The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has expressed disappointment with the federal government's failure to expand and extend its ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program in the 2010 federal budget.Â
The ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program was created in January 2007 and has now allocated all of its funding and met its target to support the deployment of more than 4,000 MW of new renewable energy projects in Canada.Â
While the U.S. federal government's key incentive program will provide support for new wind energy projects constructed through the end of 2012, Canada's ecoENERGY program has now allocated all of its funding and is supporting no wind energy projects built after March 2011 – almost two years before U.S. support is scheduled to end.Â
CanWEA predicts that wind energy investors will increasingly shift new investments and job creation out of Canada to the greater policy certainty and more attractive investment climate found in the U.S.
‘Federal government incentives have played a critical role in wind energy development in Canada by supporting and complementing provincial government initiatives in this area,’ says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. ‘The success of this partnership is clear – Canada's installed wind energy capacity has increased tenfold in six years. While the federal government continues to identify clean energy and job creation as a priority, the actions taken in the 2010 federal budget make it clear that it has decided to download responsibility for attracting wind energy investment and jobs to provincial governments.’
A recent study by GE Energy Financial Services concluded that the government revenues generated by the economic activity stimulated and leveraged through the program represented a 5.3% internal rate of return on this investment by the federal government.
SOURCE: Canadian Wind Energy Association