New study examines established green marketing programs in Canada

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The total installed capacity of renewables feeding green power programs in Canada was 539 MW by the end of 2002. But although the six-fold increase over the year before shows the market is growing, the sector is still very small compared to that of other industrialised countries because of a lack of policy support, says a new study from the Pembina Institute. The 45-page report, Green Power Marketing in Canada: The State of the Industry, takes a detailed look at established green marketing programs operating across the country in 2002 and provides overviews of programs in the planning stages. It finds that green power capacity is dominated by wind at 43%, hydro at 36% and biomass at about 20%. Together, the technologies reduced Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in 2002 by about one megatonne. The study also finds that while provincial and federal government support lags other countries, interest in renewable energy as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with air pollution is increasing. "Governments have taken significant initial steps, but now they must follow through on those bigger commitments," says the report's author, Matthew Bramley. Another key role for government, the study says, is to improve consumer awareness of green power and its benefits. "The federal government in particular needs to be much more active in raising public awareness of green power, especially given the important role that green power can play in Canada's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol."

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