Ontario Liberal’s victory supports solar

07. October 2011 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Top News | By:  Jonathan Gifford

In a victory that can be interpreted as a positive sign for photovoltaics in north-America, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal party has claimed victory in yesterday’s Ontario elections.

The Ontario flag.

Ontario's election results will mean a continuing FIT for photovoltaics in the state. Image: flickr/Disposable Dreams.

McGuinty’s government supports a generous feed-in tariff (FIT) for photovoltaics in the state. A domestic content requirement, as a part of the FIT, has seen the manufacturing industry also pick up in the populous Canadian state.

The Liberal party has been returned to office but will have to form a minority government, winning 54 of a 107-seat legislature, one shy of a 54-seat outright majority. This will lead to many challenges when forming government and getting legislation passed.

Significantly for the photovoltaic industry however, McGuinty has committed to maintaining the state’s FIT in the face of opposition from the challenging Progressive Conservative party. If the “tories” had been successful in their campaign it would have been probable that the FIT would’ve been vastly reduced or scrapped altogether.

The photovoltaic industry in Ontario had mobilized and released an advertising campaign urging support for renewables and the FIT.

In responce to the result, industry analyst Goetz Fischbeck has issued a statement to pv magazine saying that: "The outcome of the Ontario provincial election is a clear positive for the solar stocks. While we expect some downward adjustments of the overly lucrative tariffs granted under the current incentive regime the risk of a possible cancellation of the entire program has been averted."

Fischbeck, a renewables analyst with Germany’s BHF-BANK also notes that Ontario is the second biggest photovoltaic market in North America and as such any changes to the FIT would’ve impacted the industry significantly.

The FIT is legislated for as a part of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act.

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