Federal government releases Kyoto implementation plan

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Canada's federal government has unveiled its long awaited Kyoto implementation plan, which anticipates that renewable energy will contribute 15 mega tonnes of annual reductions to the country's 270 mega tonne target. The government's recently expanded wind power production incentive (WPPI), which is designed to support the installation of 4000 MW of capacity, is expected to be central to those efforts. "More is possible, but the measures identified in the Kyoto plan represent an important first step toward the exploitation of Canada's massive wind energy potential," says Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. Although the new plan has been criticised by some for being short on specifics, it did provide details on some important design elements of the expanded WPPI program. Caps that currently limit the maximum amount of support any province or project can receive under the program will be removed. It also says wind energy projects may be able to participate in a proposed greenhouse gas emission reduction offset trading system, something the government had originally rejected and which, says Hornung, "will be absolutely essential if the Kyoto plan is to meet its wind energy targets." The government plans to create a renewable power production incentive (RPPI) program to stimulate the installation of up to 1500 MW of technologies like small hydro, biomass and landfill gas and offer accelerated tax deductions for renewable energy equipment, including wind turbines.

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