From the Canadian Taxpayer Federation
Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global reality
by Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director and Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director
(This column originally appeared in the Financial Post)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen to make life more expensive by increasing the federal carbon tax by 50 per cent amidst the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. Meanwhile, governments around the world are moving in the opposite direction because hiking taxes during a global pandemic is a bad idea.
Provinces have already tapped the breaks on their own carbon tax hikes. British Columbia Premier John Horgan announced that he would not be going forward with his planned April 1 carbon tax hike. Instead of mirroring the federal carbon tax hike, Newfoundland and Labrador is maintaining its tax at $20 per tonne. The price of carbon allowances in the Quebec-California cap and trade system have also fallen due to COVID-19 and the current macroeconomic realities.
The European Union’s cap and trade scheme, which applies to 30 countries, has also seen its carbon tax rate drop significantly. For most of 2019 and early 2020, EU carbon prices traded around €25 per tonne before nosediving to around €15 per tonne in March. The EU’s cap and trade carbon tax rate has fallen 32 per cent below its 2020 peak, according to the most recent data available on the ICAP Allowance Price Explorer. While the tax rate has increased since bottoming out, S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts the COVID-19 shock keeping downward pressure on the cap and trade market.
Other counties are providing further carbon tax relief. The Norwegian government reduced its carbon tax rate on natural gas and liquified petroleum gas to zeroand will keep the rates below the pre-coronavirus level until 2024. Norway also deferred payments on various fuel taxes until June 18.
Estonia Finance Minister Martin Helme formally called for his country to consider leaving the EU’s cap and trade carbon tax system to provide relief. The prime minister later announced that Estonia would not seek to leave the EU’s carbon tax system, but the Estonian government lowered the excise tax on electricity to the minimum allowed by the EU and lowered its excise tax on diesel, light and heavy fuel oil, shale oil and natural gas.
“Due to the economic downturn, both people’s incomes and the revenue of companies are declining, but daily household expenses such as electricity or gas bills still need to be paid. To better cope with them, we are reducing excise duty rates on gas and electricity for two years,” Helme explained.
Outside of the EU, the United Kingdom is saving its taxpayers between £15 and £20 million per year by walking back its plan to increase its carbon tax top-up, New Zealand’s cap and trade tax rate has fallen by more than 20 per cent this year and South Africa pushed back carbon tax payments by three months.
It’s worth noting that it’s unlikely Canada’s carbon tax will have any meaningful impact on global emissions. Only 45 countries (out of 195 countries worldwide) are covered by a carbon tax, and only 15.6 per cent of total emissions are covered by these carbon taxes, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, about half of the emissions covered by carbon taxes are priced below US$10/tCO2e – significantly lower than Canada’s federal rate and too low to make a difference.
With Canada only accounting for 1.5 per cent of global emissions, it’s easy to understand Trudeau’s acknowledgement that, “even if Canada stopped everything tomorrow, and the other countries didn’t have any solutions, it wouldn’t make a big difference.”
Now more than ever, Canadian taxpayers need relief. With carbon tax burdens declining around the globe during the COVID-19 crisis, walking back the recent carbon tax hike should be a no-brainer for our federal government.
Downtown Wednesday Market returns!
It’s Back!! Downtown Red Deer Market offering local goods and produce on Little Gaetz Avenue
Throughout the summer season, the farmers’ market comes to Little Gaetz Avenue in Downtown Red Deer every Wednesday from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
You can purchase farm fresh food from nearby farms including meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, baked goods and handmade items at this accredited Alberta Farmers’ Market.
Check out the Downtown Red Deer Market Facebook page for regular updates throughout the market season.
The 2020 Downtown Red Deer Market is launching on June 3rd. During Market, precautions will be taken to ensure physical distancing and hand sanitization practices are adhered to.
The health and well-being of our staff, vendors, and the public is our number one importance and we encourage you to stay informed by regularly reviewing information on the Canadian government’s COVID-19 webpage.
Please note: Dogs are not permitted on-site during the market, as per Alberta Health Services regulations. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you’d like to join our market as a vendor, please send us a completed application form. We welcome both seasonal and weekly vendors, and approve applications as they arrive throughout the season.
Please allow 2-3 business days to process applications. Click here to access the 2020 vendor application form.
Some of our regular vendors include:
- Cafe Millennium
- Innisfail Growers
- Klein Farm
- Markerville Berry & Vegetable Farm
- MSW Farms
- Souto Farms
- Troubled Monk
- West Country Kettle Corn
- Taste of Ukraine
- Nixon Honey
Parking at the Market
See our parking page for Downtown parking options near the market site.
