If you're wondering where the major advances in cleantech innovation are taking place, there's a good chance they're in Ontario – Canada's powerhouse for cleantech growth.

Ontario companies are leading innovation in cleantech

Ontario's cleantech companies are helping organizations and communities around the world implement effective, efficient solutions to tough environmental challenges. From mitigating the impacts of climate change and urbanization to delivering clean drinking water, Ontario's cleantech industry is at the forefront of sustainable development. Here are some examples of leading companies that call the province home:

Hydrostor Inc. is a Toronto-based start-up that has developed an energy storage solution that addresses intermittent (solar and wind) load balancing, reserve capacity and peak-shaving.

Siemens is a global leader in wind and smart grid. It has a wind blade manufacturing plant and produces rugged communications equipment for harsh environments in Ontario.

Hydrogenics is implementing fuel cell and hydrogen systems to help customers shift power to a cleaner energy future.

Silfab Solar is a Mississauga-based company that produces high-efficiency photovoltaic modules for solar power generation.

Lystek International Inc. is a Cambridge-based organic materials recovery firm that is helping municipalities and other generators to reduce waste, costs, odours and greenhouse gas emissions through its innovative approach to bio-solids and organics management.

Trojan Technologies is a London-based firm behind the development of leading water treatment solutions using UV light. It provides products and services designed to make various stages of the water treatment process more effective, efficient and sustainable.

Pond Technologies is a Markham-based venture that utilizes microalgae to convert the CO2 emissions of major industrial emitters into biofuel, through the process of photosynthesis, and ultimately into bio-oil and biodiesel.

Aslan Technologies is a Burlington-based design and manufacturing company serving the chemical, water and wastewater treatment industries.

Ontario delivers the best talent

Ontario offers one of the most educated, talented, diverse and reliable workforces in the world.

  • Ontario's 44 colleges and universities produce more than 39,500 skilled graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics each year.
  • Through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, businesses connect with Ontario universities that have developed research programs and initiatives to promote green technology development.
  • Ontario's 20,000 IT companies, combined with an abundance of skilled talent in advanced manufacturing, provide a launch pad for the development of cleantech software and hardware.

Ontario offers an amazing support system for cleantech companies

Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP) supports Ontario's status as a world water technology hub by helping water technology entrepreneurs, utilities and investors.

Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) represents more than 200 companies, providing environmental products, technologies and services to government and industry.

Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) promotes and advances all forms of solar energy for the benefit of Canadians and the environment.

Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) represents organizations and individuals directly involved in the development and application of wind energy technology, products and services.

Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) represents organizations and individuals developing renewable energy and community power projects.

Advanced Energy Center fosters the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Ontario and Canada and leverages those successes and experiences into international markets.

Energy Storage Ontario is a membership-based organization that advances the energy storage industry in Ontario through collaboration, education, policy advocacy and research.

Bloom Centre for Sustainability connects public and private stakeholders to drive innovative solutions that manage risk while delivering economic, environmental and social benefit.

The Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) encourages collaboration between private companies and academic researchers to accelerate and commercialize innovative water technologies.

Ontario's climate change policy is helping to clean the planet

This shows what a lo-carbon future could look like. Hydrogen bus and low carbon businesses and industries.

Ontario has a sound regulatory environment for investors and entrepreneurs to build globally competitive cleantech companies. Here's how:

  • The Green Energy Act aims to boost investment in renewable energy projects and increase conservation.
  • Ethanol in gasoline regulation requires fuel suppliers to produce gasoline with a minimum 5% ethanol content.
  • Diesel fuel sold in Ontario must contain an average annual biofuel blend of 4%.
  • Greenhouse gas reduction mandated emission cuts of 6% by 2014, 15% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from 1990 levels. Ontario surpassed its 2014 target, and has achieved 69% of its 2020 target.
  • Ontario will join Quebec and California in implementing a cap and trade system under the Western Climate Initiative, generating up to $1.9 billion per year in proceeds from this program. The money will be invested into actions that directly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, create jobs and help people and businesses shift to a low-carbon economy.
  • Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan is a five-year plan to fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas pollution and transition to a low-carbon economy. The plan commits to numerous actions that reduce Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions, including improving efficiency in multi-residential buildings and public institutions, helping consumers manage their energy use and establishing long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets in the Building Code.

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Infographic 1: Ontario is shaping the future of cleantech

Ontario's strategic push to promote environmentally friendly technologies to tackle global warming is attracting top talent and investment. The numbers tell an exciting story:

  • Ontario is home to 3,000 Canadian cleantech and environmental technology companies, employing 65,000 people.
  • Ontario's environmental and cleantech industry generates an estimated $8 billion in annual revenues.
  • International buyers of cleantech products source $1 billion in cost-effective solutions from Ontario annually.
  • 35% of Canada's innovative clean technology companies are located in Ontario.
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange list 110 clean technology and renewable energy companies. With a market capitalization of $30 billion, this is the largest concentration of cleantech capital in the world.
  • Ontario has phased out all coal-fired generation – North America's single largest climate change initiative.

Infographic 2: Ontario's cleantech strength in numbers

Thanks to its top talent and tremendous support system, Ontario has strengths in clean technology subsectors across the board:

Solar:

  • Installed PV capacity over 2 GW, enough to place Canada among the top 20 solar countries worldwide.
  • Home to the second largest solar manufacturer in the world, Canadian Solar.

Wind:

  • Ontario is a wind energy leader in Canada with over 3,500 MW of installed wind capacity.

Water:

  • Water and wastewater technologies is the largest cleantech subsector.
  • 900 innovative firms, generating 22,000 jobs.

Biofuel:

  • 495 MW in biofuel or biomass generation facilities.
  • Out of the total 809 million litres/year of biodiesel capacity in Canada, more than a third of national production is in Ontario at 296 million litres/year.

Smart Grid:

  • Ontario is a leader in developing smart grid policies through the Green Energy Act and the Long-Term Energy Plan. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in North America to equip small businesses and houses with 4.7 million smart meters, enabling time-of-use pricing.
  • Ontario is investing in new smart grid technologies, such as self-healing grids, micro-grids and advanced metering infrastructure.

Energy Storage:

  • Ontario is recognized as an early leader in the development and deployment of Energy Storage technologies.
  • Niagara Falls has been used for more than six decades for 170 MW of energy storage capacity for the provincial grid, pumping water into a reservoir during off-peak hours.
  • The province's Long-Term Energy Plan, which mandated the procurement of 50 MW of new energy storage, is directly addressing the need for increased energy storage technologies within the province.

Green Build:

  • In an estimate by the Canadian Green Building Council's Toronto chapter, the Green Build market in Ontario encompassed approximately 38% of all ICI (industrial, commercial and institutional) construction activity for 2013, equal to approximately $5 billion.

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