The Big Question: Do Domestic Content Rules Help or Hurt Renewables?

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Renewable Energy World

The latest ruling by the WTO on the Ontario FIT is welcomed by the wind industry. In 2012, wind energy grew by nearly 20% in Canada, driving over €1.49 billion ($1.95 billion) in investment and creating over 10,500 person-years of employment. The wind industry in Canada installed 936 MW in 2012, bringing total installed capacity to 6.2 GW by the end of the year. We expect a market in the vicinity of 1.5 GW for 2013 and in that same range for the next few years, as Canada seems well on track towards the industry target of 12 GW by 2016. Ontario remains by far the largest provincial market, followed by Quebec and Alberta.

Legal recourse to national practices that distort trade is time-consuming and introduces significant uncertainty for clean energy investors and manufacturers. In the past decade, we have seen a number of countries, both OECD and non-OECD; use a wide range of policy mechanisms that include LCR provisions for promoting national green industrial policy strategies.