January 25, 2010

16,000 new Samsung jobs in Ontario

CANADA - The Samsung Group from South Korea is bringing 16,000 green-collar jobs to Ontario, part of a plan to manufacture green energy equipment.

Part of this is because Ontario's Liberal government has been promoting Ontario as a producer of clean-energy technology and equipment such as solar panels and windmills. This much is true. Ontario now boasts the largest number of green companies than any region on the planet. On top of that Ontario's new "Green Energy Act" means Ontario is the best place on the planet to grow a green business.

This impressed the South Koreans who were looking to build a new manufacturing super-plant in North America and could have chosen a location in the United States instead, but chose Ontario because the province has become a "green energy mecca".

That means $7 billion (USD) in clean-energy manufacturing coming to Canada and boosting the local economy. In total Samsung will build four manufacturing plants in Ontario and will initially develop 2,500 megawatts worth of wind and solar projects.

Under the Green Energy Act Ontario will pay producers 12 cents for every kilowatt made, slightly cheaper than the current 13 cents it costs the government to produce that energy using coal and nuclear power. It should be noted that Ontario Hydro then sells that energy to the Ontario public at a rate of approx. 6.5 cents per kilowatt, a loss for the Ontario government which is made up later with tax revenues.

Some people might be surprised to learn Ontario actually sells its electricity at a loss. Its not a commonly known fact and the only reason I know about it is because I briefly worked for Direct Energy (an electricity wholesaler which resells electricity at a bulk rate over the long term, and frankly that company is a big scam because its based on the assumption electricity rates will rise).

Opposition party's in Queen's Park however are not aware the government actually takes a loss when selling electricity (and has been taking a loss for decades) and are arguing the 12 cents the government will be paying companies like Samsung will somehow increase the cost of electricity. Nonsense. The government will continue to take a loss (as usual), but it will be slightly less than normal since we'll be paying 12 cents instead of 13. (Technically Samsung brokered a deal where they will be paid 12.5 cents per kilowatt, but its still worth it when it means bringing a $7 billion investment and 16,000 jobs to Ontario. Plus Ontario will save half a cent per KW compared to their regular costs.)

This is the value of knowing all the facts.

See Also
North Korea

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