Wind energy: an opportunity for Canada

Wind energy has significant growth opportunities for Canadian manufacturers but, in order to be seized, they require timely and forward-looking measures, also in view of global competition. The latter is stated in a report entitled Wind Industry Supply Chain Opportunities for Canadian Manufacturers, compiled by the association of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), together with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

The report studied the growth potential of the wind energy market focusing specifically on the whole of North America, the obstacles that can hinder its further development and present opportunities that must be seized. The goal is to provide policy makers with guidelines on action to take in order for the Canadian industry to develop employment and prosperity at home, also competing at a global level.

In recent years, the growth of the wind industry in Canada has been slightly lower than the world average, but still acceptable. The installed capacity has increased tenfold over the period 2003 – 2009 and all 10 Canadian provinces now have wind turbines totalizing 3,359 MW, which are expected to reach 12,000 MW by 2015.

But a lot more could be done, says the report by the CME, which believes that it is possible to meet the challenging target set by the wind association CanWEA, consisting in meeting 20% of the country’s electricity needs by 2025.

In order to do so, 50% of all new electricity that is produced in Canada should be windfarm generated from now until 2025. Considering that in the next 15 years Canada will have to replace at least 19,000 MW for obsolescence (from all sources) and will have to add 45,000 MW in order to meet its increased demand, the CME says that additional 55,000 MW of wind power should be installed, equivalent to about 22,000 wind turbines in approximately 450 sites.