Federal Budget Fails to Capitalize on Canada’s Green Energy Opportunity
Ottawa, ONTARIO-JANUARY 27, 2009 -- The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) today reacted with disappointment to the federal government’s failure to expand and extend its very successful ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program (eRPP) in the 2009 federal budget. The absence of such action in the federal budget means that federal production incentives for the deployment of wind and other forms of renewable energy will run out of funding to support new projects before the end of the next fiscal year.
“Our ability to compete with the United States for investment in wind energy projects and manufacturing opportunities will decline as a result of this budget. At a time when the United States has made measures to support renewable energy deployment a key component of its plans to stimulate the US economy, Canada is moving in the opposite direction,” said Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA. “While we are extremely disappointed, we remain committed to working with the federal government to ensure that they see the value of investing in the world’s most rapidly growing source of electricity and will explore what opportunities may exist in the budget to enhance wind energy deployment in Canada.
Over the next 5 years, CanWEA’s proposal for an eRPP expansion and extension would have cost the federal treasury $600 million and leveraged over $6 billion in new private sector investment into the Canadian economy – and created 8,000 new jobs – while helping the federal government achieve its Throne Speech commitment to provide 90% of the country’s electricity needs from non-emitting power sources by the year 2020.
“Between now and 2020, it is projected that $1 trillion will be invested in wind energy globally, creating more than 1.75 million jobs. If Canada wishes to capture a growing portion of this rapidly expanding global economic opportunity, and is seeking to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy development, Parliament will need to take actions well beyond anything included in today’s federal budget,” Hornung said.
The federal government announced the eRPP in January 2007 to support the deployment of approximately 4,000MW of new low-impact, renewable electricity projects by March 31, 2011. The program was so successful that all funds were allocated almost two years ahead of schedule.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is a non-profit industry association representing more than 400 members in the wind energy industry. CanWEA promotes the responsible development and application of all aspects of wind energy in Canada, including the creation of a suitable policy environment.
CanWEA President Robert Hornung is available for interviews.
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