The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Ontario Clean-Energy Subsidies Break Rules, WTO Panel Says

Ontario Clean-Energy Subsidies Break Rules, WTO Panel Says

Ontario's subsidies for clean-energy producers that use local technology were ruled in breach of World Trade Organization regulations, supporting complaints by the European Union and Japan against Canada.

The province’s feed-in tariff, or FIT program, which pays above-market rates to generators of renewable energy that use Canadian-made equipment, undermines competition because it favors domestic products, according to a WTO panel report posted on the agency’s website today.

The federal government will appeal the decision, Kirby Dier, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Ministry of Energy, wrote in an e-mail. “Our position has always been that the FIT program is consistent with Canada’s obligations under the WTO agreements.”

The government’s Green Energy Act dictates that goods and labor from Ontario must account for 60 percent of supply costs at clean-power projects, depending on the type of renewable source. It’s aimed at helping the province meet a goal to shut all coal-fed generators by 2014 as it seeks to curb polluting emissions.

The panel agreed with the EU and Japan that parts of the program discriminate against foreign equipment suppliers, while remaining divided on whether the subsidies are illegal.

‘Ignore Ruling’

“My advice to the next premier of Ontario would be to ignore this ruling,” said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada, an environmental organization. “We have to have the autonomy in our own country to develop technologies and industries to be to the best advantage of our own economy.”

Japan said it’s concerned other countries may follow suit and may appeal the illegal-subsidy issue.

“We want this to become a leading case so we can stop protectionism from spreading,” said Jun Kazeki, an official in charge of WTO issues at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The WTO ruling will probably hinder the development of renewable energy in Ontario and other jurisdictions that are developing similar programs, Bennett said. The government now has to determine what it can do to support and maintain momentum in its renewables industry, he said.

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg

Lead image: Gavel and book via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

A biogas plant concept from Weltec Biopower

Europe Versus Renewable Energy?

Tildy Bayar, Contributor Wednesday morning’s 'Regulation and the Marketplace' panel discussion at POWER-GEN Europe in Amsterdam got off to a lively start with a presentation from Randy Mott, president of Polish biogas- and geothermal-bas...
US currency

First Solar and SunPower's Yieldco Venture Seeks $483 Million in Stock Offering

Justin Doom, Bloomberg

8point3 Energy Partners LP, the renewable energy parnership formed by First Solar Inc. and SunPower Corp., is seeking to raise as much as $483 million in an initial public offering.

Wind turbines dusk

India's Solar Embrace Is Leaving Wind Power in the Shade

Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg

India is set to add more solar capacity than wind power for the first time as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to harness the sun’s rays to curb energy shortages.

The Real Price of Free Solar

William Hirshman, International Correspondent

For a technology known for its tranquility and quietness, the noise surrounding PV as solar leasing becomes the driving force for sales is getting uncomfortably shrill — the pitch of sales pitches is rising.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Microgrid Global Innovation Forum

Microgrid Global Innovation Forum  This event brings together thoug...

Grid Edge Live

Grid Edge Live 2015 The impressive two and a half day agenda addresses k...

2015 Solar Power International

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the 2015 SPI show!

COMPANY BLOGS

A Baseball Cap, the #ElonEffect, and the Power of a Personal Solar ...

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the ElonEffect in relation to Tesla&rsquo...

7 Tips For Active Listening

Selling efficiency is a two-way street: You can’t just bombard you...

Signing a Solar Lease? Here are Five Things You Need to Know

Solar leases have grown in popularity, and they continue to be one of th...

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS