Annual Report 2017
Country Reports


Monika Knowles and Ghanashyam Ranjitkar Natural Resources Canada

Launched in 2011, the Canadian Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap, continues to be the primary strategy and action plan for wave, in-stream tidal, and river current energy in Canada. Progress is being made in achieving actions and goals identified by the roadmap, with industry and researchers implementing various activities out of necessity to advance the sector.

While not specific to marine renewable energy, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments established the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change, which addresses key areas for meeting emission reduction targets, driving innovation, and advance climate change adaptation. The Framework is an umbrella to many of the programs and policies that support renewable energy development in Canada, and therefore, it plays a key role in the marine renewable energy sector. Various marine renewable energy research and project development is taking place across Canada, but the hub of activity for the sector continues to be in tidal energy on the Atlantic coast in the province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Strategy (2012) continues to be implemented, providing pathways and support for demonstration to commercial development of the sector.

The province of British Columbia, on the Pacific coast of Canada, has also been spearheading an effort to establish a roadmap for marine renewable energy development. British Columbia’s Ministry of Energy & Mines and Petroleum Resources worked with the University of Victoria’s West Coast Wave Initiative to develop a roadmap that would support a vision for a scientific and technology hub dedicated to advance the level of understanding, innovation, and business of marine-to-wire renewable energy. Release of the roadmap is forthcoming.

At the federal level, Natural Resources Canada has been conducting broad stakeholder engagement for the development of a legislative framework for offshore renewable energy. The legislative framework will cover renewable energy projects in federal offshore areas.

At the provincial level, the Government of Nova Scotia introduced its Marine Renewable-energy Act in 2015, to provide a clear and efficient process to support the sustainable growth of the sector. In the fall 2017, amendments to Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable-energy Act were introduced, aimed at allowing for the demonstration of in-stream tidal energy technology in additional areas of the Bay of Fundy – outside of the FORCE berths. The amendments provide a new development pathway, allowing for new entrants into Nova Scotia’s tidal energy market, with the flexibility to propose a range of project sizes so long as they are 5 MW or less. Under the amendments, a new permit system will be put in place for demonstration permits up to 5 MW, with no more than 10 MW of total power authorized under the Act.

Under the recent amendments to Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Act, projects that receive a permit can also receive a power purchase agreement (PPA) of up to 15 years at a price set by the Minister of Energy. Any utility in Nova Scotia will be required to procure all electricity under the PPA. Developers with projects at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) – Minas Tidal Limited Partnership, Black Rock Tidal Power, Atlantis Operations Canada, Halagonia Tidal Energy Limited, and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture – have approvals for Nova Scotia’s Development feed-in tariff (FIT) for 53 cents/kWh and allows them to enter into a 15-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power, the provincial electric utility. Under Nova Scotia’s community-based feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program, Digby Gut Limited Partnership has one approval and Fundy Tidal Inc. has two approvals for the COMFIT rate of 65.2 cents/kWh for devices in-stream tidal devices under 500 kW to be connected at the distribution level.

The province of Ontario FIT Program continues to include waterpower projects, including river hydrokinetic. Projects must have an electricity generating capacity between 10 kW and 5500 kW. The FIT offers a 40 years contract with a rate of 24.6 cents/kWh.


The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change along with the federal government’s 2017 Budget, included a number of programs that could support marine renewable energy development:

  • $21.9 billion through the Green Infrastructure Fund (including millions for clean energy in remote communities and emerging renewable energy commercialization - more details below);
  • $1.4 billion in increased financing support for clean technology available through the Business Development Bank (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC);
  • $400 million over five years to recapitalize the SD Tech Fund led by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC);
  • $200 million over four years to support clean technology research, and the development, demonstration and adoption of clean technology in Canada’s natural resources sector to Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (more details below);
  • $1.26 billion to a five-year Strategic Innovation Fund;
  • $21.4 million over four years starting in 2018-19 to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to support the deployment of renewable energy projects in communities that rely on diesel.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has been leading the development of a number of new targeted national programs with relevance to marine renewable energy, including:

  • Clean Growth in Natural Resources Program: Budget of $155M over 4 years to support clean technology research, development and demonstrations in Canada’s natural resource sectors in the areas of energy, mining, and forestry.

    As part of this program, NRCan has also established the Clean Growth Collaboration Community, an online platform tool that allows post-secondary institutions, utilities, the private sector, and the public sector to connect with Provincial/Territorial Departments, Federal Research Centres, and other stakeholders to discuss opportunities that could be supported by the Clean Growth Program.
  • Emerging Renewable Power Program: Budget of $200 million over 5 years, under the Green Infrastructure Fund, with an objective to support the deployment of emerging renewable energy technologies not yet commercially established in Canada. The funding is aimed at supporting deployment of utility-scale renewable energy projects using technologies, which have not yet been deployed commercially in Canada, and expanding the portfolio of commercially-viable, investment-ready technologies available.
  • Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program: Budget of $220M over six years (starting in 2018/19) under the Green Infrastructure Fund, with an objective of reducing reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities and industrial sites by supporting the transition to more sustainable energy solutions.

Nova Scotia’s Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) collaborated with Nova Scotia Department of Energy and NRCan to develop a $1.25 million research call addressing knowledge gaps and challenges associated with tidal energy development in Canada. The funding included $1M from NRCan and $125,000 from Nova Scotia Department of Energy and OERA.

Innovacorp, a Nova Scotia organization with a mandate to identify, fund, and foster innovative start-ups, developed three ocean technology funding programs with applicability to marine renewable energy:

  • Demo at Sea Program: Allows Nova Scotia companies to demonstrate pre-commercial ocean technologies in a real-life setting. The program provided access to the Flume Tank at the Marine Institute in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and FORCE’s Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Platform, which enables testing and demonstration in high flow environments.
  • Early Adopter Program: Provides Nova Scotia ocean technology companies with up to $20,000 each towards the first deployment and testing of a product with an early adopter customer.
  • OceanTech Development Program: Provides Nova Scotia companies with up to $20,000 each to address short-term milestones in their technology development plan.

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, British Columbia and the Government of Canada have agreed to work together to spur the development and commercialization of new technologies that will reduce emissions and create jobs for Canadians. In April, the governments of British Columbia (BC) and Canada partnered to establish a $40 million joint fund with contributions from BC’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The funding available through this joint fund will leverage federal, provincial and private sector investments. The $20-million provincial contribution comes from the ICE Fund. The federal contribution will be provided through the SD Tech Fund, managed by SDTC.

The parties will conduct a joint call over a three-year continuous intake period to seek out clean-energy projects and technologies that will mitigate or avoid provincial greenhouse gas emissions, including prototype deployment, field testing and commercial-scale demonstration projects.