As of July 1, 2009, the annual tax credits available to investors in early-stage clean technology companies operating in B.C. will increase from $5 million to $7.5 million under the provincial government’s Venture Capital Programs, established to raise investment for small businesses developing new clean technologies.

“Innovative clean technology reducing GHG emissions will play a key role in helping to grow B.C.’s green economy,” said Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong today. “The tax credits will lever up to as much as $25 million annually in venture capital to support clean tech companies that can offer exciting employment and investment opportunities to British Columbians.”

British Columbia is home to the third-largest clean technology cluster worldwide, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (BC Advanced Energy Sector Profile 2007). Growing at an annual rate of 11 per cent, B.C.’s clean technology sector includes over 250 companies employing about 3,700 people.

“The global focus on reducing the carbon footprint will only intensify in future,” said Pascal Spothelfer, British Columbia Technology Industry Association president and CEO. “Attracting new investment for more clean energy technology will help build British Columbia as a world leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship.  Even now, we are exporting clean technologies around the world to help manage the impact of climate change. With so many opportunities, B.C.’s clean energy tech sector is well positioned for substantial growth.”

B.C.’s clean tech sector conducts research and development in many areas, including energy generation, fuel cell development, reducing industrial fuel costs and increasing energy efficiency, transportation, water and wastewater, clean air and environmental technology.

For every dollar of venture capital invested into a B.C. clean tech company qualified under the program, an individual investor earns a 30 per cent tax credit that is fully refundable. The maximum credit per investor per year is $60,000, which would be realized by a $200,000 investment. Companies must keep capital raised under the program invested for five years.

By helping to stimulate the development of clean technologies by British Columbia companies, the new tax credits, announced during Budget 2008, will support the provincial government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 33 per cent by 2020.