Highlights

  • Costs of Solar Power Are Rapidly Declining
  • Solar Technology, Policy, Storage and Climate Change Topics Featured
  • Solar West and Solar Canada Provide Promising Business Contacts

Ottawa, Canada – June 3, 2015 – The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and Hannover Fairs (Canada), Inc. today announced that Solar Ontario’s 5th Annual Conference held from May 25–27, 2015 in Niagara Falls, Canada attracted 300 delegates from across Canada, the United States, Europe and China. Close to 40 percent of the delegates were first time attendees. Seven in 10 attendees were solar industry professionals and practitioners, and three in 10 were stakeholders, including government and utility officials. Solar Ontario 2015 conference delegates appreciated this year’s emphasis on high-level, forward thinking discussions.

“The costs of solar are rapidly declining, heralding a new era in clean energy production,” said John Gorman, President and CEO of CanSIA. A Deutsche Bank February 2015 solar energy report suggests solar capital costs for residential and commercial sectors are expected to decrease up to 40 percent in the next five years.

In his address to Solar Ontario 2015 delegates, Serge Imbrogno, Deputy Minister of Energy, said that solar power is responsible for thousands of jobs in Canada today. The Minister of Energy shared that Ontario has 1550 megawatts (MW) of solar power installed in the province with another 825 MW contracted and under development – enough to power about 300,000 homes. He also shared with delegates that Ontario has three procurements underway. A large renewable procurement that targets up to 140 MW, the FIT4 that is just over 240 MW and the microFIT program that continues with a target of 50 MW this year.

Ontarians’ Views on Solar Energy, Technologies and Policies

During a discussion focused on Envisioning the Future of Solar in Ontario’s Electricity System at Solar Ontario 2015, David Herle, Principal Partner of The Gandalf Group said, “The economy and job creation are top of mind concerns for Ontarians, and solar energy has an important story to tell on that front. While the industry is still hampered by old paradigms of solar energy reliability and high electricity prices, the benefits solar energy offers for improving air quality and fighting climate change are important to Ontarians. Solar power can also boost Ontario’s standing as a high-tech leader.”

Mr. Herle added, “Eighty-three percent of Ontarians want government policy to ensure electricity regulation that allows more companies to utilize solar power, and 77 percent believe government should invest in more solar power electricity generation and technologies that enable solar power. Additionally, 78 percent of Ontarians agreed that Ontario needs to be a leader in the development of clean technology such as solar energy in North America.”

Mr. Herle also shared with Solar Ontario 2015 delegates that about two-thirds of Ontarians support “Cap and Trade” regulations and that 75 percent of Ontarians feel that the government should allocate a significant portion of “Cap and Trade” revenues to solar energy and technologies that enable more solar power and help to cut carbon emissions.

Solar and the Future of Ontario’s Electricity Sector

During her Solar Ontario 2015 presentation, JoAnne Butler, Vice-President, Market and Resource Development at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), shared with delegates that solar is making an impact, especially when it comes to innovation, helping to lower costs and increase panel efficiencies. Solar is providing new opportunities for communities. Ms. Butler believes solar + storage will fundamentally affect how consumers relate with their electric utility when homes connect their solar power to the grid.

Cap and Trade Allowances, Auction Revenues, Recognized Environmental Concerns (RECs) and Offsets

Paula McGarrigle, Managing Director of Solas Energy Consulting, underlined for Solar Ontario 2015 delegates that there are many more details to come as the government “Cap and Trade” program is still developing. She noted that an output based allocation of allowances is better for renewables, and that renewable energy set asides provide a concrete set of allowances for renewables but put a false ceiling on renewable allowances. Ms. McGarrigle explained that Ontario joining an existing carbon market such as North America’s Western Climate Initiative (WCI) provides a trading platform, compliance system and trading and administrative requirements. She also said that Ontario will never get over-compliance with a carbon tax but with “Cap and Trade” there is an incentive to over-perform.

Commenting on the next Canadian-based solar power events, Larry Turner, President of Hannover Fairs (Canada), Inc., the Deutsche Messe subsidiary and organizer of Solar Ontario, Solar West and Solar Canada in partnership with CanSIA said, “CanSIA Solar West and Solar Canada, the country’s only solar power trade show and conference with nearly 2000 solar energy delegates, offer promising business connections and dynamic forums to explore solar technologies and policies. Attendees and thought leaders will connect, experience and discuss the most important issues and opportunities facing the solar energy industry today and into the future.”

Solar West is scheduled to take place from October 7-9, 2015 in Calgary, Canada. Discussions will focus on the future of the industry in the western provinces. For more information visit Solar West.

Solar Canada is scheduled to take place from December 7-8, 2015 at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Center. For more information visit wwillett@hfusa.com or +1 (613) 716-9373.

Download the Full Report

Download the Solar Ontario 2015 Annual Conference Report (May 25-27 2015)

Media Contacts:

Lou Hood, Director of Member Relations and Communications
CanSIA
Direct: (613) 736-9077 x 222
Cell: (613) 513-6990
lhood@cansia.ca

Kathy Zoeller, Media Relations
Hannover Fairs
Direct: 312-988-9352
kathy@mattsonpr.com

About CanSIA

The Canadian Solar Industries Association is a national trade association that represents the solar energy industry throughout Canada. Since 1992, CanSIA has worked to develop a strong, efficient, ethical and professional Canadian solar energy industry with capacity to provide innovative solar energy solutions and to play a major role in the global transition to a sustainable, clean-energy future. For more information visit www.cansia.ca.

Hannover Fairs (Canada), Inc.

Hannover Fairs (Canada), Inc. develops events in Canada and manages marketing programs at Deutsche Messe events in Hannover, Germany and the United States, as well as in such key emerging markets as China, India and Turkey. Working closely with its clients, Hannover Fairs helps them maintain their competitive position on and off the event floor. The company’s programs reflect the global scope of Deutsche Messe’s activities and include such world-renowned B-to-B trade fairs as CeBIT (information and communications technology), DOMOTEX (floor coverings), HANNOVER MESSE (industrial technology), and LIGNA HANNOVER (forestry and wood industries).