ARCHIVED - NRCan’s Clean Energy Thematic Report

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Evaluation: NRCan’s Clean Energy Thematic Report - PPT (297 kb)

Strategic Evaluation Division
Planning, Performance Management & Reporting Branch
Science and Policy Integration Sector

Outline

  1. Purpose
  2. Background
  3. Approach
  4. Findings

Purpose

  • This deck is a roll-up of evaluation findings of six NRCan Clean Energy programs covered under four evaluation reports.
  • The reader is encouraged to refer to the four evaluation reports for more complete details on each of the programs.

Background

Clean Air Agenda (CAA)

  • In 2006, the Government committed to taking measures to address environmental issues, including reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • In response to this commitment, a total of $2.2 billion was approved for the CAA comprised of:
    • the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda (CARA), a regulatory approach to reducing air pollutants and GHG emissions; and
    • programs designed to promote reductions in GHG emissions and air pollutants and to address climate change.
  • The CAA is a horizontal initiative with eight themes and 43 programs.

Seven Clean Energy Theme (CET) programs:

The Clean Energy Theme is comprised of seven programs delivered by NRCan and Indian & Northern Affairs Canada (INAC):

  1. ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses: To encourage the construction of energy efficient new homes and buildings, and retrofits (e.g. training, labelling, and building code work).
  2. ecoENERGY Retrofit:
    1. Homes: To encourage energy efficient retrofits in the residential sector by providing grants to owners of low-rise residential properties.
    2. Small and medium-sized organizations (SMO): To encourage energy efficient retrofits in SMOs within the industrial and commercial/institutional sectors through contributions.
  3. ecoENERGY for Industry: To improve the energy intensity and reduce energy-related GHGs and CACs by collaborating with industry on benchmarking, technical studies, and training.
  4. ecoENERGY for Renewable Power: To help position low-impact renewable energy technologies to make an increased contribution to Canada’s energy supply by providing long-term production incentives for producers of renewable power.
  5. ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat: To develop renewable thermal energy industry capacity, and to increase the use of renewable thermal units primarily by providing a capital incentive for the installation of such units.
  6. ecoENERGY Technology Initiative (ecoETI): Provided support to two NRCan S&T programs (Clean Electric Power Generation and Oil & Gas) to find long-term solutions to reducing and eliminating air pollutants from the production and use of energy.
  7. ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities: To reduce or displace natural gas, coal and diesel generation of electricity thereby reducing GHG emissions and CACs resulting in cleaner air, as well as to produce social, other environmental and economic benefits for communities.

Clean Energy Theme expenditures by program from 2007-08
to 2009-10

Clean Energy Theme expenditures by program

Clean Energy Theme Expenditures by Program

[Text Version]



Clean Energy Theme program expenditures were $700 Million from 2007-08 to 2009-10 (81% Gs&Cs and 19% O&M)


Clean Energy Theme Programs Expenditures From 2007-08 to 2009-10 ($M)
Expenditures 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Total
Operating 29.6 47.4 57.5 134.6
Grants & Contributions 46.7 150.1 371.0 567.9
Total 76.3 197.5 428.5 702.5

Thematic Evaluation Approach

Clean Energy Thematic Evaluation Data Sources

  • Four evaluations provide findings for the six NRCan programs:

Clean Energy Thematic Evaluation Data Sources

[Text Version]

  • Evaluation findings for INAC’s ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program are not available at this time. Consequently, this program is not covered in this report.

Clean Energy Theme evaluation questions:

  • The summary information presented in the following pages has been organized around the evaluation questions below and the relevant programs. The questions are consistent with those addressed in Environment Canada’s Horizontal Roll-up of the Thematic Evaluation Results for the CAA.

Relevance:

  1. Is there an ongoing need for the Clean Energy programs?
  2. Are the Clean Energy programs consistent with government priorities and NRCan’s Strategic Objectives?
  3. Is there a legitimate, appropriate and necessary role for the federal government in delivering the Clean Energy programs?

Performance:

  1. To what extent have intended outcomes been achieved as a result of the Clean Energy programs?
  2. Are the Clean Energy programs an economic and efficient means of achieving outputs and progress towards outcomes?

Findings - Relevance

1. Is there an ongoing need for the Clean Energy programs?

CET Programs Needs Discussion
ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses Yes

There is an ongoing need to improve energy efficiency in the industrial, residential, commercial/institutional sectors, and to reduce the consumption of energy generated by fossil fuels in order to reduce GHG emissions.

