Canada’s solar industry is taking its best aim to put a little sunlight in the 2012 federal budget. The Canadian Solar Industry Association (CanSIA) this past week appeared at pre-budget consultations in Windsor, Ontario, to discuss what can be done to boost the industry. With 2011 revenues around C$2 billion and employing 8,000 according to the CanSIA website, , is aiming to be an effective part of the country’s energy mix. By 2025, it wants to employ 35,000 people and remove around 15-31 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG).
How Canada’s solar industry plans to be an energy player comesfrom . One involves creating a 30% tax credit for investing in solar technology, to help boost the industry. The United States, with its 30% solar tax credit, has clearly helped the industry down there quite a bit. As CleanTechnica recently reported, the and it saw .
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Another recommendation the association put forward to the federal government is creating a green bonds program to support low-risk investment opportunities. This program provides accessible credit for businesses in the industry to expand, with the European Union’s an example.
While the tax credit and bond proposals are to spur investment within the industry, they would also like to see annual support of C$200,000 over a five year period to improve energy efficiency and technology codes in buildings.
While the solar industry is aiming high for fourteen years from now, it is up against a fossil fuel industry that receives subsidies of around . Despite the odds stacked against it, the solar industry is playing Canada’s biggest advantage:A stable economic situation compared to other countries. CanSIA said solar would work very well thanks to the country’s steady economy, strong base of knowledge workers, and energy sectors.
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While critics often say solar and other renewable energies would not create economic growth, the website said otherwise, pointing between 40-50% growth in the Canadian solar thermal market between 2008-2011, while the photovoltaic (PV) market has grown an average of 2.8 times between 2006 and 2011. Declining costs and better customer knowledge attributed the gains in the overall solar market, said the association.
With the recommendations made, CanSIA is hoping next year will be a bright sunshiny day.
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