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The trouble with Statistics Canada’s solar and wind energy data

An installer with Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies of Tecumseth, Ont., installs solar panels on a roof in Belle River, Ont., Jan. 11, 2016. Statistics Canada said solar panels produced 260,000 mWh of power across Canada in 2012. That total dropped to 251,000 mWh in 2014, StatsCan shows.

TORONTO • Is Ontario generating less electricity from solar panels and wind turbines than it did years ago, despite billions in subsidies to the renewable energy sector? Statistics Canada data suggest so. But the province maintains it gets a growing share of its power from the wind and the sun, and that — just as a growing push for climate policies would seem to call for meticulous monitoring of renewable energy — the numbers coming out of Ottawa are simply wrong.

In the past few years, thanks to generous provincial incentives, homeowners and power companies have blanketed rooftops and farmers’ fields with solar panels, and forested farm fields across the countryside with wind turbines. For example, since 2012 Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies Inc. of Tecumseth, Ont., has installed 300 home rooftop solar systems in the Windsor area alone. Statistics Canada’s numbers, however, suggest that these new sources of electricity have not arrived on the nation’s grid.

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