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Renewable Energy Government Incentives – Better government policies, innovative government financing policies and strategic private partnerships are needed to finance indigenously owned power generation that unlocks the money needed for clean energy in remote tribal communities.
, a series that provides insight, detail and analysis of each of the specific policies we recommend
Renewable Energy Government Incentives
Tribal communities transitioning from diesel to renewable energy face significant barriers to financing the necessary infrastructure. The high capital costs associated with developing clean energy projects, especially in remote communities, prevent these projects from progressing at the pace necessary to phase out diesel in a timely manner.
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But governments can develop policies and programs that give indigenous communities better access to the money they need, either by financing themselves or by creating conditions that encourage private investment.
Reliable clean energy in remote communities reduces environmental emissions that negatively impact health and overall quality of life, while allowing residents to participate in an economically successful industry in other parts of the country. For these reasons, we urge governments to adopt policies that encourage capital flows to indigenous communities willing to switch to diesel.
Governments seeking to remove the financial barriers indigenous communities face when developing clean energy can do so in a number of ways. For example, they can provide money directly to pay for clean energy infrastructure that a remote tribal community can build and own. Some examples of government funding schemes for domestic energy projects are:
This type of direct government investment reduces financial risks from the perspective of banks and other lenders, and makes it easier for remote tribal communities to raise the additional loan capital needed to cover the total cost of the project.
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Debt capital, as the name suggests, refers to financial resources pledged to an energy project with a promise to repay them at an agreed rate of interest. Examples of Domestic Debt Equity Financing Schemes:
In parallel or separately from various government financing programs, indigenous communities can use their own equity or partner with private or corporate clean energy developers to attract private capital. This private capital has been made accessible by the widespread adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards by Canadian businesses. ESG-based programs encourage companies to demonstrate their commitment to ESG principles by measuring the profitability of their investments.
Attracting private capital encourages coordination between the private sector and indigenous communities, enabling communities to transition from diesel to more sustainable and cleaner energy sources. Partnerships between the private sector and indigenous communities create low-risk profiles for energy infrastructure projects, making them a preferred investment in the eyes of lenders, especially those who have Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with a public or private entity. IEC. Together, this improves the commercial economics of domestic renewable energy projects.
The renewable energy financing landscape is changing. Indigenous communities have expressed their aspirations to have a significant stake in the development of renewable energy projects. Their aspirations should be a signal to governments to promote economic harmony while prioritizing the aspirations of domestic leadership. Providing direct financing and debt capital through innovative policies, strategies and flexible programs will help change the landscape and bring in much-needed private investment in this space. After all, even considering the huge progress in diesel reduction over the past few years, there is still a long way to go. The government does not have enough money to finance this migration alone, and more aggressive policies must be implemented to bring more capital or private sector investment to these communities.
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Capital available in the market is limited. Governments should explore innovative policies that encourage the private sector to partner with indigenous communities to ensure targeted clean energy infrastructure in remote communities. Examples of these incentives include:
The federal government could consider these incentives as “add-ons” to help improve the business case of PPA clean energy projects jointly developed by indigenous communities and private partners, or to obtain renewable energy tax incentives to further encourage private sector investment. The standard, which encourages private sector investment, will complement the generation incentive programs introduced by the previous federal government (including wind power generation incentives and ecoENERGY for renewable energy). Such policy signals are better than checklists and inflexible requirements in encouraging the construction of renewable energy projects.
Strategic partnerships and innovative financing policies are key to accelerating domestic energy projects. And indigenous communities need to build renewable energy generation infrastructure that distributes electricity and heat to their residents and allows them to change their energy landscape according to their vision.
Marvin Guidoras is a senior researcher in the Institute’s Renewables in Remote Communities until 2021 program.
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The clean energy incentive programs on this page are sorted by county where they are offered. Start your energy incentive search by clicking on your jurisdiction below:
The federal government generally does not administer energy incentives. Instead, it provides funding to self-governing provinces and territories through the Low Carbon Economy Fund.
Alberta currently has 7 Clean Energy Incentive Programs that offer dozens of energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transportation incentives and rebates.
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Two other incentive programs offered by Energy Efficiency Alberta were recently canceled. All current county programs are provided by municipalities and/or utilities – there are currently no county programs.
British Columbia has at least 17 clean energy incentive programs, offering more than 100 individual energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation and low-income incentives and rebates.
When looking for energy efficiency or renewable energy rebates in British Columbia, we recommend using the Clean BC Rebate Search Tool.
There are currently 3 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) incentives in British Columbia. Except for special use of the Vehicle Incentive Scheme, all of these incentives can be combined with:
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Manitoba currently has 5 clean energy incentive programs, offering dozens of individual energy efficiency incentives and rebates.
New Brunswick currently has 4 Clean Energy Incentive Programs that offer dozens of individual energy efficiency, renewable energy and low income incentives and rebates.
Newfoundland and Labrador currently has 2 clean energy incentive programs, totaling about a dozen per capita energy efficiency and low income incentives and rebates.
The Northwest Territories currently has 4 Clean Energy Incentive Programs that offer dozens of energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transportation incentives and rebates.
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For more information on solar power in the Northwest Territories, check out our complete guide to solar power in the Northwest Territories.
Nova Scotia currently has 9 clean energy incentive programs, offering dozens of individual energy efficiency, renewable energy and low-income incentives and rebates.
For more information on solar energy in Nova Scotia, see our complete guide to solar energy in Nova Scotia.
There are discounts for solar thermal systems through the Heating System Discount Scheme and the Home Energy Rating Scheme.
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Nunavut currently has a Clean Energy Incentive Program and 2 programs are under development.
Ontario currently has 4 Clean Energy Incentive Programs, offering more than a dozen per capita energy efficiency and low income incentives and rebates.
Prince Edward Island currently has 8 clean energy incentive programs that offer dozens of individual energy efficiency, renewable energy and low income incentives and rebates.
These incentive programs are primarily offered by EfficiencyPEI, while a low-income program is also offered by the City of Charlottetown.
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Both of the above programs (including the Winter Warming Program, described below) are available for duplexes, townhomes and apartment buildings through the Multi-Unit Residential Building Efficiency Program.
For more information on solar power in Prince Edward Island, see our complete guide to solar power in Prince Edward Island.
Quebec currently has 10 clean energy incentive programs that offer dozens of energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation and low-income incentives and rebates.
Most of these projects are delivered by Transition energétique Québec and energy distribution companies such as Hydro Québec, Gazifére and Energir.
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When plans become available, you can find them on this page, and on the SaskPower and SaskEnergy websites.
The Yukon currently has 4 major clean energy incentive programs, offering approximately a dozen individual energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transportation incentives and rebates. Switching to renewable solar power for your home has many benefits. You will
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