Renewable energy projects are becoming a significant component of the energy landscape, and many of these projects are undertaken in close connection with cities, communities, municipalities and Indian reservations. These projects focus on wide-ranging technologies including hydroelectricity, wind, and solar. Concern for the environment, respect for human rights, progressive policies and sustainable development are the key drivers of this change. One unique attribute of many renewable energy technologies is the capacity of such technologies to be scaled at the community level. Communities have opportunities within the green energy space to (partly) own, control, and benefit from renewable energy technologies.
Focusing on community intentions within indigenous and non-indigenous communities, we seek to understand the intentions of communities across Canada to develop renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, small-scale hydro, geothermal, and bioenergy. Communities may find renewable energy projects appealing for a number of reasons. These reasons may include: (1) the scalability and affordability of emerging technologies that can deliver savings to rate payers, (2) the possibilities of owning or collaborating with the private sector to derive local benefits from renewable resource revenues, (3) the opportunity to capture incentives for green power initiatives offered by provincial and federal programs, (4) energy security through reduced reliance on fossil fuels, such as diesel, and (5) climate leadership, in response to growing concern for a warming climate.