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From: Natural Resources Canada
December 8, 2022
Across the country, Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change. By investing in renewable energy initiatives that support energy independence and economic development while lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we can build a clean energy future that strengthens the economy, creates good, sustainable jobs and supports the natural resource sectors.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced an investment of nearly $3 million from the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program for Fraser Basin Council’s Energy Peers in Indigenous Communities (EPIC) Network, a capacity-building program designed to encourage Indigenous leadership in the renewable energy and electrification sectors across British Columbia.
The EPIC Network will support a group of energy champions with a peer-to-peer cohort and peer mentorship approach to building and sharing knowledge, networking and engagement, skills development and training on renewable energy with Indigenous subject matter experts.
The Network will also provide capacity-building funds to Indigenous communities to advance their community energy goals related to renewable energy and electrification. Funding is available for eight communities to hire an energy champion and to build knowledge and skills related to small-scale (under 100kW) renewable energy projects in Indigenous on-grid communities in B.C.
Working with energy champions and Indigenous communities will generate socio-economic and environmental benefits related to the renewable energy sector for under-represented Indigenous communities in B.C., while addressing energy affordability, decarbonization and increasing Indigenous community leadership.
This investment is yet another step in reaching Canada’s target of a net-zero grid by 2035. As with investments from clean energy to nature protection, today’s announcement is part of achieving Canada’s ambitious climate change goals to build a cleaner, healthier and affordable future for all Canadians.
“Across Canada, Indigenous communities are on the front lines in the fight against climate change through their leadership in low-carbon and clean energy projects. The funding announced today for the EPIC Network program will help to advance this leadership and advance Canada’s goal of establishing a net-zero energy grid by 2035 by supporting Indigenous energy champions across B.C. through skills development, training and mentorship. This means good, sustainable jobs, lower emissions and more low-carbon economic opportunities for communities across B.C.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“There are now many inspirational examples of BC Indigenous communities showing leadership on clean energy on their path to greater energy self-sufficiency,” said Fraser Basin Council CEO David Marshall. “This is a new opportunity for on-grid communities to accelerate the shift by bringing in community energy champions who can help build local skills and knowledge on electrification and renewable energy options.”
Chief Executive Officer of Fraser Basin Council
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
EPIC Network Lead
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