Second Annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Canada

Experts urge momentum on renewable energy projects in Canada
regardless of provincial election results

TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - The second annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) - Canada hosted by Euromoney Energy Events in Toronto this week brought together more than 200 investors, industry executives and policy makers to discuss the state of renewable energy in Canada.  Over the course of the two-day session, over 30 speakers and panelists discussed the viability of renewable energy projects in Canada and paid particular attention to provincial policies and programs such as the Ontario Green Energy and Economy Act.

"We could not be more delighted with the turnout of the second annual REFF - Canada conference this year," said Louisa Pratt, conference producer, Euromoney Energy Events. "After the success of the inaugural event in 2010, this year's increased attendance is testament to the viability of renewable energy projects and the attractiveness of Canada as a destination for renewable energy capital."

Experts from renewable energy companies, investment firms, nonprofits and government organization discussed the state of renewable energy projects in Canada and how current and future projects have helped to cement Canada's position in the renewable energy sector. Conference speakers and panelists also discussed the latest renewable energy developments and current government programs that are helping to create opportunities for economic growth, as well as advice for developers on how to successfully secure funding for projects.

The overriding theme of the conference centered on the fact that Canada is an attractive market for renewable energy opportunities and with the current government initiatives driving change in the marketplace, we must not lose momentum in leading renewable energy projects. This theme was echoed by various speakers, including:

  • Top executives in the financial services sector from Canadian federal chartered banks and select international banks, including Robert Nicholson, Managing Director Energy, RBC Capital Markets and Geraint Breeze, Executive Director, Project Finance & Infrastructure, CIBC, discussed available funding and current questions facing the industry for developers looking to finance renewable energy projects in Canada. While the state of the broader market evolves, Canada is seen as a lucrative market for investments as a result of a very stable political and regulatory environment. To leverage this market opportunity and attract investors, developers must ensure that they work with the right partners, manufacturers and contractors throughout the planning and implementation process of their projects.
  • Jim McDougall from Ontario Power Authority discussed the Ontario Green Energy and Economy Act, which includes a commitment to replace 100 per cent of coal power generation by 2014 and the application of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program to pay generators for electricity they produce during the terms of a contract as incentive for the development of renewable energy projects. While the provincial program to support renewable projects has put Ontario on the map for renewable energy projects there are challenges to overcome as it continues to develop, such as connection constraints and renewable integration.  With the upcoming provincial election in October, this program will be a topic of debate between leading political parties as the program undergoes the first required two-year review since it was introduced.
  • The session on government policy and initiatives in Canada included representatives from various provinces, such as Janice Larson, Director, Renewable Energy Development, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and Jean-Pierre Forgues, Director of Intergovernmental Relations & Coordination for Energy, Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources.  They provided details on the renewable energy incentives within their respective provinces, such as B.C.'s Clean Energy Vision and Quebec's electric vehicle initiative, as well as the prospects for developing renewable energy programs in the future.
  • Tania Ensor, Senior Vice President, National Corporate Practice Lead, Weber Shandwick, opened the floor to a panel of industry experts, including Wesley Stevens, Associate Director, Navigant Consulting and Andrew Chant, Managing Director, Renewable Energy, ORTECH Power, who discussed how system needs change with an increase of solar and wind energy as well as the bankability of geothermal projects and increased pressure in the demand for grid space in Canada.

The level of debate in the conference clearly demonstrated that it is a dynamic time for renewable energy development - it's clear from the REFF-Canada conference that the financial community is continuing to strongly support renewable energy development in Canada and worldwide.

About Euromoney Energy Events:

Euromoney Energy Events, part of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, is a leading international events company that organizes high-profile conferences for clean energy professionals worldwide. Our diverse portfolio of events brings together senior delegates from the renewable energy and cleantech industries with investors, financiers and other professionals. The Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) series was launched in 1999 in London, and has since grown into a portfolio of internationally renowned events that take place annually in seven cities spanning Europe, the US, Canada, Asia and Latin America. These include, REFF Wall Street (New York), REFF London (London), REFF India (New Delhi) and REFF Canada  (Toronto).

SOURCE Euromoney Energy Events

For further information:

Media Contact
Jessica Greasley
jgreasley@webershandwick.com
416-642-7952

Matt Ackroyd
mackroyd@euromoneyplc.com 
44 20 7779 8084

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