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Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition Applauds ecoEnergy Announcement

Canada's ability to generate "Green Power" was given a boost today by the government's announcement of the ecoEnergy Renewable Power program. The program, designed to cover the deployment of 4,000 MW of low-impact renewable energy, was applauded by the Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition. The Coalition has been pushing for such mechanisms since it was launched in late 2000.

"The new federal government's initiative will support investments in innovation, economic growth, and a new energy infrastructure for the Canadian economy" said Mark Rudolph, Coalition Coordinator.

"This announcement restores most of the green power commitment that the previous government had already made," said Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director for the Pembina Institute. "It's a step forward but much more remains to be done to create an internationally competitive climate change and energy strategy for Canada" noted Dr. Raynolds.

The Coalition produced its "Vision of a Low-Impact Renewable Energy Future for Canada". The Coalition's goal, as defined in the "Vision" document is to have low-impact renewable energy account for a minimum of 7 per cent of Canada's electricity production in 2010, and 15 per cent by 2020. An analysis of the employment impacts of the "Vision" document indicates that 20,000 jobs would be created by 2015 in meeting the goal.

The Coalition is now challenging all political parties in Canada to endorse a green power production incentive that supports 12,000 MW of power - and to support its implementation after the next election. The Coalition called for this in the fall of 2005 and presented the concept to all parties at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance at its pre-budget consultation session in Calgary in October of 2005.

"To build an industry, there is a need for certainty, the type of certainty that would come with a 12,000 MW commitment from the Federal government" said John Keating, CEO of Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. "With certainty will come the level of investment required to put Canada on the Green Power map," he stated.

Over many years, Coalition members have stressed that investments in Green Power will provide a range of benefits: creating a whole new industry for Canada; investment in innovation and sustainable renewable energy technologies; diversification of Canada's energy supply; made-in-Canada manufacturing facilities; regional economic development; new capital investment and job creation; competitiveness; clean air; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

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