Ontario leads the provinces with one third of new wind developments.
OTTAWA: The wind is up in the renewable energy sector. With the World Energy Congress underway in Montreal this week, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is touting Canada’s growing wind power capacity.
It projects 754 megawatts of new capacity by the end of the year, representing $1.7 billion in new investment, bringing total installed capacity to 4,073 megawatts, enough power to meet the needs of over 1.4 million homes annually.
“Building on the growth in 2010, we can also state with a high degree of certainty that 2011 will be a record year for wind in Canada with more than 1,000 megawatts likely to be installed,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. “We expect wind energy’s rapid growth in Canada to continue with production tripling in the next five years. The rapid pace of wind energy development presents a significant opportunity for Canadian manufacturers, service providers, landowners and rural municipalities.”
Canada currently has 3,499 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity, with Ontario leading at 1,248 megawatts or one third of the developments. Quebec (663 megawatts) and Alberta (656 megawatts) follow for another third and the remaining provinces account for the rest.
Wind energy in Canada has increased ten-fold over the last six years but that growth is dwarfed by China, which added 13,800 megawatts within one year (2009), according to the World Wind Energy Report from the World Wind energy Association (WWEA).
The report notes worldwide capacity reached 159,213 megawatts, out of which 38,312 megawatts were added last year, and wind power showed a growth rate of 31.7 %, the highest rate since 2001.
Asia accounted for the largest share of new installations (40.4 %) last year, followed by North America (28.4 %) and Europe, which fell back to the third place (27.3 %).
WWEA predicts a global capacity of 1.9 million megawatts is possible by the year 2020.
Click here for a copy of CanWEA’s report, Wind Vision 2025—Powering Canada’s Future.