Ontario is investing proceeds from its carbon market to help researchers, companies and families reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and fight climate change in Ontario through several innovative programs.
Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, was joined by Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, at the Clean Tech showcase at Ontario Centres of Excellence's Discovery conference in Toronto to highlight a range of programs that people and businesses across the province can access to fight climate change.
There are now 22 successful recipients for Ontario's Low Carbon Innovation Fund, which includes two streams of support:
- Technology Demonstration — supports the development and commercialization of innovative low-carbon technologies through demonstration in real-world settings. There are 10 approved projects, including one that uses artificial intelligence to optimize energy storage systems in buildings and reduce GHG emissions
- Technology Validation — funds proof of concept or prototype projects from companies or academic organizations, helping to seed game-changing technologies and get them to market faster. There are 12 approved projects, including a technology that enhances aerodynamics to increase the efficiency of wind turbines.
Ontario is also launching two programs through the Green Ontario Fund (GreenON) to help people and businesses improve energy efficiency and save money while fighting climate change:
- GreenON Small and Medium Businesses — a technical expert will offer businesses a no-cost energy audit starting this summer and recommend energy-saving measures for buildings and operations, as well as opportunities to apply for funding to implement these measures.
- GreenON Solar Rebates —rebates for Ontario families and businesses to install solar panels and solar energy storage. Households and contractors can sign up for additional information alerts.
Ontario also announced a TargetGHG-funded project through the Collaborative Technology Development Program. The project involves energy storage developer NRStor with technology supplier Hydrostor and research partners at the University of Waterloo, who propose to build a new facility in Goderich to provide the Ontario electricity grid with more energy storage.
Supporting good jobs, helping companies innovate and fight climate change are part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- A total of $28.1 million has been allocated for the Low Carbon Innovation Fund: $12.9 million for the Technology Demonstration stream, and $15.2 million for the Technology Validation stream.
- Through the Climate Change Action Plan, Ontario has committed up to $1.7 billion over three years to support a wide range of programs under the Green Ontario Fund.
- Approximately $90 million has been designated for the solar rebates program, and approximately $40 million has been designated for the small and medium businesses program.
- TargetGHG is funded through proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market and administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence. It is designed to help Ontario reduce its GHG emissions by helping large industries adopt leading edge technologies and supporting entrepreneurs developing creative new solutions.
- The new TargetGHG project in Goderich is supported by $1 million from the Ontario Centres for Excellence, for a total project value, including partners’ cash and in-kind contributions, of $7,195,422.
- Ontario has selected two venture capital fund managers through the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC) to help clean tech companies get the capital they need to grow their business and create jobs. OCGC has invested $20 million in Yaletown Partners’ Innovation Growth Fund and has committed $35 million in Emerald Technology Venture’s Canadian Cleantech Fund.
- Ontario has the fastest-growing clean tech sector in Canada, with $18.8 billion in revenue, 5,000 companies and 130,000 employees.
The Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market form the backbone of Ontario's strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.