Seven Billion Dollars for Canada’s Green Energy Investment

Seven Billion Dollars for Canada’s Green Energy Investment

It was announced last week that seven billion Canadian dollars will be invested to build 2000MW of new wind turbines and 500MW of solar PV panels by a consortium headed by Samsung, which will provide about 8% of the existing power capacity in the Canadian province of Ontario. Professor Danny Harvey says investments of this magnitude are needed to seriously address the climatic change issue and also create the critical mass to build a thriving green energy industry.

By Professor Danny Harvey for Reuters (22 January 2010):

The world is facing the prospect of massive climatic change during the coming decades, and we’re already seeing the beginnings of this all around us and much faster than predicted – dramatic melting of sea ice, thawing of permafrost, increased loss of ice from Greenland, and drier conditions in many parts of the world.

Climate scientists are nearly unanimous in saying that dramatic and strong action is needed to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy as rapidly as possible.

Small, gradual changes are not good enough. We need large, transformational change – and it will occur sooner or later, and throughout the world.

Thursday it was announced that C$7 billion will be invested to build 2000 MW of new wind turbines and 500 MW of solar PV panels by a consortium headed by Samsung C&T Corp. The total new capacity is about 8 percent of the existing power capacity in the Canadian province of Ontario.

This investment is of the magnitude that is needed if we need are going to seriously address the climatic change issue and also create the critical mass to build a thriving green energy industry with strong exports, but we will need many more such investments.

Both wind and especially solar electricity cost more than the market price of coal or other alternatives, but the market prices do not include the full cost.

More importantly, investments now in emerging technologies helps to bring their costs down through learning-by-doing and begin to build the skilled workforce that will be needed as the pace of development accelerates, leading to yet further price declines.

In the long, we will need many dispersed large wind farms and solar power facilities, linked to each other and to hydro-electric resources in order to provide a reliable and controllable electricity system based entirely on renewable energy resources.

This will cost modestly more than we pay at present, but it is a small price to pay in order to avert near-certain climate disaster.

Higher electricity costs can be offset by more efficient use of electricity and by curbing our often-times very wasteful use of electricity – all of which will be good for us both economically and environmentally.

Danny Harvey is a geography professor and energy policy expert at the University of Toronto. He is author of A Handbook on Low-Energy Buildings and District Energy Systems: Fundamentals, Techniques and Examples, and  the forthcoming Energy and the New Reality, Volume 2: C-free Energy.


CANADA TORONTO, January 21, 2010 – The push for renewable energy alternatives in Ontario was given a major boost today after the Government of Ontario signed a green energy investment agreement with a consortium created by Samsung C&T Corporation – Trading and Investment Group and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Ontario Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid was joined by Premier Dalton McGuinty, Samsung C&T Corporation President & CEO Sung-ha Chi and KEPCO Executive Vice President Chan-Ki Jung to officially announce the project and to sign the green energy investment agreement for the initiative, which will be the largest of its kind in the world.

According to the terms of the green energy investment agreement, Samsung C&T and KEPCO will establish and operate a series of wind and solar power clusters over the next 20 years. The clusters, which will be built in several locations throughout the province, will eventually include wind turbines that will generate up to 2,000MW as well as solar power facilities that will generate up to 500MW. The entire project will have a combined power-generating capacity of 2.5GW by 2016, producing energy equivalent to four per cent of Ontario`s total electricity consumption.

The Province plans to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2014 and increase Ontario`s ratio of renewable power generation. Ontario is currently a North American leader in the adoption of green energy policies with its passing of the Green Energy Act in May 2009.

‘The newly enacted green energy law is bringing forth a new green wave in Ontario as it comes into effect,’ said Minister Duguid. ‘By executing this project, the Ontario government will be one step closer to taking the lead in the North American green energy industry by securing the industrial infrastructure for low-carbon growth, creating new jobs and establishing a renewable energy cluster.’

The first stage of the project is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2013 and will include a 500MW cluster (400MW wind and 100MW solar) that will be built in the Chatham-Kent and Haldimand County regions of Southern Ontario.

‘This project is a good example of Samsung C&T receiving recognition in developed markets for its ability to manage and carry out projects, from planning and financing to execution,’ said Samsung C&T Corporation President and CEO Sung-ha Chi. ‘With rapidly expanding expertise in the renewable energy sector, this project marks the forging of a win-win partnership where Samsung C&T will provide optimal solutions to assist the Government of Ontario in reaching its goal to increase the amount of renewable energy produced in the province.’

Samsung C&T Corporation is rapidly becoming a world leader in the facilitation of major renewable energy programs including solar, wind and bio-energy. Through strategic partnerships with key renewable energy corporations, Samsung C&T is currently engaged in renewable energy projects in Korea, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Costa Rica and the U.S.

Samsung C&T and KEPCO will support the development of local infrastructure for the renewable energy industry by constructing production facilities to provide key components, such as blades, wind towers, solar modules and inverters. Samsung C&T will also encourage component suppliers to build manufacturing facilities in the area. In total, the project is expected to generate more than 16,000 green energy jobs within the province.

Samsung C&T will facilitate all project operations, overseeing the entire process of establishing the wind and solar power cluster, procuring equipment and financing while KEPCO, with its expertise in power generation technology, will be responsible for designing and connecting the transmission and distribution system in operating the plant facilities. The Ontario government will provide assistance in securing the land for the construction of cluster installations and provide administrative assistance for the project while also purchasing the produced electricity.


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