Wind power in Ontario on pace to create thousands of jobs

Wind energy developments in Ontario will create more than 80,000 person years of employment and attract more than $16 billion in private sector investments in the next eight years, according to the most comprehensive study ever undertaken on the economic impacts of the wind energy industry in the province. The report, ‘The Economic Impacts of the Wind Energy Sector in Ontario 2011 – 2018’, by ClearSky Advisors, was commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) to quantify the projected jobs and economic benefits associated with the rapidly growing wind energy industry in Ontario.

The report is available here:

The ClearSky report quantifies the projected economic benefits associated with a growth in Ontario’s installed wind energy capacity from 1,428 MW at the end of 2010 to over 7,100 MW by 2018. This scenario is consistent with the targets set out in the Ontario government’s Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) for energy supply for the period 2011 to 2018. In fact, 2,125 MW of wind energy projects have already been signed and are to be constructed in this period. In addition to investment and employment figures, the report quantifies the projected benefits for landowners and municipal governments throughout Ontario.

"The Green Energy and Economy Act and the Long Term Energy Plan have opened up the market in Ontario for wind energy and will allow faster growth than otherwise would be the case," says Tim Wohlgemut, Co-founder and Principal Consultant at ClearSky. "Ontario has been put on the global map for renewable energy development and this has the potential to create a significant number of highly skilled jobs, and attract billions in investment to the province."

Key highlights of the report include:

More than $16 billion in private sector investments will flow into Ontario, with approximately $8.5 billion invested locally.
Wind energy developments will contribute more than $1.1 billion in revenues to local municipalities and landowners in the form of taxes and lease payments over the 20-year lifespan of the projects.
The wind energy sector will create 80,328 person Years of Employment from 2011 to 2018.
On an annual basis, the number of jobs created varies from a low of 5,708 Person Years of Employment in 2011 to a peak of 14,249 Person Years of Employment in 2014.

The report notes that municipalities across Ontario are becoming ever more aware of the increase in tax revenues and local investment they receive as a direct result of wind farms. Domestic content provisions for wind energy development will also boost local investment and employment.

"Ontario’s Green Energy Act has made it one of the most attractive markets for renewable energy in North America, and this is creating new ‘green jobs’ for Ontario’s manufacturing sector while at the same time bringing significant benefits to rural residents and communities," said CanWEA President Robert Hornung. "Much more is possible if we maintain a stable policy framework for wind energy development and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the province remains in a position to attract investment, create new jobs, and build a clean, modern electricity system."

CanWEA is the voice of the wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy throughout Canada on behalf of its more than 450 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits.