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Wind power in Canada as of January 2008 amounted to an installed capacity of 1856 MW,[1] with at least another 700 MW of capacity expected to come online by the end of 2008. Wind energy currently accounts for 0.8% of Canada's domestic electricity supply, or roughly 540,000 households.

OverviewEdit

File:Magrath-Wind-Farm-Szmurlo.jpg

Early development of wind energy in Canada was located primarily in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Throughout the late 1990s and early years of the 21st Century, every Canadian province has pursued wind energy to supplement their provincial energy grids. As of August 2007, British Columbia is the only province without an operating commercial wind farm, but BC Hydro (the province's electricity supplier) has currently issued Electricity Purchase Agreements for over 300 MW of wind-powered electricity. A 140 MW windfarm at Bear Mountain, Dawson Creek, is currently being built and another at Skokie Ridge, Hudson Hope is about to come online.

Year Installed Wind
Capacity (MW)
2000 137
2001 198
2002 236
2003 322
2004 444
2005 684
2006 1460
2007 1770
File:Wind power canada.PNG

With increasing population growth, Canada has seen wind power as a way to diversify energy supplies away from traditional reliances on fossil-fuel burning thermal plants, and heavy reliance on hydroelectricity in some provinces. In provinces like Nova Scotia, where only 12% of electricity comes from renewable sources,[2] the development of wind energy projects will provide a measure of electricity security that some jurisdictions are lacking. In the case of British Columbia, wind energy will help close the electricity deficit that the province is facing into the 2010s and help reduce the reliance on importing power from other jurisdictions that may not use renewable energy sources.

Province Installed Wind
Capacity (MW)
Alberta 523
Ontario 501
Quebec 236
Saskatchewan 171
Manitoba 103
New Brunswick 59
Nova Scotia 72
Yukon Territory 0.81
Newfoundland 0.39

An additional 2,004 megawatts of wind power is to come on stream in Quebec between 2011 and 2015. The new energy will cost 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, a price the utility described as "highly competitive".[3]

Wind Hybrid Projects Edit

Of potential use in smaller isolated communities not connected to the main power grid are Wind-Diesel and Wind-Hydrogen. One Canadian example is the community of Ramea, Newfoundland and Labrador[4] that initially used a Wind-Diesel system and is now being converted to Wind-Hydrogen technology.

Wind tower manufactureEdit

Canadian industry has started to supply major components for Wind Tower projects, Hitachi Canadian Industries being one example.

Public opinionEdit

In a survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies in October 2007, 89 per cent of respondents said that using renewable energy sources like wind or solar power was positive for Canada, because these sources were better for the environment. Only 4 per cent considered using renewable sources as negative since they can be unreliable and expensive.[5]

According to a Saint Consulting survey in April 2007, wind power was the alternative energy source most likely to gain public support for future development in Canada, with only 16% opposed to this type of energy. By contrast, 3 out of 4 Canadians opposed nuclear power developments.[6]

Despite this general support for the concept of wind power in the public at large, local opposition often exists, primarily from residents concerned about a perceived "eyesore", noise or reduced property values. This has delayed or aborted a number of projects. This opposition has been described as a case of NIMBYism.[7]

Several wind farms in Canada have become tourist attractions,[8] to the surprise of the owners.

Proposed future strategiesEdit

Wind Vision 2025 Edit

In 2008, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), a non-profit trade association, outlined a future strategy for wind energy that would reach a capacity of 55,000 MW by 2025, fulfilling 20% of the country’s energy needs. The plan, Wind Vision 2025, could create over 50,000 jobs and represent around CDN$165 million annual revenue. If achieved, CanWEA’s target would make the country a major player in the wind power sector and would create around CDN$79 billion of investment. It would also save an estimated 17 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.[9]

See alsoEdit

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ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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