Partner with private sector to research and scale up clean technologies

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 09/07/2016

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Today, UPS has nearly 7,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles on the road globally, and approximately 1,000 in Canada. As a player in the transportation sector, our company has come to understand two things: first, as a sector, transportation is one of the highest contributors to greenhouse gases in Canada and around the world. Secondly, that we have a choice - change now and be part of the change, or remain passive and let new regulations dictate the change for us. Globally, we have tried to turn this challenge into an opportunity. We have had the most success when we have managed to partner with government and third party innovators.

Financial incentives from the federal government to help the transportation sector invest in new technologies and transition its fleet to more sustainable fuels would have a significant impact on the adoption of clean technologies. Specific policies could include federal tax credits and/or tax exemptions on natural gas and propane vehicles, federal grants, and/or purchase vouchers.

In addition, the federal government could consider partnering with private sector companies and innovators to develop and test new technologies. UPS has taken advantage of such partnerships in the United States through the Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid R&D Program, Electric Delivery and Energy Reliability Office. UPS was able to obtain technical assistance from the DOE to investigate the use of available landfill gas in at our WorldPort and Centennial Hub facilities in Louisville, Kentucky, to generate our own low-carbon electrical supply to supplement power from the local grid. The avenue for assistance was DOE’s interest in micro-grids to integrate various sources of electricity for large industrial facilities.  In 2015, UPS obtained free technical assistance from a DOE National Lab to study the potential for a micro-grid project to help integrate the power generated from renewable natural gas (landfill gas) and other sources at WorldPort. UPS then teamed with two DOE national labs and won a $1 million grant in 2016, for further evaluation of the renewable fuel project at WorldPort.  UPS will soon decide whether to proceed with the landfill project and to build a micro-grid to support it. 

Credit: UPS Canada

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