2010 expected to see significant growth in wind power in Canada

Canada is projected to end 2010 with 754 MW of new wind turbines capacity – representing $1.7 billion in new investment, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) announced as energy leaders gathered in Montreal for the World Energy Congress.

This will bring Canada’s total installed wind farm capacity to 4,073 MW, 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 power in Canada with more than 1,000 MW 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 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Ontario is the current provincial leader in installed wind energy capacity accounting for 1,248 MW (one-third) of wind energy development. Quebec and Alberta follow at 663MW and 656 MW respectively (one-third), and Canada’s remaining seven provinces together account for the remaining one-third.

Wind energy has increased ten-fold in the last six years in Canada as governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, reduce environmental impacts of electricity generation, and stimulate rural and industrial economic development.

“We believe wind energy continues to enjoy broad popular support, as evidenced by a recent Ipsos Reid survey which found that nine in 10 Ontario residents support the production of wind energy in their region of the province for its economic and environmental benefits,” said Hornung.

“We certainly do not take for granted support for wind energy development and that is why our industry is currently working on implementing an Industry Code of Practice as well Best Practices in Community Engagement which will help to guide responsible work in local communities.”

CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 400 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits.