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

Gavel

Three Chinese Solar Panel Groups Lose Exemption From EU Tariffs

Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg

The European Union applied tariffs on three groups of Chinese solar-panel makers that have been exempted from the levies, potentially reviving tensions in the EU’s biggest trade case of its kind.

Stock graph

Green Bonds Sprout as Wall Street Embraces Renewable Energy Debt

Cordell Eddings, Bloomberg Bonds backing clean energy and other sustainable initiatives are booming. Investors are snapping up green bonds at the fastest pace on record, as big banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. pile in with new iss...
Loss and profit binders

Yingli May Return to Profitability in Second Half, CFO Says

Justin Doom, Bloomberg

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., a Chinese solar manufacturer that hasn’t reported income in almost four years, may return to profitability in the second half, the chief financial officer said.

Students and solar powered cars with energy storage

Rain or Shine, Students Keep Their Solar Race Cars Going with Energy Storage

Wayne Hicks, NREL Teegan and Kira Cordova love the original Star Trek TV series. That much is obvious. The eighth-grade twins from Ken Caryl Middle School in Littleton are wearing the uniform tunics from the 1960s show — Teegan's in red and...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

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

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

COMPANY BLOGS

Up to Bat – Why More Solar Companies Are Thinking Seriously About A...

Given the growth of the solar industry in the U.S., with 2014 year-...

How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Solar Tracking – A Key Technology for Unlocking the Full Potential ...

Quotes for very large solar photovoltaic projects in sunny parts of the ...

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