Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


Monika Knowles and Ghanashyam Ranjitkar Natural Resources Canada

The Canadian Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap establishes targets for the Canadian sector. The roadmap, published in 2011, identified long term targets for the Canadian sector to contribute to projects totalling 250 MW by 2020, and 2 GW by 2030 for installed in-stream tidal, river hydrokinetic and wave energy generation.

Marine renewable activities are taking place across Canada; however, the most progress is taking place on the Atlantic coast in the province of Nova Scotia for tidal energy. Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Strategy outlines the Province’s plan to promote innovation and research, establish a regulatory system and encourage the development of competitive technologies and an industrial sector. Released in 2012, the Strategy set a target of licensing 300 MW of cost-competitive in-stream tidal electricity generation.

At the federal level, the Government of Canada’s 2016 Budget supported the Department of Natural Resources Canada’s advancement of a legislative framework for offshore renewable energy. As part of this work, Natural Resources Canada is conducting broad stakeholder engagement in 2016 and 2017, including provincial and territorial governments, industry associations, environmental organizations and indigenous organizations, to inform the development of a future legislative framework for renewable energy projects in federal offshore areas.

At the provincial level, the province 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. Now, Nova Scotia is getting ready to release Marine Renewable Energy Regulations in support of the Act. The Regulations will clearly establish a system for designating an area for the purpose of generating marine renewable electricity and issuing licences or permits in order to develop a marine renewable energy project. The Province anticipates that the Act and Regulations will be proclaimed in early 2017. Once proclaimed, the Act and Regulations will govern the development of marine renewable energy resources in designated areas of the Nova Scotia offshore.

The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) is Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy, located in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. FORCE provides five berths to host technology developers, with electrical infrastructure to deliver power to the grid. Five developers with projects at FORCE have received Developmental FIT approvals from the Province, totalling 22 MW to be developed at the FORCE site:

  • Minas Tidal Limited Partnership (4 MW)
  • Black Rock Tidal Power (5 MW)
  • Atlantis Operations Canada (4.5 MW)
  • Cape Sharp Tidal Venture (4 MW)
  • DP Energy (4.5 MW)

Each of these developers have received approval for the Developmental FIT path (ranging from 37.5 cents/kilowatt hour to 57.5 cents/kilowatt hour), which allows them to enter into a 15-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power, the provincial electric utility.

In addition, Fundy Tidal Inc. has received three approvals under the Province’s COMFIT program, which allows local community groups to connect small scale in-stream tidal devices, under 500 kW, to the electrical grid at the distribution level over a 20-year contract at a rate of 65.2 cents/kilowatt hour. The province of Ontario FIT Program had been introduced to develop, encourage and promote greater use of renewable energy sources including on-shore wind, waterpower, renewable biomass, biogas, landfill gas and solar photovoltaic for electricity generating projects; for electricity generating capacity greater than 10 kW and up to 500 kW projects. For waterpower, river hydrokinetic energy projects would be eligible. In 2016, the FIT Program offered a 40 years contract with energy rate of 24.6 cents/kWh.


To date, Canada’s main public funding program supporting national research, development and demonstrations are from federal programs administered through the Office of Energy Research and Development at Natural Resources Canada. Canada has committed approximately $37 million to marine renewable energy since 2010.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm’s length foundation created by the Government of Canada, has committed approximately $13 million to develop and demonstrate projects that include in-stream tidal, river hydrokinetic and wave energy technologies. The National Research Council has an Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) which has supported many early technology assessment and physical numerical modelling trials. Most projects have benefitted from the refundable tax credit for Scientific Research and Experimental Development.

At a provincial level, Nova Scotia has directly invested in the FORCE development initiative through a contribution of $11 million. In addition, the Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) has supported a number of strategic research projects in marine energy, which is estimated be a value of approximately $5.1 million. In addition, provincial economic development agencies and funds, in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, have provided at least $10 million to support projects.

On the Pacific coast, the province of British Columbia has two programs under the Innovation Clean Energy (ICE) fund applicable to Marine Renewable Energy: The Community Energy Leadership Program, and the Post-Secondary Clean Energy Partnerships (PSCEP) Program. The ICE fund is designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities, and to advance BC’s clean energy sector. In 2016, BC provided just shy of $250 thousand to support the advancement of the marine industry in British Columbia, with a focus
on the development of wave energy.