Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Even provinces whose economies depend on fossil fuels are eyeing a shift toward solar and wind power production, and Wisconsin companies can play a role in this conversion.

A CleanTech report estimates that the Canadian energy market will be dominated by solar and wind power electricity by 2040. Rapidly falling solar and wind power costs and a growing role for batteries, including those used in electric vehicles, play an important role in balancing supply and demand.

The demand for solar energy products will continue to grow as more companies turn to clean energy alternatives instead of coal. It is estimated that within the next 23 years, the clean energy market will grow to 14 times its current size. The impact will be considerable on businesses in this field, as well as those that supply it.  The supply chain businesses currently operating in Wisconsin range from manufacturing and systems design, site planning, engineering and construction to installation. These companies play a very important role in economic development and job growth, provided they consider Canadian opportunities in their business portfolio.

For the clean tech industry to experience expansion, businesses in this sector must be able to innovate and anticipate needs, and also push for further business development. Establishing a strong bilateral relationship between Canada and Wisconsin within the solar and wind supply chain businesses will help ensure that Wisconsin becomes a prominent player in the clean tech industry, so that this sector is a driver of growth not only in the U.S., but also in Canada.

Canada’s western provinces, which are known for the production of oil and gas, have indicated that they intend to pursue renewable energy sources. This interest in switching to clean tech alternatives such as solar and wind power has been identified in various studies backed by the Solar Industry Association, since the flat landscape in these provinces makes them prime areas for solar resource construction. The province of Alberta alone plans to meet 30 percent of its annual electricity needs with renewable sources by 2030.

Companies in Wisconsin's clean tech industry can benefit from following the opportunities in this growing Canadian market.