While there is an ongoing need for the capacity building elements of the ecoENERGY Retrofit programs, the role of financial incentives is less clear.

ecoENERGY for Retrofit: Homes Yes
ecoENERGY Retrofit: SMO Yes
ecoENERGY for Industry Yes
ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Unclear Given that programs have or are on track to achieve long-term objectives, there may not be a need to continue the programs in their current form beyond March 2011.
ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Unclear
ecoENERGY Technology Initiative Yes There is a continued need for the programs to accelerate the development and market readiness of clean energy technology solutions, and to identify long- term solutions to reduce and eliminate air pollutants from energy production and use.


2. Are the Clean Energy programs consistent with government priorities and NRCan/INAC Strategic Objectives?

CET Programs Gov’t Priorities Discussion
ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses Yes

The energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are aligned to the federal government’s commitments to reduce energy related to GHG emissions and CACs, and to NRCan’s objective related to environmental responsibility.

The programs are consistent with NRCan’s Strategic Objective: “Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources”.

ecoENERGY Retrofit: Homes Yes
ecoENERGY Retrofit: SMO Yes
ecoENERGY for Industry Yes
ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Yes
ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Yes
ecoENERGY Technology Initiative Yes The programs (CEPG and Oil & Gas) address long-term solutions by carrying out S&T and contributing to the overall Government of Canada Outcome of “A clean and healthy environment”.


3. Is there a legitimate, appropriate, and necessary role for the federal government in delivering the Clean Energy programs?

CET Programs Role Discussion
ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses Yes

Given the department’s supporting legislation and mandate, NRCan plays a key role in energy efficiency programming. NRCan also plays a leadership and coordination role in promoting energy efficiency across the country, in particular through collaboration activities and the provision of tools, information, training, and technical expertise.

With respect to financial incentives, some concern was raised about the precise role the federal government should play, primarily in relation to retrofit incentives.

ecoENERGY Retrofit: Homes Yes
ecoENERGY Retrofit: SMO Yes
ecoENERGY for Industry Yes
ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Yes The Renewable Energy Evaluation reveals that the programs played a leadership role in the development of provincial renewable heat and power policies.
ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Yes
ecoENERGY Technology Initiative Yes A government presence in research brings together various private and public sector players to reduce duplication of research across jurisdictions. The Program contributes to the achievement of government priorities by advancing the deployment of clean coal, renewable energy and advanced nuclear technologies.

Findings - Performance

4. To what extent have intended outcomes been achieved as a result of the Clean Energy programs?

Approach

  • The roll-up assessed the extent to which each of the six NRCan Clean Energy programs has achieved, or is on track to achieving, the outcomes identified in the consolidated Clean Energy Theme logic model presented below. This assessment is based on the information contained in the evaluations of the six Clean Energy programs, which identified various levels of attribution across individual programs.

To what extent have intended outcomes been achieved as a result of the Clean Energy programs?

[Text Version]

4. To what extent have intended outcomes been achieved as a result of the Clean Energy programs?

  • The table below shows which ecoENERGY programs contributed to each of the logic model outcomes, which are presented in greater detail in the slides that follow.

Outcomes Bldgs and Houses Retrofit: Homes Retrofit: SMO Industry Renew. Power Renew. Heat ecoETI
Partnerships and collaborative agreements Yes Yes   Yes     Yes
Industry involvement       Yes Yes Yes Yes
Transfer and/or use of clean energy technologies and practices             Yes
Awareness and understanding among stakeholders Yes     Yes     Yes
Adoption of energy efficiency products and services Yes Yes Yes Yes     Yes
Adoption of renewable energy products and services         Yes Yes Yes
Availability of innovative, market-ready energy processes, products, and services           Yes Yes
Reduced emissions of GHGs and CSCs from clean energy activities Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

[Text Version]


