Jobs and economy
Effects on Jobs and the Economy in Prince Edward County
How will Industrial Wind Turbines affect tourism in The County?
It is no secret that The County’s economy relies heavily on tourism. The following statistics come directly from Prince Edward County Council reports: Tourism revenue grew from $25 million to $100 million from 1999 to 2009. Tourism pumped a quarter billion dollars into the economy from 2005 to 2009. The economic growth is greater in Prince Edward County than most of Ontario. The job growth rate is 50% higher than in the rest of Ontario; that in arts and culture is 2300% higher (2001-2006 analysis). This growth is the result of positioning Prince Edward County as having “Quality of Place”- beauty and unspoiled rural nature. Tourism, and the arts, culture, and heritage sectors, have all enjoyed spin off growth due to The County’s “Quality of Place” attributes. The negative visual impacts of industrial wind turbines threaten the existing and future economy. (Prince Edward County Council Economic Report, 2009)
What will the economic impact on The County be?
The downside is up to $40-million in lost annual revenues from local businesses and the resulting decrease in the municipal tax base. This is a 10% decrease in tourism estimated by the Economic Development Office. Revenue losses will translate into job, tax revenue, and future development losses for the community. (Prince Edward County Council Economic Report, 2009)
How many jobs in PEC might be lost? Which ones?
In areas where turbines are visible, if not in the entire County, businesses will decrease and jobs will be lost. (Prince Edward County Council Economic Report, 2009) A reduction in tourism affects wineries, cheese factories, restaurants, inns and B&B’s, real estate, theatre and museum attendance, purchases including food, clothing, gift items, etc.—in other words, the majority of businesses in the county.
In the U.K., 4 jobs were lost for every job created in the renewable sector. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12597097)
The Auditor General of Ontario’s report also noted this effect and was extremely critical of the job creation claims for renewable energy. http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/303en11.pdf (p. 117 deals with employment effects)
How many full time jobs in PEC will be created related to the turbines?
Very few. There is no evidence that having IWTs will result in more manufacturing in The County. The only job directly associated with IWTs is maintenance. Typically, one worker is required for each 8-10 turbines. The Gilead and wpd projects might employ four to five people, though there is no necessity for them to live in the County. And every green job created in Ontario is expected to cost $180,000 in subsidies (C.D. Howe Institute study, co-authored by J. Carr, ex-CEO of Ontario Power Authority). In Germany the cost for each job is up to $250,000/year (Globe and Mail, Apr 10, 2010). On the flip side, with higher electricity bills, small and medium-sized companies are already moving to the USA and Quebec. What will happen with County businesses, most of which are very small?
How much money will be left behind in The County by the wind turbine corporations?
Wind turbine companies will be paid approximately $500,000 per turbine per year for 20 years.
The chart shows the revenue model for the White Pines project – 29 turbines over a 20 year period. As you can see, local expenditures are a very minor portion of the overall revenue earned on the backs of Ontario taxpayers. Municipal taxes per turbine are estimated at just under $1,000 per turbine per year. The calculation of municipal taxes is based on MPAC’s rule for assessing turbines at $40,000 per MW x 2.05 MW = $82,000 times the industrial mill rate for The County.