A record year for Canada’s wind industry according to the data from Canadian Wind Energy Association (Can WEA) show us that 2010’s goals were exceeded and 1400 megawatts of wind power capacity was installed in 2011.
The country holds ninth largest wind power capacity in the world enough to power 1.5 million homes. As an investment objective this represents almost $3.5 billion and as well as 13,500 jobs.
CanWEA President Robert Hornung said that the major driving force behind were request for proposal deadlines. The country’s primary method to develop wind power has been through provincial governments and utilities requesting proposals from companies and awarding contracts to them.
“Wind capacity in Canada will double over the next five years as more contracts reach their deadlines” explains Hornung because more than 6,000 MW of wind power projects have been contracted to be constructed over the next five years.
Quebec and Nova Scotia have issued new policy this year and Saskatchewan is working on a revised target. The province of Ontario is the leader in renewable energy policy in Canada. Ontario represents one of the most attractive areas for the renewable energy investment in the world. This is the result of implementing the financial incentives included in its Green Energy Act. More than 500 MW of wind energy is expected to be added to Ontario’s grid by the end of 2011 so is no surprise the province led the charge in wind energy development this year.
Hornung says the long-term growth potential of the wind industry relies on some fairly volatile factors such as government policy and energy prices but he remains quite optimistic about the future. “Wind energy has been the fastest growing source of electricity in Canada over the last eight years. This parallels what we’ve seen across the globe.”