By 2030 wind energy in Ontario will have stimulated over $14 billion in economic activity in the province providing well-paying jobs to thousands of workers and injecting millions of dollars directly into local economies, according to the results of a new study released on the opening day of the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s 31st Annual Conference and Exhibition, being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre October 5-7.
“Ontario made the decision years ago to carve out a leading role in the growing clean energy economy, and it is paying off,” CanWEA president Robert Hornung told the wind energy professionals from Canada and around the world attending CanWEA 2015. “We have long known that wind energy is one of the most environmentally sustainable sources of electricity available today, and this study provides proof positive that it generates significant economic benefits as well.”
“Ontario has become a North American leader in renewable energy and a clean-tech manufacturing powerhouse,” said Ontario’s Energy Minister, The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, during the conference’s opening keynote address. “Our government maintains a strong commitment to wind energy, and we appreciate an ongoing partnership with CanWEA in building a greener supply mix and a stronger wind energy sector in Ontario.”
The Ontario-focused study released today is titled Wind Dividends – An Economic Impact Analysis from Ontario’s Wind Procurements. It was prepared for CanWEA by Compass Renewable Energy Consulting Inc. using an economic model developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It found that in the twenty five years from 2006-2030, total economic output from wind project investment in Ontario will top $14 billion, including $110 million that will flow directly into local economies in the form of land lease payments, municipal property taxes, and community vibrancy funds. The industry will create 72,000 full time equivalents (FTE*), paying over $5 billion in wages and benefits over the 25 years.
Delegates also heard from a panel of industry and business leaders, who discussed the continuing role wind energy can play in Ontario’s effort to build its economy, modernize its electricity system and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“Ontario’s choice to be the leading wind energy market in Canada has returned many economic benefits,” added Mr. Hornung, “As other jurisdictions consider a greater penetration of wind energy in their electricity systems, ?this study clearly shows that the economic benefits associated with wind energy development are significant.”