Immediate Outcome: Partnerships and collaborative agreements

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses
    • Through collaborative activities with provinces, territories, utilities and other organizations, the Initiative has encouraged other jurisdictions (e.g., provinces/territories) to incorporate energy efficiency into their building codes and has effectively extended the reach of NRCan’s energy efficiency programs in the residential sector.
  • ecoENERGY for Retrofit: Homes
    • The Homes component of the ecoENERGY for Retrofit Initiative has signed 23 agreements with provinces, territories, utilities and other stakeholders to formalize links with complementary programs.
  • ecoENERGY for Industry
    • Collaborative activities, particularly through the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation, have created a strong link between the federal government and industry, thereby ensuring that energy efficiency programming effectively aligns with industrial sector needs and capacity.
  • ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
    • The Initiative has effectively engaged a range of stakeholders, and undertaken collaborative projects.
    • The extent to which the projects have leveraged resources from OGDs, university and industry is a good indicator of engagement, and the degree to which projects address the needs of partners.
    • Program involvement in research networks has also leveraged additional funds and helped to build linkages with other stakeholders.
Conclusions:
  • Clean Energy programs have successfully cultivated partnerships and collaboration with stakeholder to advance their activities.

Immediate Outcome: Industry involvement

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Power
    • The evaluation found that the Program has successfully engaged industry, and has increased the rate of renewable power installations in Canada.
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat
    • Through contribution agreements, the Program has encouraged industry involvement, which has contributed to fostering activity in the area of renewable heat.
    • The evaluation identified an increase in the number of firms and trained installers involved with solar thermal capacity. However, the industry remains small (less than 100 firms and a few hundred full-time equivalent staff) without many of the attributes of a mature industrial sector.
  • ecoENERGY Retrofit: SMO
    • The ecoENERGY Retrofit for Small and Medium Organizations (Industry) Program did not meet its energy savings and GHG emission reductions targets. It was estimated that 26% of the energy savings achieved are directly attributable to the Program.
  • ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
    • Although the Initiative has been reasonably successful in engaging partners, private sector capacity to participate has been limited by a number of factors such as the long-term nature of some of the research, the high costs of the technologies and the recent economic recession which has decreased private sector capacity to invest in technological innovation.
Conclusions:
  • Clean Energy programs have successfully engaged industry in the development and implementation of energy efficient products, services and processes where it is feasible for industry to be involved.

Immediate Outcome: Transfer and/or use of clean energy technologies and practices

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Technology Initiative
    • The CEPG Program contributed to the capacity of partners and other stakeholders to engage in R&D and deployment of clean electric power generation, a logical precursor to technology transfer and up-take of R&D.
    • While the activities under the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative lay the groundwork for large scale deployment of the new and improved technologies, there are a number of barriers to overcome before this can occur. The key barriers identified are:
      • the low cost of conventional electricity makes many alternative energy sources uncompetitive without incentives;
      • a long-term, comprehensive and integrated energy policy and regulatory framework is needed to encourage uptake from utilities and private sector (federal-provincial cooperation imperative);
      • risk-averse culture in energy firms and utilities due to recession and energy policy environment; and
      • intellectual property issues related to clean energy technology development.
    • The Oil & Gas Program contributed to the ability of industry to reduce the impact of tailings ponds by funding a large pilot and commercial scale support for dry stackable tailings technology development and automated clay activity determination.
Conclusion:
  • The ecoENERGY programs (CEPG and Oil & Gas) have contributed to the development of new technologies, but broader use of these technologies is limited by a myriad of factors, such as cost and the economy.

Immediate Outcome: Awareness and understanding among stakeholders

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses:
    • In total, 7,400 builder and energy advisor professionals were trained in the construction of energy efficient new homes and buildings as well as to encourage retrofits to improve the energy efficiency of the existing stock. This exceeded the Program target of 5,000 trained professionals. The evaluation found that 67% of homebuilders have learned new construction techniques as a result of being enrolled in one or more of the new houses initiatives (EnerGuide for New Houses, ENERGY STAR for New Homes, or R-2000 Standard).
  • ecoENERGY for Industry:
    • Capacity building activities, such as Dollars to $ense and Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation Leaders are increasing awareness and understanding of energy management best practices and energy efficiency measures. In addition the benchmarking and technical studies are providing industrial firms with the information and tools necessary to make energy efficiency changes.
  • ecoENERGY for Technology Initiative:
    • Contributed to CEPG projects that have produced a variety of publications, analyses, best practices manuals, and analytical techniques and tools that allow stakeholders to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. However, the performance measurement system could be improved to increase knowledge of level of stakeholder awareness and uptake of knowledge products.
Conclusion:
  • Where Clean Energy programs contain an awareness building component, activities are contributing to increasing awareness among stakeholders of methods of reducing GHGs and CSCs through energy production and use.

