December 5, 2011
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Scarborough Centre.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to speak about the Government of Canada's leadership on clean energy. It is truly a very good news story. Not only do we possess substantial reserves of conventional energy, but Canada is making a big name for itself in the clean energy sector. We have been leaders for some time, producing about 77% of our electricity from non-emitting sources like hydro generation and nuclear power.
Our government has moved aggressively in recent years with billions of dollars' worth of investments in clean energy, balancing our need for economic growth with our need to protect the environment.
Since 2006, the government has delivered over $10 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This funding has leveraged an additional $25 billion in private investment, creating over 5,000 new jobs, many in the growing clean tech sector.
We are fighting emissions through innovation in green infrastructure, energy efficiency, clean energy and renewables. We are positioning Canada to lead in the clean tech sector and creating jobs for the future.
Our overall goal is to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. This is a target that aligns with U.S. plans. Canada has significant opportunities to expand its share of the global market for energy and energy-related products, creating prosperity across this great country.
Here are just a few of the activities our government has put into play. Our newest program, the eco-energy innovation initiative, was just launched in August of this year. It is a two-year $97 million investment to support a wide range of collaboration among industry, colleges, universities and government. These projects will focus on research, development and demonstration in five key areas: energy efficiency in buildings, communities, industry and transportation; clean electricity and renewables; bio-energy; research and development of electric vehicles; and unconventional oil and gas.
The demonstration component will focus on clean electricity and the integration of renewables into the grid and the built environment. Then there is the $78 million eco-energy efficiency initiative that will improve energy efficiency at home, at work and on the road, saving Canadians money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The eco-energy efficiency initiative will make the housing, building and transportation industries more energy efficient. Improving energy efficiency is one of the fastest, greenest and most cost-effective ways for Canadians to reduce greenhouse gases and to save energy.
The next phase of Canada's economic action plan is also advancing the clean energy sector on several fronts by delivering a number of strategic investments. For example, we have renewed the highly popular eco-energy retrofit homes program. This helps Canadians make energy efficient home renovations.
The renewed retrofit homes program could help up to a quarter of a million homeowners across Canada improve their home's energy efficiency, and also generate up to $4 billion in economic activity.
We have also delivered another $40 million to Sustainable Development Technology Canada for the commercialization of clean technologies. This is a fantastic organization.
The 2010 energy efficiency regulations minimum energy performance standards have resulted in an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 26 megatonnes. Once the minimum energy performance standards are fully in place, products that consume 80% of the energy used in Canadian homes, institutions and businesses will become regulated.
These are significant achievements in our efforts to reduce emissions. What is more, the benefits of these and other eco-energy investments will continue for years and years to come. For example, the eco-energy for renewable power program will deliver $1.5 billion in investments over the next 10 years to support our renewable energy industry.
The eco-energy for biofuels program will provide production incentives to producers of cleaner renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel until 2017. Our investments in carbon capture and storage projects will help position Canada as a producer of reliable clean electricity for decades to come.
For example, one project that is under construction is the fully integrated carbon capture and sequestration, CCS, unit at SaskPower's Boundary Dam coal-fired power generation unit in Estevan, Saskatchewan. Our government delivered $240 million of investment which will leverage $1 billion from the provincial utility and will transform Unit 3 at Boundary Dam Power Station into a reliable long-term producer of 100 megawatts of clean base-load electricity while enhancing oil production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by capturing one million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
We have many examples of clean energy success stories across Canada.
Drake Landing Solar Community south of Calgary recently received the prestigious 2011 Energy Globe World Award for Sustainability. Drake Landing comprises 52 homes that are part of North America's very first large-scale seasonal storage solar heating system. This is the first such project in the world to provide nearly 90% of domestic space heating requirements from solar energy.
B.C. Hydro's smart grid technology project is installing large-scale batteries in two remote communities. These will provide clean power to the entire community during any outage. They will also help manage peak electricity demand periods with a lower environmental footprint.
We are helping four maritime utilities led by New Brunswick Power Corporation as it integrates smart grid technologies, load management and intermittent renewables. Also on the east coast, the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy is working to harness power from the most energy-rich tides in the world.
Our government's support for the lower Churchill River projects in Newfoundland and Labrador will boost clean energy production in Atlantic Canada. The production potential of the lower Churchill project is enormous. Muskrat Falls alone will have a generating capacity of 824 megawatts. That is enough to produce an estimated 4.9 million megawatt hours per year. That is equivalent to powering almost half a million Canadian homes.
This clean renewable energy provides an opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia to meet their own needs in an environmentally sustainable way. Once completed, Newfoundland and Labrador will obtain up to 98% of its electricity from non-emitting sources, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4.5 megatonnes.
As all members can see, the Government of Canada is delivering real emission reductions while still maintaining Canada's economic advantage. In this way, our government is helping the energy sector to become more competitive, create new greener jobs for Canadians, and further protect our environment.
Canada's energy sector, including clean tech, has an extremely positive impact on our national economy. Energy represents roughly 7% of our gross domestic product. It supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. It is a major contributor to Canada's economic stability and quality of life. The positive impact of our energy sector is found throughout Canada's economy in manufacturing, support services, construction, engineering and the financial sector.
We need to continue delivering major investments in our infrastructure so that we can diversify Canada's energy markets. We need to continue our progress in developing our vast resources in an environmentally responsible way.