Provincial leadership is playing an important role in moving Canada’s wind market forward as policymakers look to balance cost-effective electricity supply with growing pressure to clean up their power grids and build sustainable economies – and that is exactly what delegates witnessed first-hand on the final day of the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s 32nd Annual Conference and Exhibition today in Calgary.
This morning, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, The Honourable Shannon Phillips, spoke in front of a packed plenary room at CanWEA 2016, announcing that the Alberta government is introducing the Renewable Electricity Act to legislate its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 and announced that Alberta will be proceeding with a procurement of an initial 400 megawatts of renewable energy as a first step towards meeting the target.
At noon, delegates heard more about Alberta’s plans from the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) Michael Law, who spoke about the renewable electricity program principles and objectives. Mr. Law also provided details on the first competitive procurement under the program. This was followed by a session delving into the market realities of high wind integration in Alberta, including the findings of CanWEA’s ground-breaking Pan-Canadian Wind Integration Study, which demonstrated how Canada can get more than one-third of its electricity from wind energy without compromising grid reliability, and at the same time dramatically cut emissions, save billions in fossil fuel costs and generate new export opportunities.
Much of Wednesday’s program was devoted to Canada’s rapidly expanding wind energy operations and maintenance (O&M) market, with representatives from some of the country’s largest wind farm operators weighing in on strategies to boost efficiency, improve productivity and lower costs. Ongoing innovation on the O&M side of the business helps position the wind industry to play its part in meeting ambitious climate and sustainability goals as effectively as possible.
“By directly reinvesting costs from carbon pollution into renewables we expect to keep consumer prices low as we create the largest renewable energy market in Canada.”
-The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, Province of Alberta
“Canada’s wind industry is leaving this year’s conference energized and excited about the opportunities that are emerging as governments, utilities and consumers across Canada recognize that wind energy not only benefits the climate, but makes economic sense as well. Our job now is to continue to innovate, continue to improve our technology and lower our costs, and continue to advocate for forward-thinking policies that will make sure Canada gets its share of the billions of dollars of investment expected to flow into wind energy over the next quarter-century.”
– Robert Hornung, president, CanWEA
“Canada is home to the seventh largest wind generating fleet in the world, with more than 11,000 MW of wind projects delivering not just clean and cost-effective energy to consumers, but new jobs and investment to communities right across the country. As the country’s wind market expands to include a greater focus on the western provinces, those benefits will only grow.”
– Jean-François Nolet, vice-president of policy and communications, CanWEA
- Today’s Alberta Environment and Parks Announcement – Renewable electricity plan to create jobs, spur investment http://aep.alberta.ca/news/default.aspx
- Today’s statement by CanWEA on Alberta announcements: Alberta Takes Action to Become Canada’s Largest Market for New Wind Energy Investment
- Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Outlook 2016 forecasts that US$7.8 trillion will be invested in green power over the next 25 years, with onshore and offshore wind attracting $3.1 trillion.
- Canada currently has more than 11,200 MW of wind energy, the seventh largest wind generating fleet in the world. More wind energy has been built in Canada over the last five years than any other form of electricity generation, with installed capacity growing by an average of 23 per cent a year over that time frame. To learn more, please visit the Wind Markets section of CanWEA’s website.
- Data for CanWEA’s landmark study on Canada-wide wind integration now accessible.
- CanWEA 2016 event website: www.windenergyevent.ca.
CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. 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. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more at www.canwea.ca.
About the CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition
The CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition is organized by Hannover Fairs Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe AG, in partnership with the Canadian Wind Energy Association. The event is Canada’s biggest wind-energy fair. CanWEA 2016 is scheduled for November 1-3, 2016 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Hannover Fairs develops and manages marketing programs at Deutsche Messe events in Hannover, Germany and the United States, as well as in such key emerging markets as China, India and Turkey. Working closely with its clients, Hannover Fairs helps them maintain their competitive position on and off the event floor. The company’s programs reflect the global scope of Deutsche Messe’s activities and include such world-renowned B-to-B trade fairs as CeBIT (information and communications technology), DOMOTEX (floor coverings), HANNOVER MESSE (industrial technology), and LIGNA HANNOVER (forestry and wood industries).