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Online catalogue Environment Accounts and Statistics Technical Paper Series Main page Highlights Findings Tables and figures Methodology More informationn PDF version


The main research findings are summarized in this section. These findings respond to the questions asked in the Introduction.

How heavily have Canadian businesses invested in GHG technologies to reduce their emissions?

  • Industry spending on GHG technology made up a relatively small proportion of total expenditures in 2002.

  • Canadian businesses in 16 primary and manufacturing industries spent $1.1 billion on GHG technologies in 2002. The bulk of expenditures were made by three large industrial emitters: oil and gas extraction; pulp, paper and paperboard mills; and electric power generation, transmission and distribution.

  • Examples of the most common GHG technologies adopted by businesses were: solar energy, cogeneration, alternative fuel and waste-to-energy.

How successful are Canadian suppliers of GHG technologies? Have they been able to access both domestic and international markets?

  • GHG technology suppliers form a relatively new segment of the environment industry. Some GHG technologies, including fuel cells and methane capture systems, started out as demonstration projects and have become viable revenue sources with both domestic and international applications.

  • Businesses earned $362.3 million in revenues from the sales of GHG technologies in 2002, much less than from other traditional environment industry segments, such as recyclable materials, waste management, water pollution control and air pollution control.

  • Between 2000 and 2002, the 28% increase in GHG technology revenues surpassed the revenue increases in other well-established markets, such as water and air pollution control, illustrating that the GHG technology market is less saturated and offers room for growth.

  • Canadian suppliers have started tapping into international markets for GHG technologies. Exports of $139.5 million accounted for 38% of GHG technology revenues in 2002.

  • Domestic markets continue to provide opportunities for Canadian GHG technology producers. Businesses that invested in GHG technologies imported most of their GHG systems and equipment.

How extensive are business R&D and innovation activities that are related to GHG technology development?

  • In 2002, R&D expenditures on renewable resources and energy conservation made up 30% of total R&D spending on energy. GHG technologies must compete with conventional technology areas such as fossil fuels as well as energy transportation and transmission for a share of this spending.

  • R&D for GHG technology development was carried out mainly by these industries: management, scientific and technical consulting services; scientific R&D services; architectural and engineering services; and machinery manufacturing.

  • Financial support for R&D to develop GHG technology originated mainly from the federal government, while the parent and affiliated firms tend to be the major source of industrial R&D funding.

  • From 2000 to 2002, only 2% of firms involved in the production of environmental goods and services were GHG product innovators.

  • Primary and manufacturing businesses cited the high cost of equipment, lack of financing, and lack of available technology as the three most common barriers to the adoption of GHG technologies. These barriers help to explain the most common obstacle faced by environmental firms that were involved in GHG technology development—the lack of market demand.

  • Other common problems and obstacles for environmental firms involved in GHG technology development were lack of financing and the high cost of developing the technology. These translate to the relatively high degree of uncertainty in producing and marketing GHG technologies. This could be why most firms that carried out GHG technology innovation activities in 2002 had already enjoyed some success in previous attempts at GHG technology innovation.

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Date modified: 2005-10-05 Important Notices