Agricultural efficiency programs expanded

Spotlight Staff

Farms and agri-processors now have access to new and expanded energy-efficiency programs to help them reduce their emissions and energy bills.

More than $81 million over the next four years is now being made available for the agriculture sector through the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan and the federal government, says a news release dated Jan. 29.

In December 2017, $1.4 billion in provincial plan funding was announced to continue the transition to a diversified, low-carbon economy.

“Alberta’s agriculture sector has long been at the forefront of adopting innovative new practices and enhancing environmental stewardship,” says Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier, MLA for Whitecourt – Ste. Anne.

“That’s why we have developed these efficiency programs to meet the demand – improving the sustainability of agricultural operations, addressing climate change and reducing costs to help the sector remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Environment ministers say the programs are valuable.

“Investment in energy efficiency will help agricultural producers save energy and money, supporting their future growth and sustainability,” says Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips, responsible for the climate change office.

“With new opportunities for solar power, low-pressure irrigation and energy savings, these grants will make life more affordable for Alberta’s farmers and agri-processors while also supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Her colleague at the national level agrees.

“Innovative programs on energy efficiency will make Alberta’s agricultural sector more competitive and prosperous,” federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna says.

“Working together with industry and provincial partners, we can deliver clean, sustained economic growth now and reduce carbon pollution to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.”

Last year, the government of Alberta provided $10 million to agriculture energy-efficiency programs.

That new funding allows eligible projects that didn’t receive funding last year to access funds, as well as allowing new applicants to apply under the expanded programs.

Grant programs include:
-Farm Energy and Agri-Processing: For primary producers and smaller agri-processors to improve overall energy efficiency.
-On-Farm Solar PV: For farm electricity customers to install solar panels.
-Irrigation Efficiency: To convert high-pressure irrigation systems into low-pressure systems.
-Energy Savings for Agri-Processors: For larger agri-processors to improve energy efficiency.

Applications for the energy-efficiency programs are being finalized and will be available online at agriculture.alberta.ca.

 

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