All federal government buildings will source their electricity from renewable energy sources within the next eight years.
This target is part of Ottawa’s efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
“Progress towards this reduction will be achieved by strategic investments in infrastructure and vehicle fleets, green procurement and support for clean technology,” the government said in an online statement.
Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna claimed that the initiative will spur demand for renewables throughout the country, noting plans by the Department of National Defence to purchase undisclosed amounts of renewable electricity for its facilities in the western province of Alberta.
Ottawa will establish the new Centre for Greening Government to centrally assess the reduction of emissions according to international standards, while ensuring that its targets are achieved.
The government plans to invest in heating and cooling plants in the national capital, covering services to more than 85 different facilities.
“All departments are on board to get it done,” said Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board of Canada.
This year, the federal government has set aside C$2.1 billion to renovate a wide range of government buildings and revamp its operations in support of its clean-energy objectives.
“The federal government’s commitment to purchasing 100% renewable electricity from sources, such as solar energy, as early as 2025 makes a significant contribution to Canada’s innovation and environmental protection agenda,” said John Gorman, president and CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA).
Ottawa has the funds to directly offset “significant” amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, while spurring the construction of new infrastructure and creating the conditions in which new businesses can be launched, he claimed.
“Being a part of the global response to climate change will bring changes to the decisions that are made by all consumers for goods, products and services,” Gorman concluded.
Canada’s cumulative solar capacity surpassed 2.5GW at the end of 2015, on a record 700 MW of annual installations, according to CanSIA.
Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.