Markham, Ontario recently flexed its solar leadership muscles by joining the province’s feed-in-tariff program. “It is an example for all to follow,” says Ontario’s Energy Minister, Brad Duguid. Under this program, a new 250-kilowatt solar installation at Markham’s offices on Warden Avenue will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 26 homes. Ontario provided Markham with $2.4 million in provincial funding for energy retrofits, facility accessibility improvements, and rehabilitation of the Emergency Operations Centre. Other public institutions are joining the solar economy. The Toronto School Board will outfit nine schools with photovoltaic (PV) installations by the end of next summer, thereby creating solar-energized classes.
The public sector’s pioneering energy efforts are part of Ontario’s complete energy makeover plan – how the province is switching from non-renewable, “dirty coal” to renewable, “clean energy.” It is part of Ontario’s $87 billion, 20-year ambitious long-term plan. A provocative new report says that Ontario’s feed-in tariffs for photovoltaics will create 70,000 jobs. With the new solar industry comes the need for solar energy classes to prepare these future workers for renewable energy careers.
The private sector is matching government investment in solar power infrastructure. British Columbia-based P2 Solar, Inc. (P2 Solar) has decided to expand into the province. “Entry into the Ontario solar market will be a very nice complement to our existing target market, India,” says P2 Solar’s CEO, Raj-Mohinder Gurm. Another company is Ottawa’s Dymon Power Corporation (Dymon Power). It has contracted Ontario Solar Provider, Inc. (OSP) to handle eight PV projects in the National Capital Region. Solar power incentives and new graduates from PV classes greatly augment Ontario’s clean-energy economic power.
Patterns of Renewable Energy Career Employment
Renewable energy careers include eco-forestry, food sustainability, permaculture practices, and stewardship jobs found in a variety of in and outdoor surroundings. The number and types of jobs will grow as PV class graduates enter the work force, paralleling the growth and diversity of earlier industries like auto, computer, and telecommunications. Learning from the past, the clean-energy economy and its PV classes will forge new economic pathways.
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