THE RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY is both global and local.
Individual communities seek the advantages of economic
development, jobs, growth of the tax base, and additional
revenue for schools, infrastructure and emergency services. The global community is focused on economic development, but also sees the advantages of reduced carbon
emissions that are blamed for climate change.
This is what makes the WTO ruling against Ontar-
io’s DCR so problematic. To advance the global goal of
increasing renewable energy, local needs and concerns
must be respected.
While some will argue that everyone should embrace
the benefts of renewable energy, the reality is that this is not the case. Wind
projects especially are opposed in some communities, even at the neighbor-
hood level. This can force lengthy project delays or abandonment. Adversarial
relationships won’t achieve ambitious goals for expanding renewable energy.
The WTO ruling jeopardizes Ontario’s robust program of installing more
than 5,600 MW of new wind energy by 2018. Ontario offcials say that the program would create tens of thousands of jobs, attract $16.4 billion in private
investment and contribute more than $1.1 billion of revenue to municipalities
and landowners in the form of taxes and lease payments.
Ultimately, it will be local communities, not international intervention,
that drive the transition from reliance on fossil fuels to utilization of renewable sources to meet the increasing need for energy on a global scale. Local
benefts, such as those projected for Ontario, are real incentives to advancing
renewable energy, while the WTO’s ruling is restrictive.
VP of Marketing,
AE Solar Energy
ADVANCED ENERGY doesn’t view local content laws as having a positive or negative impact on the long-term demand
or adoption of renewable energy in a given market. Local
content measures on their own are designed to drive local
investment and job creation. Any market impact is short
lived and limited to the supply side while manufacturers
ramp up capacity to meet local content requirements. As
a global company, we comply with local content requirements in strategic markets but also believe there is value in
having an organic local presence in the regions we service
to better meet the needs of our customers and partners. à
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