Clean energy highlights of federal budget 2011

Okay, here are budget highlights related to clean energy and technology (in no particular order):

1) $97 million over two years to renew funding for technology and innovations in areas of clean energy and energy efficiency.

2) $8 million over two years to renew funding to promote the deployment of clean energy technologies in Aboriginal and Northern communities.

3) Accelerated capital cost allowance has been expanded to include investment in technologies that generate electricity using waste heat from industrial processes. The CCA allows the cost of eligible assets to be deducted for tax purposes at a rate of 50 per cent per year on a declining balance basis—which is faster than would be implied by the useful life of the assets.

4) Oil sands investments will see some reduced subsidies. The accelerated capital cost allowance will be reduced for “intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects”  to align them with existing rates for the conventional oil and gas setor. Question: Why does the conventional oil and gas sector still get this subsidy?

5) And, while the government continues to figure out how to sell of AECL’s commercial reactor division, Canadian taxpayers will pay another $405 million on a cash basis in 2011–12 to cover the crown corporation’s anticipated commercial losses and support the corporation’s operations, including to ensure a secure supply of medical isotopes and maintain safe and reliable operations at the Chalk River Laboratories.

6) $870 million over two years to support the government’s Clean Air Agenda, including $400 million in 2011 and 2012 to temporarily revive the EcoEnergy retrofits program and $252 million to support “regulatory activities to address climate change and air quality,” whatever that means. Also included in this larger figure is $86 million to support clean energy regulatory actions that focus on energy efficiency; $48 million to develop transportation sector regulations and next-generation clean transportation initiatives; $58 million for projects that improve our understanding of climate change impacts; and $25 million to advance Canada’s engagement in international negotiations and support the Canada-U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue.

7) Finally, $40 million over two years will go to Sustainable Development Technology Canada. It’s not a lot of money compared to the more than $50 million it has issued annually in previous years, but it keeps the agency alive and supporting new energy innovations.

I’ll comment on these more later…