Intermediate Outcome: Adoption of energy efficiency products and services

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Retrofit: Homes
    • The financial incentive activity-based programs are encouraging homeowners to adopt energy management best practices and implement energy efficiency measures. These programs are resulting in measurable energy savings and GHG emission reductions, and evidence suggests that 84% of energy savings are directly attributable to the Program. Moreover, homeowners are undertaking double the number of retrofits they had originally planned and 60% are motivated to undertake further measures outside of the Program.
  • ecoENERGY for Retrofit: SMO
    • Financial incentive activity-based programs in the industrial and commercial/institutional sectors are achieving GHG emission reductions and energy savings but not to the extent anticipated when targets for the programs were set. The evaluation found that 26% of energy savings can be attributed to financial incentive programs in the industrial sector, and 46% of energy savings can be attributed to financial incentive programs in the commercial/institutional sector (consisting of ecoENERGY as well as previous programs).
  • ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses and ecoENERGY for Industry
    • Capacity building activities within ecoENERGY programs have been found to encourage adoption of energy management best practices and implementation of energy efficiency measures within the industrial and commercial/institutional sectors, and to contribute to increased energy efficiency of houses across Canada.
  • ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
    • Within CEPG, ecoENERGY Technology Initiative funding has supported the development of a simplified demonstration version of the Coal Fire Software that has helped industry optimize boiler performance, diagnose operational problems, reduce emissions and improve efficiency.
    • The CEPG evaluation found that the Program is funding research projects that have good potential to lead to adoption of energy efficient products and processes in the near future (e.g., micro-generators, combined heat and power systems, etc.).
Conclusion:
  • Clean Energy programs have had a positive impact in influencing adoption of energy efficiency products and services.

Intermediate Outcome: Adoption of renewable energy products and services

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Power
    • The ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program is associated with an increased rate of renewable power installations in Canada, however, direct attribution of increased installations to program activities is not possible.
    • During its first two years, projects totalling a capacity of 1,300 megawatts had been commissioned and projects with 1,800 megawatts were under construction for a total of 3,100 megawatts (target was 4,000 megawatts by March 31, 2011).
    • The ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program has demonstrated leadership and has helped launch the renewable power industry, particularly wind power.
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat
    • The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Program is associated with stimulating activity in the area of renewable heat, however, attributing these activities to program activities is difficult.
    • After two years, the Program supported 334 solar thermal projects (target is 700 systems by March 31, 2011), 97 individual solar water pilots in residential buildings and several industrial capacity initiatives.
    • The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Program may have increased the capacity of the industry to deliver quality renewable heat systems into the Canadian market but the industry remains small.
  • ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
    • Within CEPG, the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative contributed to the development and enhancement of wind energy forecasting and simulation tools that are used by Canada’s wind energy industry, consultants and the general public to determine the wind energy potential of sites throughout Canada.
Conclusion:
  • Clean Energy programs have met, or are on track to increasing adoption of renewable energy products and services, although the evaluations indicated that it is not possible to directly attribute the achievement of these outcomes to the programs due to interacting factors and considerations.

Intermediate Outcome: Availability of innovative, market-ready energy processes, products, services

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat
    • The Program has supported activities related to increased deployment of renewable thermal technologies (e.g., developing performance and installation standards, making technologies more affordable through incentives, etc.).
  • ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
    • The ecoENERGY Technology Initiative has successfully delivered on its objective of advancing S&T through the provision of technical outputs and immediate outcomes (e.g., knowledge, expertise, and technology).
    • The Program has supported a number of projects that have developed and/or demonstrated new or improved technologies (e.g., Very Low Head (VLH) Turbine design for Canadian conditions). These new technologies offer the potential of increasing the electricity supply from renewable and distributed systems and improving the economics and efficiency of these systems.
    • The Program has also contributed to the development of new codes and standards which may have contributed to a number of provincial and municipal regulations and helped shape provincial and Environment Canada’s energy and environmental policies.
    • The Program has not yet realized the achievement of intermediate and ultimate outcomes to any significant extent. This is primarily due to the long-term time horizon required for commercialization, and the fact that many of the activities within the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative have only recently been implemented.
    • Nevertheless, the evaluation identified some examples of market uptake or deployment of new or improved technologies stemming from program-funded projects, including a wind energy simulation software tool.
Conclusions:
  • Although the programs have successfully delivered their S&T outputs, due to the long-term nature of S&T programs and the recent implementation of projects supported under the programs, it is too early to expect achievement of these outcomes.

