Canada announces details of $1 billion clean energy fund

Climate Change Law Practice Group Blog

May 20, 2009

The government of Canada announced the details of the $1 billion clean energy fund it announced in February. A statement issued by the Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt revealed that the fund will be allocated as follows:

  • $650 million to support large scale carbon capture and storage ("CCS") demonstration projects;
  • $200 million to support smaller-scale demonstration projects of renewable and alternative energy technologies; and
  • $150 million to support research and pre-demonstration pilot projects "ranging from next generation renewable and cleaner energy systems to new technologies to address environmental challenges in the oil sands such as water use and tailings"

Additional details are available on the Ministry of Natural Resources website. The government has already issued a request for proposals for smaller-scale demonstration projects.

That the majority of the money is allocated to CCS is not surprising given the quantity of emissions from coal-fired generation and oil sands projects, particularly in the province of Alberta. The US has recently hinted that it may ban or impose large tariffs on oil imports from carbon-intensive sources like the oil sands. CCS could effectively clean up the emissions profile of upgraded and refined bitumen and preserve the export market.

The fund is also consistent with Canada's Clean Energy Dialogue with the US (discussed here, here, and here).