American States Can Learn Much From Ontario's "Buy Local" Clean Energy Strategy

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

John Farrell
Tel. 612-379-3815
Email: jfarrell@ilsr.org

American States Can Learn Much From Ontario's "Buy Local" Clean Energy Strategy

WASHINGTON - The Canadian province of Ontario has launched a clean energy strategy to
maximize economic development while reducing pollution.  Maximizing Jobs From Clean Energy: Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ Policy,
a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, details how
Ontario’s bold clean energy program – in just over a year – has resulted
in the promise of 43,000 clean energy jobs in support of 5,000 MW of
clean energy projects. 

The centerpiece of Ontario’s program is a long term contract for
renewable energy developers with a guaranteed return on investment.  To
qualify for a contract, developers must source 60 percent of their
project’s value from inside the province.

“The rule effectively means that no solar or wind project built in
Ontario can obtain a contract without having some components
manufactured locally,” notes John Farrell, ILSR Senior Researcher and
report author.

This domestic content or “buy local” rule has spurred a fast-growing
renewable energy industry in the province, with over 20 new
manufacturing plants proposed and scheduled to open in the next two
years. 

“The buy local provision in Ontario creates a simple, comprehensive
economic development strategy for renewable energy that is in stark
contrast with the complexity of clean energy programs and incentives
utilized in the United States,” observes Farrell.

ILSR’s report estimates a cost per job created of $143,000 for the
Ontario program, a cost comparable to or below non-energy related job
subsidy programs in the United States and significantly less than some
recent clean energy job creation efforts.  

“A U.S. state adopting the Ontario strategy would almost certainly see a
much lower job creation costs than what’s estimated for Ontario because
of our stronger renewable energy resources and higher electricity
prices,” remarks Farrell.  “For example, Colorado’s solar resource alone
would allow it to provide solar developers a similar return on
investment at a 33% lower price for power and its higher retail
electricity price would further reduce the marginal costs of the program
and the resulting jobs.”

The full report from ILSR – Maximizing Jobs From Clean Energy: Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ Policy – is available on ILSR’s New Rules Project website, www.newrules.org.  For more information, contact author John Farrell at jfarrell@ilsr.org or 612-379-3815.

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The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.

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