Ultimate Outcome: Reduced emissions of GHGs and CSCs from clean energy activities

Findings:
  • ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses
    • The Program had exceeded its targets for training and more than 300 buildings were reportedly eligible for labels. In its first two years (2007-08 and 2008-09), this initiative achieved 63-71% of its targeted range for energy savings and 80% of its GHG emission reductions.
  • ecoENERGY for Retrofit: Homes
    • The Program exceeded its target for the number of applications/grants. At the end of its first two years (2007-08 and 2008-09), it had already achieved 64-80% of its targeted range for GHG emission reductions and energy savings.
  • ecoENERGY for Retrofit: SMO
    • In its first two years (2007-08 and 2008-09), this program achieved 57% of its energy savings, and 56% of its GHG emission reductions targets. Attribution to the program’s financial incentive activities is only partial as some firms would have implemented these changes on their own.
  • ecoENERGY for Industry
    • Awareness building activities and adoption of technologies under this program did contribute to reduced emissions. At the time of the evaluation, the Program had met between 44-185% of the target range for energy savings and GHG reductions.
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Power
    • The Program has helped launch the renewable power industry, particularly wind power. Moreover, the need to develop renewable technologies has become much more widely accepted. A clean energy sector is emerging, which could contribute to displacing use of fossil fuels. However, the energy landscape is complex and significant change takes time.
  • ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat
    • The Program may have increased the capacity of the industry to deliver quality renewable heat systems but the industry remains small, limiting its ability to displace the use of fossil fuels in the near future.
  • ecoENERGY for Technology Initiative
    • While the activities and programs funded within CEPG lay the groundwork for increased deployment of clean power generation, reduced emissions will depend on the degree to which these technologies are deployed on a large scale. As this initiative was launched in 2008, it is too early to realize this outcome.
Conclusions:
  • There is evidence that ecoENERGY programming has contributed to varying degrees in reduced GHG emissions and CSCs. However, the precise impact on this objective is difficult to ascertain because of the long-term nature of this goal. The successes noted at achieving the intermediate and immediate outcomes do suggest that progress is being made towards reduced GHGs and CSCs due to program activities.

5. Are the Clean Energy programs economic and efficient means of achieving outputs and progress towards outcomes?

CET Programs Discussion
ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses

The evaluation identified best practices based on the literature that could be explored to improve the cost- effectiveness of incentive-based programming, such as:

  • delivering programs in partnership with other jurisdictions;
  • promoting whole building comprehensive retrofits; and
  • offering financial incentive for high-risk components and/or basing incentives on verified energy savings. :

While a number of important strategic management practices have been instituted to help ensure the efficiency of programs, some suggestions for potential improvements to the programs include:

  • improving communication from NRCan to partners and participants;
  • reducing the burden in the application processes, particularly with respect to the ecoENERGY Retrofit: SMO program; and
  • ensuring user-friendly tools and software, particularly in the residential sector.
ecoENERGY Retrofit: Homes
ecoENERGY Retrofit: SMO
ecoENERGY for Industry
ecoENERGY for Renewable Power The evaluation indicated that the existing incentive approach has been appropriate to encourage an increase in the supply of clean electricity (primarily wind power) and solar thermal renewable heat. Little, if any, overlap was found with other programs and the application processes was found to be clear.
ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat
ecoENERGY Technology Initiative While performance and financial information is limited, ecoETI is operating efficiently in that the project selection processes ensure that activities are aligned with ecoETI objectives; the majority of project deliverables are on schedule; and the R&D projects involve key stakeholders.

Overall Conclusions

Relevance:

  • There is an ongoing need for clean energy programming in Canada in terms of capacity building, technology development, and transfer. However, the role of financial incentive programs is less clear.
  • The Clean Energy programs are consistent with government priorities and NRCan’s Strategic Objectives in terms of fostering environmentally-responsible natural resources use, and reducing GHGs and CSCs.
  • There is a legitimate, appropriate and necessary role for the federal government in delivering the Clean Energy programs given NRCan’s mandated role in energy efficiency programming, and leadership role in terms of coordinating clean technology development.

Performance:

  • The Clean Energy programs have made progress towards achieving all of their targets and outcomes.