Ontario’s Green Energy Act Promises Jobs, Infrastructural Change

by | Feb 24, 2009

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Ontario’s recently proposed Green Energy Act could add as many as 50,000 jobs and help decrease energy use, said supporters of the Canadian provincial measure.

The measure was tabled Feb. 23 by the Ontario legislature.

Supporters said the act would mean job creation in construction, trucking and engineering, according to The Intelligencer.

The measure also would set province-wide standards on new wind turbines and solar farms, and where they can be located. Currently, that power lies with municipalities, meaning investors must navigate a patchwork of laws and codes.

According to a government press release, the measure would:

  • make it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life
  • foster a culture of conservation by assisting homeowners, government, schools and industrial employers to transition to lower energy use.
  • make energy efficiency a central tenet of Ontario’s building code structure
  • establish a streamlined approval process for renewable energy projects, coordinated by a Renewable Energy Facilitator
  • create a pricing system for renewable energy that will lock in rates and give investors confidence that they can recoup their investments.

Critics point to the fact the measure would erode the autonomy of counties and municipalities.

In 2007, Ontario proposed green license plates for low-emission vehicles.

Ontario has a history of partnering with private industry to spur cleantech. Last year, Wal-Mart and the Ontario government agreed to invest in and test new made-in-Ontario rooftop solar technology.

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