Launched in 2009, Ontario’s “buy local” Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program promised to deliver hundreds of megawatts of new renewable energy and create 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2012. The program has had some notable achievements, and the province has worked hard to remedy some of the remaining roadblocks to success.
The bottom line is that the FIT program and its predecessors (despite facing significant threats) have jumpstarted renewable energy development in Ontario: the province would rank #4 and #11 for solar and wind deployment, respectively, if it were a U.S. state. It has created 31,000 jobs. It has also enabled widespread participation in renewable energy generation: 1 in 7 Ontario farmers is participating, earning a return on their investment. Finally, it has enabled the province to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014.
The biggest challenge for the FIT program is the overwhelming demand. Already, signed contracts for nearly 5,000 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity will allow the province to meet most of its 2030 renewable energy target, 12 years early. Actual deployment has kept pace with many U.S. states, but poor preparation has meant that less than 10% of energy under contract (thus far) is actually producing electricity.
Not having to charge sales tax fueled Amazon’s growth for nearly 20 years. While it’s impossible not to see the company as a horse that’s already out the barn door, there’s still good reason to believe that the Marketplace Fairness Act will slow Amazon’s consolidation of retailing and provide benefit to independent businesses. Continue reading
Two new reports from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Composting Makes $en$e Project document the importance of expanded composting and compost use to enhance soils, protect watersheds, reduce waste, and create green jobs and a new made-in-America industrial sector. For press release, click here. With compostable material making up almost one-half of municipal solid waste, there… Continue reading
In his 1996 State of the Union Address Democratic President Bill Clinton famously declared, “the era of big government is over.” And during his tenure he did everything he could to make that true–deregulating the telecommunications and the financial industry, enacting a free trade agreement severely restricting the authority of the federal government to protect… Continue reading
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative has been spending many hours on the road these days. Why? Interest in publicly owned broadband networks continues to grow as communities search for savings, economic development, and connectivity on the local level and more organizations seek out Chris’ expertise. From policy to implementation, ILSR continues to… Continue reading