Changing of the Tides – How One Alberta Company Is Driving Hydrokinetic Power
The energy conversation has been a polarized debate for years and continues to hit headlines. The clean energy industry is driven by forward-thinking individuals who have one common goal, transitioning from traditional energy sources to a more sustainable form of energy. Now in 2020, we have more oil than we know what to do with, an unprecedented amount of unused facilities that require cleanup, and jobs being lost daily. We exist in a time where competition drives innovation, demonstrating proof of concept is essential to drive investment and still, unable to see eye to eye for a common approach. Let me ask you this, is it problematic for us as a society to hold onto previous conceptions of clean energy projects, regardless of what type?
Jupiter Hydro was founded in September 2010 by Co-CEO Ross Sinclaire in Calgary, Alberta. Their main focus is in-stream hydrokinetic power generation. Co-Ceo Bob Knight joined the team later in their development. If you have read into hydropower in the past, you may be aware of this type of power generation. Jupiter Hydro has taken the benefits of traditional hydropower and combined their unique technology to produce a far more cost-effective and sustainable form of hydrokinetic power generation.
Like any new technology that works to produce power in a non-traditional method, Jupiter Hydro has gone through three phases over a decade that has brought them a unique opportunity in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy scheduled for later in 2020. Beginning with testing their hypothesis, proving the theory of generating rotational power utilizing an Archimedes screw presented to fluid flow at an angle was tested in an irrigation channel. With promise in their theory, they move to test their methodology developed to quantify produced power was developed using a rudimentary test tank and 3D printed screws. Mounting systems were developed and fabrications were created with cost-effective materials. In 2012, testing at the University of Calgary’s test tank began to quantify torque characteristics and confirmed blade pitch and presentation characteristics. Both the horizontal orientation and longitudinal orientation of the screw were tested, giving insight into a highly effective angle for their Archimedes screw.
Open Water Testing
Crucial for any proof of concept in hydrokinetic power generation, Jupiter Hydro began their open water testing in 2013 in the Fraser River in BC. Early tests allowed discrepancies to be addressed with submerged generators and confirmed scalability for the technology for the team. Their second open water test addressed the longitudinal placement of their Archimedes screw while testing a swing arm in open water. With support from the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Center, they had their third and fourth test at the facility to demonstrate the technology to identify flow clearances for their swing arm. They recorded nearly 50% efficiency and formed the basis of their current design for the upcoming Bay of Fundy project.
Defining In-Stream Hydrokinetics
In-stream hydrokinetics can be defined as harnessing the natural flow of water to provide rotational power. “In-stream” means that no containment or diversions are required, meaning that obstruction of the water flow is not required; be it a river, dam outflow, canal, or tidal flow. No dams or penstocks are required, and water flow is not restricted. If we consider that there are over 8500 named rivers in Canada according to the WWF, with the addition of ocean currents or any source of flowing water, the resources are huge for this technology.
If we visit the pros and cons that have been put on traditional hydro, we tend to lie on the outstanding cons that have given the industry a black eye over the last decade. As mentioned previously, competition drives innovation, to which Jupiter Hydro has adapted previous technology with a new methodology to produce a new in-stream power generation. Through multiple test phases and focusing on being cost-effective, they have created patented technology to produce power utilizing the 2,000 year old Archimedes screw with a pitch of 60% of the diameter and angled at 30 degrees to the flow to produce high torque power from the in-stream flow. Traditionally, hydropower would require a permanent infrastructure and there is a risk for large scale remediation. Jupiter Hydro does not require any permanent infrastructure and thus they do not require any remediation from environmental disturbance.
With the majority of power generating technologies, lowering the environmental impact can be one of the prominent challenges even for clean energy. If we address the main environmental concerns with hydropower, it consists of concerns of remediation of land, impacts on fish, sourcing of materials, and noise pollution. Jupiter Hydro has effectively addressed these concerns with mitigating the risk for potential investors and the societal impact of driving clean energy into the future. They have the ability to provide remote sites with dependable power without the need for extensive shore infrastructure or changes to the channel flow. The technology can provide clean power in areas historically powered by diesel generators or bio-mass. Their system in rivers can provide “base line” dispatchable power, one of the key requirements for a 100% renewable energy system.
Bay of Fundy Project
On July 3, 2019 Jupiter Hydro Inc. was granted a 2 MW demonstration permit and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in the Bay of Fundy by the Nova Scotia Government. This area has seen other tidal power companies like Cape Sharp Tidal and Minas Tidal and have attempted to crack into the Bay of Fundy’s 2,500-megawatt potential. The terms for Jupiter Hydro is for three sets of 5 years, totaling a 15-year project to be launched later in the year. In the image below you can see their in-stream hydrokinetic tidal platform that will be used in the 2 MW project.
Due to issues relating to the ongoing pandemic, the date of this project remains currently unknown. We look forward to future updates from Jupiter Hydro and their success in the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia hit a milestone last year for reaching 30% of its energy produced by renewable sources. They continue to be a key driver for this industry.
“Energy that doesn’t cost the earth”
If you would like to learn more about Jupiter Hydro, check out their website here.
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary
(This article was originally published on May 4, 2020.)
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