Until June 1, the Government of Canada wants to hear your ideas for curbing climate change! Over 1500 ideas have already been shared on this interactive portal, make sure to have your voice heard by submitting a comment on an existing idea, or preparing an idea of your own.
Opportunities like this don’t come around often. It’s important that we use this platform to promote the development of more renewable energy projects – on a national level, and to focus on the implementation of Community Energy – on a more local level.
TREC has prepared a submission with some recommendations to support the Community Energy (CE) sector. We’d love it if you could share or comment on our idea!
Community Energy involves democratic ownership of clean energy facilities by local residents, businesses and public institutions, retaining project control and financial benefits by the community. The Federal government can support and enable community energy to leverage its many benefits, in the following ways:
- Support a national community energy coordination effort, similar to the National Community Solar in the U.S. (to foster knowledge sharing) with an initial investment of $5 million over 3 years. This would support research, knowledge sharing and capacity building tools used across the country.
- Amending the Income Tax Act to give RE Co-ops full status as registered co-operatives (RRSP advantage)
- Establish a loan guarantee program underpinned by the Federal government to provide debt security to commercial lenders who initially have no experience of the CE model and hence are reluctant to provide debt.
- Providing a tax credit for those who invest in renewable energy projects through renewable energy co-operatives and Indigenous communities, similar to the multiyear credits recently renewed in the United States.
- Introducing a Community Power Production Incentive directly targeted to projects that improve community energy self-sufficiency and climate resilience
- Ensuring new infrastructure investment includes criteria that prioritize funding for community ownership projects
Header image source: http://www.durhamcollege.ca/