Canada is expected to have another record year for wind energy development in 2012, with the addition of approximately 1.5 GW of new installed capacity, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).
Canada's wind energy industry enjoyed a record year in 2011, with approximately 1.267 GW of new wind energy capacity representing an investment of $3.1 billion. Canada was in 6th place globally in terms of new installed wind energy capacity in 2011 and currently has 5.403 GW of total installed capacity – enough to power more than 1.2 million homes.
According to CanWEA, Canada's wind energy industry is now on track to easily surpass 10 GW of total installed capacity by 2015.
"Canada – and, in particular, Ontario – has emerged as a very competitive destination for wind energy investment globally," says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. "This industry represents billions of dollars in new investments across the manufacturing and construction sectors.
"Wind energy is playing a growing role in delivering clean, safe and affordable energy as provinces look to build stronger electricity systems," he continues. "Maintaining this growth and momentum will require continued commitments to aggressive targets for wind energy development and a stable policy framework."
In North America, just over 50 GW is expected to be installed between 2012 and 2016, bringing the total to just over 100 GW of wind energy at the end of the period.
The global wind energy industry will install more than 46 GW of new wind energy capacity this year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Overall, GWEC projects average annual market growth rates of about 8% for the next five years.
Total new installations for the 2012-2016 period are expected to reach 255 GW. A significant portion of this growth will be driven by China, India and Brazil, with important contributions also coming from new markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The top 10 global leaders for new installed capacity in 2011 were as follows: China (17.631 GW), U.S. (6.810 GW), India (3.019 GW), Germany (2.086 GW), U.K. (1.293 GW), Canada (1.267 GW), Spain (1.050 GW), Italy (950 MW), France (830 MW) and Sweden (763 MW).