B.C.’s clean-tech sector big beneficiary in Budget 2017

An area of B.C. identified for geothermal energy exploration by B.C. Energy and Mines.
The 2017 budget builds on commitments made in 2016 to invest in Canadian technology, including clean-tech – a sector that is particularly strong in B.C.

The 2016 budget earmarked $1 billion over four years for clean technology.

The 2017 budget puts some details to how that funding will flow. It proposes to make $1.4 billion in new financing available to the clean-tech sector through the Business Development Bank and Export Development Canada.

It also includes $400 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to replenish the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) SD Tech Fund for pre-commercialized technologies to undertake demonstration projects.

It also provides $14.5 million over four years to establish a Clean Growth Hub.

One undeveloped resource in B.C. that may benefit from the 2017 federal budget is geothermal energy.

B.C. has an abundance of potential geothermal energy due to its position on the Pacific Ring of Fire, but has remained undeveloped, thanks to the high costs of finding productive geothermal energy sources.

The 2017 budget includes new policies aimed at helping develop geothermal energy. They include extending accelerated capital cost allowances to a range of geothermal projects and expenses, as well as expanding the range of expenses that are eligible as Canadian renewable and conservation expenses.

“The budget points to clean technology as a huge opportunity for Canada, and that’s absolutely right,” said Clare Demerse, federal policy advisor at Clean Energy Canada. “It makes investments that will grow Canada’s clean-tech sector, from financing to export support to smarter, cleaner procurement.

“And although the dollars won’t flow until 2019 or later, the budget provides the kind of nuts-and-bolts funding needed to deliver Canada’s new national climate plan.”

nbennett@biv.com

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