The strategic value of Canada’s vast clean energy resources was in the spotlight as key political and wind energy industry leaders gathered for the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) annual Spring Forum, held April 4-5 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel in the National Capital Region.
The event featured a keynote address from the Honourable James Gordon Carr, the federal Minister of Natural Resources, who outlined his government’s efforts to ensure Canada will compete and thrive in the ongoing global transition to a low-carbon economy.
The forum’s line up of expert speakers examined wind energy’s role in that shift, delving into the opportunity to foster economic growth with policies that signal the need for investment in new emission-free electricity and green infrastructure, and investment to encourage electrification and bolster clean energy exports.
Photo: The Hon. Jim Carr (centre) Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources on his way to deliver a keynote address at the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s 2017 Annual Spring Forum on Wed., April 5 in Gatineau, QC.
Vice-president of public affairs at the American Wind Energy Association, Peter Kelley used his keynote address on the forum’s opening day to discuss the future prospects for wind energy development in the U.S. and the potential impact of President Donald Trump’s policies. Business leaders also weighed in on what the future holds for clean technology in the Trump era, concluding the new administration is unlikely to stop the rise of renewable energy in the face of plummeting technology costs and state-led climate change initiatives. In fact, delegates heard growing demand for carbon-free electricity in the U.S. Northeast represents a significant new growth opportunity for Canada’s wind energy sector.
Forum participants also heard about new wind energy procurement in Saskatchewan as it moves to 50 per cent electricity generation capacity from renewable energy by 2030, and how the industry is well-positioned to deliver new affordable, emissions-free electricity to Ontario and Quebec when it is needed.