The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) congratulates new Alberta Premier-designate Jim Prentice on his first-ballot victory on Saturday, and stands ready to work with his government to ensure wind energy continues on its path as an established and growing player in the Alberta electricity market.
One of Mr. Prentice’s five campaign priorities was to establish Alberta as an environmental leader. Wind energy offers Alberta an important opportunity to cost-effectively reduce emissions and demonstrate Alberta’s commitment to clean energy and environmental leadership.
As the birthplace of commercial wind energy in Canada and the 3rd largest producer of wind in Canada, Alberta generates over 5 per cent of its electricity from wind – enough electricity to power approximately 600,000 average sized homes.
“While Alberta has developed and constructed many high quality wind energy projects, the province’s vast, enviable wind resource remains largely untapped,” says Robert Hornung, CanWEA president.
Despite the real and recognizable economic and environmental benefits of increasing wind energy’s supply in Alberta, the market poses challenges to financing projects. The capital-intensive nature of renewable energy projects make them extremely difficult to finance in Alberta’s merchant market.
“To ensure Alberta can capitalize on its clean energy potential, CanWEA is dedicated to finding solutions that create the opportunity for wind energy projects to compete for financing,” states Dr. Tim Weis, CanWEA’s Alberta Regional Director. “Wind energy is a proven, reliable and cost-competitive energy partner and we look forward to work with Alberta’s new Premier to find workable market solutions to demonstrate Alberta’s commitment to the environment.”