Across the globe, the MUSH sector (municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals) is increasingly looking at generating and/or incentivizing renewable energy as a means to saving energy and money, securing local energy supply, creating local employment, improving community resilience, and addressing local and global ecological issues.
Municipalities’ (M) close proximity and accountability to their constituents makes them appropriate agents for planning and responding to a community’s economic, ecological and energy-related needs in locally appropriate ways.For instance, as the International Energy Agency points out, cities in lower-latitudes and high sunshine regions can choose solar PV technologies, whereas geothermal power suits cities located near the tectonic plates, and areas with a forest industry nearby can benefit significantly from bioenergy. Besides investing in and/or incentivizing renewable energy generation, local governments can also help accelerate the transition towards a renewable energy future by investing in and/or supporting the proliferation of smart meters, intelligent grids, power storage units, etc.
In recent years, universities (U) and schools (S) have also increased their investments in clean energy projects on a global scale with the aim of simultaneously achieving energy savings and providing hands-on education opportunities for their students. For hospitals (H), on-site renewable energy projects make much more than economic sense; they provide supply security during times of crisis.
Municipalities are involved in renewable energy generation in two main ways:
|Guysborough||Nova Scotia, Canada||Wind|
|Vancouver||British Columbia, Canada||Heat from waste|
Municipalities across Canada interested in developing renewable energy projects can apply to The Green Municipal Fund, which is a $550-million program administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) that offers below-market loans and grants to Canadian municipal governments to improve environmental performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For more examples of renewable energy projects developed by municipalities, from across the world, you can visit this link.
It is also worth mentioning that numerous municipalities across Canada are implementing “community energy plans” with the aim of reducing their carbon emissions. These plans generally include strategies to increase RE generation, but also address issues such as energy efficiency, transportation, and infrastructure. Here are some examples from across Canada:
For more case studies of municipalities implementing projects, targets and/or incentive structures related to renewable energy across the world, you can visit the links below:
Universities, Schools and Hospitals
The increasing uptake of renewable energy projects by schools across Canada is most evident in Ontario. Since the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program in 2009, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) received 311 contracts as part of their Solar Schools Program, while the Ottawa District School Board installed solar projects at 41 schools and plans to do so at 24 more. With the exception of few projects, such as the solar installation at the New Oakville Hospital, the uptake of renewable energy projects by universities and hospitals has been rather slow across Canada.