Wind energy's contribution to Canada's electricity supply is expected to grow by nearly 20% by the end of this year as the country adds nearly 1.2 GW of wind power this year, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) announced at the 28th annual CanWEA Conference and Exhibition, which is being held in Toronto this week.
This will mark the second consecutive year that over 1 GW of newly installed capacity was added.
According to CanWEA, every gigawatt of new wind energy drives C$2.5 billion in investments, creates 10,500 person-years of employment and provides enough clean energy to power over 300,000 Canadian homes.
This year, Canada will see wind energy projects commissioned in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, and over 60% of Canada's new wind energy capacity installed this year will be in Quebec.
By the end of this year, Canada will have over 6.4 GW of cumulative installed wind energy capacity. Ontario will remain the provincial leader, with over 2 GW installed, and Quebec and Alberta will follow, with approximately 1.6 GW and 1.1 GW, respectively. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia has proven to be a leader by establishing a program to support community-based wind energy.
Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are all moving forward with new requests for wind energy this year, and projects are currently under construction in several provinces, particularly Quebec and Ontario. CanWEA is also confident that Quebec will move ahead with a fourth call for tenders this year, and CanWEA says that could lead to a record year for Canadian wind energy development in 2013.
"There are many examples of leadership in supporting renewable energy across Canada, but we must see more action by governments in British Columbia and Alberta to capitalize on those provinces' enormous wind energy potential," says CanWEA President Robert Hornung. "Canada can be a world leader in producing clean energy that reduces our greenhouse-gas emissions. This is not about tomorrow or some future that we can dream about – this is about taking responsibility today."