Solar generation remains the preferred fuel-source for electricity consumers nationwide. The Ontario Government’s newly-announced policy on emissions pricing will help to transition Canada to a clean economy, and secure a place for solar energy as an integral part of an Ontario economy grown on renewable electricity.
The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and our Members offer praise to the Government of Ontario for their leadership on climate change and carbon-pricing, and strongly support the objectives of the announced Cap and Trade emissions trading policy.
“The Canadian Solar Industry is pleased to see ground being taken in the fight for a cleaner economy for Ontario,” says John Gorman, President and CEO of CanSIA. “We’d like to laud Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government for taking leadership and moving Ontario towards a more resilient energy future. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a priority for Ontario and for Canada writ large, and supporting clean, renewable energy is a win for Ontario industry bent on greening our economy.” Ontario’s solar assets have already contributed reductions of approximately 2 to 2.8 Mt towards meeting the province’s 15% below 1990 by 2020 emissions target, and the industry is poised to deliver further.
Putting a price on carbon is the best mechanism for ensuring that the true costs of electricity generation sources are fully accounted for. Gorman says the solar industry is ready: “The timing couldn’t be better from our point of view. Solar as a technology is able to compete head-on with other sources of electricity; putting a price on carbon is an important part of levelling the playing-field between polluting and non-polluting resources.” Mass deployment of solar globally has proven solar technology and driven down capital costs. The International Energy Agency predicts that “the sun could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear”.
Reinvesting revenues from carbon pricing, into clean generating technologies like solar, will ensure that the greatest gains are achieved. “We’ve heard resistance to Cap and Trade systems of emissions pricing stemming from the governments’ inability to come full circle,” says Gorman. “Cap and Trade works best when it is part of a more holistic view on transitioning to a green economy, whereby a proportion of revenues generated are directed to funds that promote climate change solutions, like solar energy and sustainable infrastructure, to adapt to a future carbon-constrained world.” Ideally, funding will serve deployment and demonstration of projects that modernize our electricity system and enable it to accept more renewable electricity, and smart-grid technologies such as battery storage. This presents two opportunities for the province of Ontario: i) providing products and services to the global solar market and ii) energizing our own lives and economy with solar energy.
In December 2014, CanSIA released our Roadmap 2020. Implementing the objectives contained in this document will solidify solar as a mainstream energy source, and an integral part of Canada’s diversified electricity mix. It will also ensure the solar electricity industry will be sustainable, with no direct subsidies, and operating in a supportive and stable policy and regulatory environment that recognizes the true value of solar.
— Solar Builder magazine