The province of Ontario, Canada, is investing nearly CAD 100 million (Canadian dollars) through its Green Investment Fund to boost cleantech innovation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Ontario government has also extended a further CAD 60 million commitment to cleantech projects in India, following the premier’s visit there earlier this month.
The CAD 100 million fund will invest in two new business programs in Canada to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and support cleantech innovation.
- A CAD 74-million cleantech innovation initiative, in partnership with the Ontario Centres of Excellence, will help reduce emissions by encouraging large industrial plants to adopt leading-edge clean technologies.
- A CAD 25-million green smart energy efficiency program, in partnership with Canadian manufacturers and exporters, will help small and medium sized business become energy efficient and reduce emissions. These are often the companies which struggle the most to invest in efficient technology.
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, said, “Our government is taking action to stop climate change by helping our business sector create prosperity and jobs for today and tomorrow. Through these two new programs, we will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while promoting the innovative and disruptive technologies that will improve productivity and secure our economic future.”
Reza Moridi, minister of research and innovation, added, “Our government understands the incredible opportunity that exists to create good jobs and grow our economy in the innovative sectors that are helping us move towards a greener environment. By partnering with Ontario Centres of Excellence to promote the next generation of clean technologies that reduce emissions and increase efficiency, we can improve Ontario’s environment and our thriving innovation ecosystem at the same time.”
The government’s Green Investment Fund is a CAD 325-million down payment on the province’s proposed cap and trade program and was announced in the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. The fund supports Ontario’s business growth initiative, helping to accelerate Ontario’s innovation economy, while responding to the challenges and opportunities of rapid technological change and global economic forces.
Ontario claims that in just 10 years it has become a North American leader in the development, use and manufacturing of clean energy. In May 2015, Ontario became the first province in Canada to set a mid-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Extending into cleantech in India too
The Advanced Energy Centre in Ontario signed agreements with Tech Mahindra, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) and India Smart Grid Forum (see here). India is heavily reliant on coal and imported energy resources, presenting a significant opportunity for renewables and other innovative clean technologies to address the energy supply gap. The Canadian centre formed two strategic partnerships to accelerate the roll-out of microgrids in India, and also open up potential export opportunities for Ontario companies.
One memorandum of understanding formalizes a partnership with Tech Mahindra, and the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL). Himachal Pradesh is a state with challenging terrain, and needs innovative technologies to build its power infrastructure. The tripartite agreement will look at identifying innovative microgrid technologies and solutions to meet HPSEBL’s supply objectives.
A consortium of Canadian vendors with the capability of supplying required technologies and solutions will complement Tech Mahindra’s expertise in design, development and deployment of microgrids. This working relationship will bring innovative energy solutions to HPSEBL, as well as stimulate energy sector investment, business growth and economic development in Ontario, Canada and India.
The Advanced Energy Centre and SmartGrid Canada also signed a MoU with the India Smart Grid Forum. Specifically, the Canadian organizations will work with the India Smart Grid Forum to inform its partner community of Ontario’s best practices and lessons learned with engaging customers in the transforming electricity sector.