June 25, 2007

New industry network to promote greater role for renewable energy

Four national industry associations representing the geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind energy industries have joined to create the Canadian Renewable Energy Industry Network (CREIN). They include: the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC), the Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA), the Canadian Solar Industry Association (CanSIA) and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

CREIN's mission is to promote the sustainable development of renewable energy sources. Its members will work together to advocate a much greater role for renewable energy during the federal government's consultations on its Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions.

Specifically, CREIN is seeking to ensure that renewable energies be allowed to participate in any future emissions trading systems through the creation of offsets, that any technology fund support the deployment of renewable energies and that past efforts to deploy renewable energies are recognized and credited.

Canada currently meets 17% of its primary energy supply and over 60% of its electricity needs with renewables. CREIN points out, however, that this represents only a fraction of the country's enormous potential for increased development of mature and emerging renewable technologies. By further developing this potential, the group says Canada can preserve its traditional role as a world leader in clean renewable energy, while addressing air pollution and climate change concerns. Increased use of renewables also stimulates economic growth and job creation in a wide range of sectors such as research, manufacturing, and installation.

In a related development, CanSIA has welcomed four leading companies as new Corporate 1 members. This level of membership includes companies with more than 25 employees or revenue of more than $3 million per year. CanSIA says the addition of BP Solar, Day4 Energy, Sharp Electronics' Solar Energy Solutions Group and SunPower Parks to its ranks reflects the increased interest in the promotion of renewable energy opportunities.

"Our growing membership is a testament to the fact the solar industry is ideally positioned to offer its expertise to governments and the public at this key time when the world is looking for solutions to the effects of climate change. The interest in CanSIA shows solar energy is the future," said CanSIA executive director Elizabeth McDonald. "Each new member allows CanSIA to be more proactive in dealing with issues of concern to the industry and we are very encouraged by the number of organizations and companies who are stepping forward," she added.

BP Solar, a division of BP Alternative Energy, specializes in the design, manufacture and marketing of solar electric systems for a wide range of applications in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors. With over 2,200 employees, installations in more than 160 countries and more than 30 years of experience, BP Solar is one of the world's largest solar companies.

Day4 Energy is a Canadian company that designs, manufactures and sells photovoltaic (PV) modules for grid-tie and off-grid markets. Day4's patented electrode and PV cell interconnection technology enables the company to produce a high-quality, durable, long-life solar panel with exceptional power density. and clean refined appearance. Day4 launched its Canadian manufacturing operations in 2006 and is rapidly expanding its customer base to include commercial and industrial clients in Europe and North America.

As a division of Sharp Electronics, the Solar Energy Solutions Group can draw on the resources of Sharp, which has been producing solar cells for more than 45 years. Sharp says its solar cells offer more than three times as much generating capacity as the next three largest manufacturers combined.

SunPower Parks is a developer of commercially viable large-scale PV solar projects across Canada. The company works closely with diverse community stakeholders, including landowners and First Nations, to create partnerships that respect local culture and deliver economic and social community benefits. SunPower Parks is wholly owned by SkyPower, a Canadian renewable energy company with a national portfolio of over 50 renewable power projects at various stages of development.

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