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Canada is a hot spot for renewable energy projects


July 23, 2010
by PLANT Staff

Ontario’s Green Energy Act includes a Feed-in Tariff program that offers a power contract with a guaranteed rate per megawatt hour over a 20-year term.

Photo: Stock

TORONTO: Canada ranked ninth out of 27 countries analyzed for green energy investments in the Ernst & Young quarterly country attractiveness indices, which gives scores out of 100 on renewable energy markets, infrastructure and individual technology sustainability.

"Canada is holding firm while others have slipped in an uncertain economic and regulatory environment," said Stephen Lewis, leader of the Ernst & Young renewable advisory practice in Canada. "We’re seeing significant activity that is increasing the share of renewables in Canada’s energy mix, but if we want to be seen as a market leader, more work will be required from all stakeholders in the industry."

The top 10 countries and their scores for May 2010 includes:

Overall, the index reported that China invested a total of US$34.5 billion into its clean projects last year, double of what the US invested, and has emerged as the world market leader of installed wind power capacity of 2009.

According to Ernst & Young, Canada’s score was driven by the stability of its financial system during the ongoing capital market challenges around the globe, and it has been proactive with improvements within its domestic market.

Many provinces across the country are shifting their focus to green. For instance, Ontario introduced its Green Energy Act, which includes a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program that offers a power contract with a guaranteed rate per megawatt hour over a 20-year term. BC also has a Clean Energy Act and BC Hydro recently announced new power purchase agreements.

If Canada wants to enhance its attractiveness for energy investment, Ernst & Young says that there needs to be a drive within the public sector to become buyers of renewable energy and technology. Both the federal and provincial governments need to support manufacturing through warranty backing and other guarantees.