By Anthony Capkun
November 20, 2012 – A new chapter in the development of Manitoba’s clean energy resources is being written, said Dave Chomiak, innovation, energy and mines minister. “Building on our strengths, this new plan sets the province on a course that will ensure reliable, affordable energy for future generations, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and maximize local economic benefits.”
Priority actions contained in the strategy, said Chomiak, include building a new generation of clean, renewable hydro power, leading North America on energy efficiency, keeping rates low and growing renewable energy alternatives.
“Energy plays a critical role in all our lives every day,” said the minister. “Energy security will become more important for future generations, and the decisions we make today at the local, regional and national level will shape our common future.
Previous decisions to build hydro generation instead of coal-fired power plants have resulted in a power grid that is 98% renewable, says the ministry. With available technologies such as electric vehicles, and geothermal and biomass heating, fossil fuel freedom is now within reach for many Manitobans, said Chomiak.
Highlights of the strategy include:
• Pay-as-You-Save (PAYS) financing program (the first in Canada, says the ministry) that covers the upfront capital costs of energy-efficiency upgrades based on the utility cost savings.
• A biomass energy-support program that will help Manitoba’s remaining coal users transition to renewable and locally grown biomass energy.
• Manitoba’s Electric Vehicle Road Map that will facilitate the adoption of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
• Green Energy Equipment Tax Credit for geothermal and solar-thermal heating.
CLICK HERE for Manitoba’s Clean Energy Strategy.