One of the more startling experiences you can have, if you happen to be in the U.S. Northeast, is to cross the border into Canada around Niagara Falls. On the U.S. side, everywhere there is industrial and urban decay, as if the whole area had somehow been bombed back into the pre-industrial age. Immediately across the frontier on the Canadian side everything is humming along nicely, as if one had just entered the 22nd century.
Three years ago IEEE Spectrum magazine reported on Ontario's forward-looking program to end reliance on coal generation, by boosting renewable energy and propping up nuclear. Last year the province's Liberal Party government adopted a Green Energy Act, aiming to create 50,000 new jobs in the green energy sector and kick-start economic growth. Now the province has reached a deal with Samsung wherenby the South Korean conglomerate will install 2.5 GW of wind and solar generation, and build manufacturing facilities to support the effort in Ontario.
The deal is all the more striking because Samsung is a relative newcomer to wind turbine construction. But this is not the first time in recent months Korea has suprised the world with a sudden move into global clean-energy markets. Late last year a Korean consortium entered bidding for construction of an initial nuclear power plant in the Emirates--and ended up winning the competition.