15. Canadian Solar photovoltaic manufacturing – We go inside the plant

you hi I'm David dodge welcome to green energy futures the numbers are in Ontario is Canada's solar hot spot according to a report released by the federal government earlier this year the solar manufacturing industry in Ontario directly employed 5100 full-time equivalents and drove over half a billion dollars of economic output in 2011 this week were off to Guelph Ontario where we talked to Milford hammer Walker the former president of Canadian solar solutions that's a wholly owned subsidiary of the 5th largest solar PV manufacturer in the world we're in Guelph Ontario setting in the middle of our 300 megawatt state-of-the-art manufacturing facility we manufacture solar panels here for the Ontario market and hopefully export market in the future and so how big is Canadian solar Canadian solar is about the fifth largest manufacturer in the world we can manufacture about two gigawatts of solar panels a year now operations like Canadian solar were kick-started by Ontario's feed-in tariffs but with a little twist all of our production right now is going into Ontario we have the government in 2009 created a Green Energy Act which gives incentives to homeowners businesses utilities to build solar power plants on their homes and businesses and it requires any solar panel to be made in Ontario in order to take advantage of that incentive so what's the scale of this business Canadian solar is the largest manufacturer here in Ontario right now we employ a little over 400 people right now talk to solar manufacturing industry veterans like Hammer bunker for too long however and they'll start talking about the boom and bust battle scars of an industry where governments oscillate between wanting all the solar panels they can get to none at all the Ontario government has placed a cap of 50 megawatts on solar fit contracts and this will certainly spell major problems for an industry that's built up a manufacturing capacity of 700 megawatts Canadian solar has tried to protect itself by becoming vertically integrated other partners are busy strategy to get involved in the more than just manufacturing but we actually develop build solar power plants and because of the cost of the panel that's a more lucrative business well companies big and small face their own boom and bust challenges in their own markets the worldwide market for solar panels continues to grow exponentially so last year the industry installed between 20 and 30 gigawatts of solar panels around the world so that's a huge increase the industry's increased double digits for the last 10 years to learn more about solar manufacturing in Canada and its economic impact head on down to green energy futures dot CA we'd love to hear from you on Facebook and Twitter undated Dodge you you you

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