As a new member of the MaRS Cleantech team, I’ve quickly come up to speed with the latest news and information regarding the global energy industry and Ontario’s energy industry in particular. I’ve been delighted to learn that Ontario is paving the way for cleaner, more sustainable energy generation with many initiatives and incentives for both homes and businesses.

  • Ontario is Canada’s solar and wind power leader, housing the four largest solar and wind farms in the country. (See Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan for more information.)
  • Ontario is developing a smart electricity grid to integrate the thousands of megawatts of renewable energy generated.
  • Ontario leads the pack in North America in renewable and reliable energy with $1 billion in investments to deploy smart meters for homes and small businesses.

The strength of Ontario’s energy sector is also highlighted through the province’s electricity exports. Ontario’s electricity market generated $13 million in December 2011 by exporting electricity to other provinces and states. Since 2006, the electricity market has generated $1.8 billion from exports, which helps keep costs down and allows Ontario to develop modern and clean electricity systems for the future. The future of Ontario energy exports should focus on exporting equipment and innovations that will complement electricity exports.

By 2030, it is predicted that Ontario’s population will rise by 28%, increasing by almost 3.7 million people. With our growing roster of talented, innovative cleantech entrepreneurs, Ontario has created a strong manufacturing, service and financial presence in the clean energy sector and now has the opportunity to create a sustainable position in the enormous global export market.

It seems I’ve joined MaRS and the energy sector at the right time! MaRS, in co-operation with local and international energy leaders, will host the Future of Energy Summit on June 8, 2012. This one-day summit will investigate ways of developing the technologies and talent required to improve energy networks and create a future of clean energy. The summit will focus on five main themes:

  • Using the power of Ontario’s energy data to drive wider innovation and economic growth
  • Designing the grid of the future to enable distributed generation and improved efficiency
  • Combining different energy sources and considering the future roles of natural gas and electricity
  • Emerging energy generation and storage technologies, including exploring the commercialization path for competitive and reliable energy storage systems
  • Supporting the commercialization of new energy technology, including both public and private sector initiatives to commercialize Canadian energy innovation

If you are a stakeholder within the energy industry, we hope to see you at the Future of Energy Summit in June!

Jennifer Minelli

Jennifer manages the accelerating ventures program at MaRS, supporting high-growth ventures in the cleantech, health and information & communications technology (ICT) sectors.See more…