In response to (a), the government is pursuing new directions in the area of climate change policy through the development of a made in Canada plan that is focused on ensuring future generations enjoy clean air, clean water, clean land, and clean energy here in Canada.
The government recognizes the important contributions that renewable energy sources, such as wind, can provide to a diversified energy supply mix for Canada. We recognize the role that the wind power production incentive, WPPI, has played in leveraging provincial and industry support for wind energy.
The 2006 federal budget committed $2 billion over the next five years to the environment, energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. This funding will be allocated to measures that are effective in achieving real results for Canada. Some of the measures funded may be those previously supported; others will be new. Decisions will be made as part of the made in Canada plan.
In response to (b), government support for wind energy development consists of a variety of measures including investment tax credits, support for innovative research, technology development and demonstration. Below are some of the initiatives supported by the Government of Canada related to wind energy.
Under class 43.1 of the federal Income Tax Act, energy investors have access to an accelerated capital cost allowance, CCA, rate of 30% on a declining basis to encourage investments in certain equipment used to either produce heat for an industrial process or to generate electricity. The equipment must use a designated renewable energy source, such as wind, or burn fossil fuel efficiently. The new class 43.2 will provide a 50% CCA writeoff for certain high efficiency co-generation equipment and the full range of renewable energy generation equipment currently included in class 43.1, such as wind generators. This increased rate will apply to equipment purchased between February 23, 2005 and December 31, 2012.
Another tax measure provinding support for wind energy development is the Canadian renewable and conservation expense, CRCE, category, which allows certain wind exploration expenses to be deducted immediately or transferred to investors using flow through shares. Natural Resources Canada provides technical advice to investors and developers on the applicability of class 43.1, class 43.2 and CRCE on eligible energy projects.
Natural Resources Canada, through its renewable energy technology group, RET, part of the CANMET Energy Technology Centre, CETC, provides support to the Canadian renewable energy industry in its research and development efforts to develop and deploy renewable energy technologies, such as wind, biomass and micro-hydro. The RET helps industry to generate competitive and environmentally responsible alternatives to conventional energy generation through cost sharing and technical assistance in support of technology development and field trials. Examples of this work include the Canadian wind energy atlas, the development of Canadian wind turbine standards, and research into cold climate operation of wind turbines.
The government, in partnership with the Government of Prince Edward Island, P.E.I., provides funding for the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, WEICan, located at the Atlantic Wind Test Site in P.E.I.. WEICan supports the development of wind power generation in Canada and wind energy related products and services for Canadian and export markets. The institute's activities are focused on four key areas of work: testing and certification; research and innovation; industry training and public education; and technical consultation and assistance.