted areas in Canada’s renewable energy scheme has been bioenergy. There has been much in the way of research and development in the manufacturing of economic and clean bioenergy and bioproducts from the large amount of biomass resources at Canada’s fingertips. As such, there have been a number of advancements, including converting wastes, including used restaurant grease into top-quality diesel fuels and a set of guidelines to assist with the overall improvement of industrial boiler efficiency as well as emissions reduction.
9) Wind Energy Institute of Canada. The Wind Energy Institute of Canada, or WEICan, looks to increase the development and deployment of wind energy as a viable renewable energy source across the Canadian country via research, testing, training, as well as collaboration. WEICan has been in operation for more than 25 years and plays a key role in the advancement of wind energy. They deal with testing and demonstration and research and innovation. They also supply technical consultation and public education and training. WEICam has their own testing facility in order to advance their mission.
10) National Solar Test Facility. Located in Mississauga, Ontario is the National Solar test Facility in Canada. The facility offers not only testing for solar equipment but also certification programs. It is the leading North American center for the testing and rating of solar technologies using controlled sunlight, wind, and temperature. The facility has one of the largest indoor solar simulators around the world.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org