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Ontario’s Cleantech Sector is Incredible
Published on: February 9, 2023

By Peter McArthur, Chair, Ontario Clean Technology Industry Association

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Cleantech Forum in Palm Springs. What an event! The strong Canadian representation truly reflects the cleantech sector in our country. With 12 companies coming from our country – 3 of them from Ontario -, Canada has a disproportionate market share of this year’s Global Cleantech 100.

Like the Cleantech Forum, OCTIA facilitates the connectivity between cleantech companies with each other, with capital providers (venture, angel, non-dilutive) and government agencies. We just meet much more frequently. Meetings are social but they also focus on key subject areas such as gaining access to customers — we often work with partners to bring in customers with environmental challenges that need innovative solutions. We do deeper dives on things like critical minerals and the battery supply chain, hydrogen, the hydrogen sector, and what technologies could help the oil and gas sector to decarbonize. We also provide members with the opportunity to help us shape OCTIA’s agenda through committees. 

At the Cleantech Forum, OCTIA hosted an exclusive breakfast with 30 Canadian delegates. It was a great way to continue building a valued network, and I’d like to thank everyone who attended.

As you all know, the cleantech sector is very diverse. OCTIA is here to bring together unique voices and, with the power of numbers, we’re able to advocate for the sector with the provincial and federal governments. Learn more about OCTIA’s accomplishments.

As we think about helping the sector flourish in Ontario, we can also remember what we do well. Learn more about Ontario’s cleantech strengths. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen the Ontario government embrace electric vehicles with announcements that support EV manufacturing in Ontario by Honda, GM, Ford & Stellantis. We’ve seen critical mineral agreements with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. We’ve seen Umicore announce a $1.2-billion cathode plant in Kingston. We’ve seen commitments to decarbonize the steel sector in Ontario with investments by Dofasco/Accelor Mittal and Algoma for green steel.

These are great steps in the right direction, but there is still plenty of work to be done on our path to net zero. Here are some next steps:

  • We need the federal ITC eligibility to be expanded.
  • We need a Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit. Manufacturing tax credits are a key component of the IRA. It risks pulling many cleantech manufacturers to move their operations to the US. We need to respond with our own Manufacturing Tax Credit – stay tuned for advocacy activities the Canada Cleantech Alliance is planning in that regard. We have a short window of opportunity! 
  • We need to ensure carbon pricing benefits the cleantech sector. The Government of Ontario has put a price on carbon emissions. The income is expected to total $2.2 billion over the next eight years. How can we make sure these funds are deployed to benefit the broader cleantech sector?

To our members, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for continuing to be part of this work and contributing to a flourishing network. As I was reminded in Palm Springs, it’s a beautiful thing to travel to another country and be met with familiar, friendly faces.

If you are not yet a member, please consider joining us! We need your input and your membership to speak up on your behalf. It’s easy to join. Once you join, participate! Join a committee, attend events, and become an active member of our network. Your voice is valuable and welcome!