Renewables strategy announced


Canada's minister of natural resources, Anne McLellan, announced a limited renewable energy strategy at the October conference of the Independent Power Producers' Society of Ontario. "It will help the renewable industry grow and become more self sustaining," she claimed. However, the strategy appears to be a cobbling together of existing federal government cost shared partnerships with industry and provincial governments. Its three components are: efforts to improve the investment climate for renewables, mainly tax measures announced earlier in the year; technology initiatives; and market development initiatives. McLellan did not announce any significant new funding in support of renewables development -- Canada's federal wind budget languishes at about $500,000 a year, while its nuclear and fossil fuel industries enjoy direct and indirect multi billion dollar subsidies. McLellan was quick to point out, however, that support by Natural Resources Canada of a Tacke Windpower prototype 600 kW cold weather wind turbine on the Ontario shore of Lake Huron had brought industrial and economic benefits. "The production of components has led to $16 million in exports and created more than 60 new jobs in Canada," she said. She proclaimed that "a dynamic [renewable energy] industry would contribute to economic growth and new jobs for Canadians while also helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions."