The new Ontario requirement that grid-connected solar projects include a minimum amount of local content is causing a stir in Germany, where manufacturers say Canada is breaching its obligations to the World Trade Organization.
Germany’s solar-industries association, BSW-Solar, has put out a notice to its members – including some of the biggest solar module manufacturers in the world – urging them to protest Ontario’s “local protectionism.”
“The actions taken in Ontario directly contravene Canada’s international trade commitments and place foreign solar equipment makers at a serious competitive disadvantage,” the association said.
“We respectfully request that you raise this issue with the appropriate Canadian federal and Ontario provincial authorities, indicating that the European Union will consider seriously all available options to resolve the matter successfully.”
The new rules, which went into effect Oct. 1, require that small rooftop solar systems contain 40 per cent local content as a combination of labour and equipment.