Monday, March 08, 2010

Will Federal Budget decisions slow the push to wind energy on the north coast?

Thursday's Federal budget saw the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper shift it's direction when it comes to energy, stepping away from the prospect of expanding the focus on the wind and returning to the more traditional options of nuclear and the tar sands of Alberta

The Conservative's have decided to dis-continue a $1.48 billion ecoEnergy program, which had as its target the prospect of generating 4,000 megawatts of energy from non-emitting sources by the year 2011.

In Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget of this week, the direction seems to be changing towards a potential increased expansion and reliance on nuclear options and a plan to develop carbon capture technology and capture emissions from the tar sands.

The apparent reduction in the importance given to non emission methods of energy generation, has many of the players in the nation's still incubating wind energy industry left disappointed and preparing to reassess their business plans and explore options outside of Canada.

Among the local programs that were listed on the ecoEnergy website are the Mount Hays wind farm project and the Naikun development off of Haida Gwaii, both of which were registered with the federal program.

With that funding set to dry up, they may need to rely more on the provincial government for incentives and signs that wind power still has a place on the agenda, when it comes to changes to our reliance on the old traditional methods of the day.

NaiKun currently is in a holding pattern awaiting further word from BC Hydro's Clean power call, if successful that would see the power produced off Haida Gwaii put into the provincial power grid and set in motion a number of construction jobs and operations jobs on the north coast.

While they awaited further word from the province however there were some changes to the corporate scene, Naikun recently had to lay off a number of employees in order to provide for a workable cash flow situation, the company is also awaiting a decision on investment from the Haida Nation, which is planning to hold a vote on Haida Gwaii to seek approval to become a partner.

With Ottawa preparing to turn off the financial incentives, it will be  noteworthy to see if the business and operations plans for the the local projects change in any way, are abandoned, or if there is still enough of a financial reward on the horizon for the firms to push forward with their plans.

Toronto Star-- Budget takes the wind out of clean energy sails
National Post-- Environment: Wind energy loses out
Globe and Mail-- Budget puts climate action on ice
Halifax Chronicle Herald-- Tories let wind energy incentive die
Power Gen worldwide-- Renewable energy program supporters "disappointed" in Canada
Trading Budget Fails to Extend Support for New Wind Energy Development

1 comment:

PhD Misdemeanours said...
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