Canada

Canada

Renewables made to look flaky

As well as reportedly demanding more use of renewables, Ontario's Council on Renewable Energy (CORE) is calling for a review of invisible subsidies to conventional energy sources. "Newer forms of renewable energy are characterised as technologies for the distant future. On-again, off-again funding creates the impression that renewables are flaky," it states.

"The hidden subsidies to non-renewable forms of energy are so extensive that a thorough review of the tax structure will be needed in order to discover their extent. This is an essential step to creating a level playing field for renewables."

CORE criticises the absence of political will and vision, saying "As a result, there has been no removal of structural or institutional barriers, no strategy for transition to renewables and no quantified policies." Moreover, "there is a sense of urgency that, compared to other countries, Canadian industry has to play catch-up." Distributed energy production on a small scale wherever suitable resources are found, will enhance local employment opportunities in remote areas, it adds.

CORE asks the government to deliver a clear policy statement establishing the priority it places on renewables, with quantified targets and set-asides (allocations for certain minimum quantities of renewable energy or capacity); establish a working group to consider external cost issues and to develop an accounting framework for these externalities; help supplement diesel systems in remote communities with renewables; and continue changes in building codes that favour renewables.

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