Canadian Budget Includes Money For Cleantech

Jan 28 2009 | 9:06am ET

The federal budget presented by Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Tuesday includes support for clean energy, although the details remain sketchy and the effort falls short of U.S. President Barack Obama's more ambitious cleantech plans.
The government said it would establish a Clean Energy Fund to support research development and demonstration projects, including carbon capture and storage (CCS). It did not say how much money would be put into the fund. The budget also includes accelerated write-offs for companies investing in CCS technology.

CCS is a major part of Ottawa's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 as the country also intends to expand production from carbon-intensive oil sands projects and the use of coal-fired electricity.

The Conservative government's budget also promised a $1-billion green infrastructure fund, including transmission lines to connect renewable energy projects, and $350 million over two years for Atomic Energy Canada Ltd, the federal Crown corporation developing a new generation of Candu reactor.

Flaherty did not extend the government's ecoEnergy renewable energy program that provides grants for wind, small hydro and other clean energy projects. The program is due to expire next year.

The opposition Liberals are expected to demand changes before voting to approve the budget.

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