Ontario: the next big green thing?

As the UK's solar industry plunges into turmoil as it try to deal with the fallout from cuts to the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) scheme others are waiting in line to pick up the business.

One of the areas hoping to create a solar boom is the Canadian province of Ontario the state has slashed business tax and is pouring money into PV R&D and production.

To gauge strength of the economic options here I'm spending a week meeting leading figures from the regions burgeoning solar industry.

Also North American PV manufacturing has been hit by a handful of high profiule closures in recent months so is Ontario bucking the trend or is going to become another victim of China's seemingly unstoppable drive to dominate the world's energy industries?

Now, I've got a couple of friends who went to work in the city but numeracy has never been strong point.

However, the pitch by the state government is that for every $100* invested in R&D here the tax breaks will mean that it is really only $45 and for SMEs that works out as $37.

But, I'll do more about that in the news.

While I'm here I'll be meeting the Canadian equivalent of Howard Johns – Jon Kieran chairman of Canada's Solar Trade Association – I'm guessing he's happier with the government that Mr Johns.

Speaking to academics driving the R&D side and meeting one of the first company's to launch in the area is PV provider Silfab Ontario.

The Italian business set up here in April and aims to hit a generating capacity of 180MW, so while I've been reporting on the ‘death' of the solar industry in the UK it'll be interesting if Ontario green revolution is going to take off.

 *All figures are Canadian dollars


Luke Walsh

Topics: edie
Tags: | cuts | FITs | manufacturing | smes | solar
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