Canadian Government Buildings to Have Green Electricity by 2025

Magrath Wind Power Project

Wind turbines in southern Alberta.Credit: Cszmurlo / CC BY-SA 3.0

As a commitment towards the wider plans to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to abide by the Paris agreement, the federal government of Canada recently announced in the House of Commons that, the government intends for all its buildings to be powered by green electricity within a decade. The government’s intention is not only to make building greener, but also more energy-efficient, so they consume less energy overall. In striving efforts to meet its commitment, The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada is also setting up a Centre for Greening Government, to track government emissions, coordinate efforts, and drive results.  The Canadian government aspires to accomplish its target by 2025 only.

The federal government believes that moving towards greener energy means moving towards the more innovative economy, as it not only reduces emissions but protects the environment and creates better-paid jobs for the citizens of the country, in turn, improving their lives. The government also pledges to have clean vehicle fleets by 2025.

Hydroelectric dam in BC, Canada

Hydroelectric Dam, Canada. Credit: PD Photo

The general guidelines issued for effecting the action plan include – reduction in emissions by using clean energy to power government buildings, the ones which are owned and run by the government’s main landlord Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). Forming a range of other green strategies. This includes investment in infrastructure and purchase of new vehicle fleets / refurbishing the existing to the specified norms, strategy for purchasing more sustainable products, which are energy-efficient and supporting clean technology. The plan quantifies the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by the year 2030 and strives to achieve the same by 2025. The government further promises to spend $1 billion on modernizing heating and cooling systems of its buildings in more than 80 locations in the Ottawa region, this would reduce the emissions from those buildings by about one-third. The federal government already has announced the allocation of $2.1 billion in Budget 2016, for repairs and retrofits of government buildings.

Canada has a diverse geography, hence is well blessed with ample sources of renewable energy, such as moving water, wind, biomass, geothermal, sun, and ocean. At present, the electricity produced by moving water amounts to almost 60% of the country’s electrical energy. Canada is the second-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world. Wind and solar though currently account for less than 5% of Canada’s electrical power, are the fastest growing renewable energy sources in the country.

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