Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance

National Strategy

Why a National Renewable Energy Strategy?
Solar Panel
Energy conservation and efficiency together with low-impact renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro and earth energy promise to help produce a world that is clean, safe, secure, productive, and efficient for everyone everywhere.

In CanREA’s view, Canada should meet our commitments on renewable energy made at the international on renewable energy conference in 2004 in Bonn and adopt a truly national renewable energy strategy. The objectives of a National Renewable Energy Strategy should be to:

  • Recognize the environmental, economic and social value of renewable energy in meeting Canadian and international goals of reducing environmental impacts (especially climate change), promoting economic development and improving world energy security
  • Be built on a strong foundation of energy conservation and efficiency
  • Be a truly national strategy, coordinating federal and provincial targets and actions on renewable energy
  • Include international commitments such as export development of Canadian RE technologies (through EDC) and official development assistance (through CIDA) to support the utilization of renewable energy to reduce poverty.
  • Be comprehensive — including green power (both sides of the meter), green heat and green transport in industry, businesses, homes, communities and First Nations.

In 2006 to begin debate CanREA produced a model National Renewable Energy Strategy for Canada that contains recommendations for federal and provincial governments on a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy issues.

Download CanREA’s complete “Model National Renewable Energy Strategy for Canada”(PDF Version)

Modèle national stratégie pour les energies renouvelables au Canada (PDF) Aussi disponible en français.

Four years later we are still waiting for a national renewable energy strategy. In April 2009, CanREA was asked by the International Energy Agency to identify key energy issues facing Canada, comment on current Canadian renewable energy and energy efficiency policy, and suggest what new policies were needed. In response we prepared and presented a three page summary of CanREA’s position on these issues. 

CanREA idenfiied three key energy issues:
 - Energy efficiency must be the underlying foundation of any energy policy
 - Renewable energy is the most plentiful energy resource and potentially could meet all energy needs sooner and cheaper than alternatives such as clean coal or advanced nuclear.
- Renewable energy coupled with energy efficiency is the most universal solution to global warming. 

CanREA recommended the following actions by the Government of Canada to accelarate the transition to renewable energy:

International Cooperation:
? Canada should join IRENA and play a major role in helping developing countries adopt renewable energy
? Work closely with the United States on making energy efficiency and renewable energy the cornerstone of a new green economy and regional climate change policy under the Clean Energy Dialogue

Domestic Leadership by the federal government:
? Recognize renewable energy development as a national priority – promoting public awareness on how renewable sources can meet Canada’s heat, transport, and power needs (including base load and peak power)
? Set national renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for all sectors and fuels, and entrench many of the programs and regulations listed below into a national Green Energy Act
? Set up a Smart Energy Fund to provide energy efficiency, green building, and renewable energy services and financing to homeowners, businesses, industrial firms, and public entities.
? Establish a National Green Economy Training Program to promote good jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy

Renewable Power
? Build on Ontario’s leadership by supporting adoption of feed-in tariffs in all Provinces and harmonize a replenished EcoEnergy for renewable power with feed-in tariffs programs.
? Establish a National Renewable Energy Centre and a high-level national task force on renewable power grid integration and strategic transmission links
? Implement a national program to develop, commercialize, and deploy technologies and measures such as power storage that deliver base load power from variable renewable power sources.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Heat
? Set up a well resourced national secretariat to support the Council of Energy Ministers (CEM) collaborative process,
? Quickly respond to recommendations on new programs and regulations including housing and building retrofit, low income housing, and truck efficiency
? Support new innovative financing and regulatory approaches to energy efficiency that ensure all economic efficiency potential is realized
? Expand the scope of the CEM collaboration to include renewable heating technologies like solar heating.

Support sustainable transportation:
? Establish a national rail network authority to develop comprehensive and effective national high speed passenger and freight rail systems
? Provide annual major targeted transfers (investments) to the Provinces and Territories to support the rapid construction of mass transit and smart growth
? Establish market-based criteria for the sustainable use of biomass resources for the production of ethanol and biodiesel from forest and agricultural materials.

Download PDFs of CanREA’s 2006 framework for a National Strategy and individual recommendations:

Aussi disponible en français

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  1. Why an Energy Strategy | OMG its Canada – Globe – Canbyte
  2. Renewable Energy Policy in Canada | ENV 350: Energy Policy and the Environment

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