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Ontario's Road Map to Prosperity: Developing Renewable Energy to its Full Potential

Ontario's Road Map to Prosperity: Developing Renewable Energy to its Full Potential

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Title: Ontario's Road Map to Prosperity: Developing Renewable Energy to its Full Potential
Author: Etcheverry, Jose
O'Malley, Lynda
Taylor, Jennifer
Abstract: Ontario needs a practical solution that provides strong local economic
development and new employment sources to replace the 230,000
manufacturing jobs that have disappeared from the province in the last five
As recent statistics clearly indicate this worrisome unemployment trend is
accelerating as the current economic downturn gathers momentum.2
In addition, our province requires an innovative approach to fulfill its
commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and to control air and water pollution.
Fortunately the solution is at hand: developing renewable energy sources to their
full potential. This document summarizes a viable strategy, a roadmap, to achieve
prosperity, energy security and ecological protection in Ontario.
Developing this renewable energy roadmap to achieve prosperity and
environmental protection will require vision, widespread collaboration, and
political leadership.
The roadmap is based on three crucial principles that form the foundation for
achieving the multiple benefits of developing renewable energy sources to their
full potential in Ontario:
Establishing a robust domestic market that prioritizes 1. sustained renewable
energy development
2. Development of a strong financial infrastructure that ensures that
Ontarians can actively invest in renewable energy development
3. Strengthening the province’s educational networks to develop the skilled
workforce required to manufacture, design, install, and maintain renewable
energy systems and all associated support infrastructure.
These three principles have been successfully employed in the jurisdictions that
have become the global leaders in renewable energy development: Denmark,
Germany and Spain.
These three jurisdictions have achieved strong domestic markets that provide
the required stability for their local industries to thrive and for investment
decisions to take root. Their healthy domestic markets have made the renewable
energy industries of these three leaders into export powerhouses and have also
developed strong and skilled workforces.
Germany today has more than 248,000 people working in its renewable energy
sector and Spain has achieved, in 10 years, a workforce of 190,000 people.3
The lessons emanating from these three leading countries can be adapted to suit
the unique conditions of Ontario to rapidly achieve the adoption of a new energy
Although Ontario has a smaller population than Germany or Spain we have
a skilled workforce and a much larger territory that is richly endowed with
abundant renewable energy resources.
Ontario also has the comparative advantage of having as neighbours provinces
that are already powered largely by hydroelectric plants that can provide our
province with the opportunity to access affordable dispatchable power to
compliment the large-scale local implementation of intermittent renewable
energy sources (such as wind and solar power). Most importantly, Ontario
already has some of the key policies in place that have made Denmark, Germany
and Spain world leaders in renewable energy. In addition, the province provides
attractive working and investment conditions such as public health care and
affordable education systems, which constitute two clear advantages over
neighbouring US states.
To capitalize on these benefits, Ontario needs a strong policy framework to
ensure that a sustainable domestic market can develop to satisfy our energy
needs and to provide a strong beacon for investment flows. Leading RE countries
such as Germany and Spain have structured their policy framework around
renewable energy legislation. Similar legislation would enable Ontario to meet
its RE targets for 2010 and beyond, help launch a key foundation for a local
sustainable economy, enable the building of innovative industries, create new
jobs, and help reduce pollution. Most interestingly, all of these benefits can be
achieved by harnessing in a new manner current investment used for keeping the
lights of Ontario on.
The roadmap summarized here uses the combined knowledge of some of the best
renewable energy experts in our province and the world to illustrate clearly the
steps required for Ontario to become the North American leader in renewable
This document also highlights specific collaborative areas in which agencies such
as the TRCA can continue to lead to ensure the adoption of renewable energy
and a successful and sustained transition to a more prosperous, resilient and
ecologically sound society.
Sponsor: Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Type: Technical Report
Rights: http://www.yorku.ca/fes/research/docs/ontarios-road-map-prosperity.pdf
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/13788
Date: 2009

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