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Community energy planning in Canada: The role of renewable energy

Genevieve St. Denis and Paul Parker

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2009, vol. 13, issue 8, 2088-2095

Abstract: An emerging trend in Canada is the creation of community energy plans, where decisions that used to be left to regional level energy agencies or private individuals are now being considered at the community level. A desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to become more energy self-sufficient is driving this change. Theoretically, local level management is desirable because it achieves these goals through improvements in the three areas of energy efficiency, energy conservation and switching to renewable energy sources. The analysis of 10 of the first community energy plans in Canadian communities, ranging in population size from 500 to one million, finds that communities are choosing policies and programs centred on increasing energy efficiency and conservation while renewable energy receives much less attention. Municipal operations were called upon to set higher targets than the general community. Communities that recognized the substantial potential of renewable energy often focused on technologies that the municipal sector could implement, such as bio-fuels for their transportation fleet. Wind, passive solar design, solar photovoltaics and solar thermal options were only recommended in a few cases. Overall, only one of the five larger communities (Calgary) recommended implementing multiple renewable energy technologies while three of the five smaller communities proposed multiple renewable energy sources. The implication is that smaller and more remote communities may be the most willing to lead in the planned introduction of renewable energy systems.

Keywords: Renewable; energy; policy; Community; energy; plan; Community; energy; management; Energy; conservation; Climate; change; policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:13:y:2009:i:8:p:2088-2095