In 1993 the Nova Scotia government established the Equity Tax Credit (ETC) – a personal income tax credit of 30 (now 35) per cent – to encourage NS residents to make equity investments in Nova Scotia small business corporations, co-operatives and other community economic development initiatives.
The ETC was successful and led to the NS Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIFs) to further encourage communities to take charge of their own resourcefulness and self-sufficiency in making investment decisions.
Far-sighted at the time of their founding, Nova Scotian CEDIFs have become a model for other Canadian provinces.
UK: There has been considerable community development in the United Kingdom involving renewable energy. In a 2010 report “Community-Owned Renewable Energy Projects”, Richard Hoggett found a strong will to take action for the success of community-based projects. Generally, rural communities were found to be more open to the development of renewable energy and more accepting of larger projects. He also found that in rural areas the range of opportunities is greater and the levels of constraints are lower in rural areas.
State of Maine: In 2009 Maine established the Community-based Renewable Energy Pilot Program to encourage the development of 51% locally owned, in-state renewable energy resources. Qualifying owners include individuals, state and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-profit corporations organized under laws of the state, and businesses with 51% local ownership. Similar examples may be found in many US states, European countries, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other places.
CCWF Community Connections
Throughout its short corporate life the CCWF has enjoyed strong connections to its immediate community (the northern part of Colchester County) as well as adjacent sections of Pictou County (to the east) and Cumberland (to the west). Community meetings and newspaper stories provided early information about the plans for wind energy development in the area.
A pattern of share ownership has developed over a period of nine years. CCWF began its corporate presence with the support of a 31 shareholders spread across the province, with 21 with addresses in Colchester and Cumberland counties (68%).
CCWF’s first CEDIF share offering in 2007 had 74 subscribers. Of that number 24 (48%) were from Colchester or Cumberland County. The second CEDIF share offering took place in 2010, with 34 out of the total 47 (72%) from the named counties. The total of local subscribers (76) had reached 61% with this share offering.
Three more CEDIF share offerings (2011, 2012 and 2016) brought investments from 81 additional people locally out of 121 in total, with local support from 68% of the new subscribers. These share offerings brought the local subscribers to 64% of the total number of subscribers since the first sale of shares to found the company.
STUDY ABOUT CCWF: STRONG COMMUNITY ACCEPTANCE
During December 2012 Tiffany Vass, a student in the Dalhousie University Environmental Science program, conducted a study in Nova Scotia about the influence of local participation, project initiation and the opportunity to invest in three small-scale wind energy projects. She was seeking the perceptions of people who responded to a mail-out survey. A summary of the study is found under the banner heading “History“. For the full study report please go to https://sites.google.com/site/nswindenergystudy/.