Canada’s NDP Suggests Feed Law for Canadian Provinces

By Paul Gipe


The New Democratic Party has become North America’s first national political party to endorse the concept of establishing fixed prices to encourage renewable energy development.

On 22 June the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) issued its strategy for a “Greener Canada and World“. Among several provisions in the strategy, item 6 states “Negotiate with the provinces and territories to adopt fixed price strategies for renewable power, as is done in Europe, to make it a more financially attractive option for small scale producers” (emphasis added).

Continental Europe has become a leader in renewable energy development through fixed-price systems, also known as electricity feed laws or Advanced Renewable Tariffs. Currently 10% of Germany’s electricity is provided by renewable energy.

The NDP is one of four major national political parties in Canada. The other three are the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, and the Bloc Quebecois. The NDP is similar to European Social Democratic parties. Neither the NDP, Conservative, Liberal, or Bloc Quebecois parties are directly comparable to the Democratic and Republican parties in the USA.

The Federal NDP is currently in opposition in Canada. The Conservative Party is the governing party. Previously, the Liberal Party had ruled Canada for several years.

Canada has a loose federal system. Energy and especially electricity policy are the purview of the provinces. The federal party can only recommend policy at the provincial level or provide support to provincial energy policy. Moreover, federal parties in Canada are distinct from provincial parties of the same name.

The Ontario Liberal Party was the first major political party in North America to endorse a fixed-price system. In the fall of 2004 they specifically endorsed Advanced Renewable Tariffs. (The Ontario Liberal Party is independent of the federal Liberal Party.) In March 2006, the Premier of Ontario announced a program of Standard Offer Contracts for the province. This is the first full-featured renewable tariff program in North America.

No major political party in the USA has yet to endorse a comprehensive fixed-price system for developing renewable energy as is found in Europe.

There are renewable tariffs for solar photovoltaics in California, Wisconsin, and Washington State. But there are no North America jurisdictions outside Ontario Canada that use a fixed-price system for photovoltaics, wind, hydro, and biomass technologies.

For more information on the NDP’s proposal, contact

Dennis Bevington, MP (Western Arctic, Northwest Territories)
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-4587