Canada will enjoy another record year for wind energy development in 2012 with the addition of approximately 1,500 MW of new installed capacity, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The projection was highlighted in the five-year industry forecast published today by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) at Europe’s largest wind energy conference in Copenhagen.
Canada’s wind energy industry enjoyed a record year in 2011 with approximately 1,267 MW of new wind energy capacity representing an investment of $3.1 billion and creating 13,000 person-years of employment. Canada was in 6th place globally in terms of new installed wind energy capacity in 2011 and currently has 5,403 MW of total installed capacity – enough to power more than 1.2 million homes. Canada’s wind energy industry is now on track to easily surpass 10,000 MW of total installed capacity by 2015 – providing new opportunities for Canadian manufacturers and bringing significant levels of new investment, jobs and economic benefits to rural communities and landowners across the country.
‘Canada, and in particular Ontario, has emerged as a very competitive destination for wind energy investment globally. This industry represents billions of dollars in new investments across the manufacturing and construction sectors. Wind energy is playing a growing role in delivering clean, safe and affordable energy as provinces look to build stronger electricity systems. Maintaining this growth and momentum will require continued commitments to aggressive targets for wind energy development and a stable policy framework,’ said Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA.
In North America, just over 50,000 MW is expected to be installed in 2012-2016, bringing its total to just over 100,000 MW of wind energy at the end of the period. GWEC expects a strong 2012 for North America as both Canada and Mexico project well over 1,000 MW of wind energy capacity to be installed – complementing another strong year for the US which began the year with more than 8,000 MW under construction. The global wind energy industry will install more than 46,000 MW of new wind energy capacity in 2012. Overall, GWEC projects average annual market growth rates of about 8 per cent for the next five years. Total new installations for the 2012-2016 period are expected to reach 255,000 MW. A significant portion of this growth will be driven by China, India and Brazil, with important contributions also coming from new markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The top 10 global leaders for new installed capacity in 2011: PR China (17,631 MW), USA (6,810 MW), India (3,019 MW), Germany (2,086 MW), UK (1,293 MW), Canada (1,267 MW), Spain (1,050 MW), Italy (950 MW), France (830 MW), Sweden (763 MW).
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 420 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.
By José Santamarta, www.canwea.ca