Canada - Wind power potential in Quebec high enough to supply the entire North American Continent

690 MW of installed wind energy capacity installed in 2010 / Canada takes up 9th global position in terms of newly installed capacity

Wind Map of OntarioWind Map of Ontario
Canada’s wind energy industry took another step forward in 2010 with the addition of 690 MW of installed wind energy capacity, positioning Canada in 9th place globally in terms of new installed capacity and 9th for overall cumulative installed capacity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) recently released ‘Global Wind Report 2010’.

“Wind energy is well established in many European countries and has a long history in the United States, but it’s still a relatively new contributor to Canada’s electricity supply,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). “With the continued growth of wind energy we see the evolution of a new and vibrant industry that is delivering manufacturing jobs, revitalizing rural economies, and generating emissions-free power. The results from 2010 are encouraging, but we look forward to even greater growth in 2011 and beyond.”

Canada’s contribution to wind energy in 2010 represents $1.7 billion in new investment. New projects commissioned in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, brought Canada’s total installed wind energy capacity to 4,008 MW by the end of 2010. Today’s Canada’s total installed wind energy capacity stands at 4,285 MW – comprised of 2,570 wind turbines operating at 131 wind farms.

Hydro-Québec's refusal to buy excess energy remains the biggest hurdle in building an alternative energy society in Quebec. In Ontario, any customer who installs solar energy, wind turbines, bioenergy or small hydro can sell the energy to Ontario Power Authority at a rate guaranteed to cover the customer's investment costs plus yield a small profit. This is referred to as a feed-in-tariff program.

Number of megawatts under development since Ontario began its feed-in-tariff program in September 2010: 3,443.

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Posted by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
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