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, highlighted the strategic value of Canada’s vast clean energy resources, noting that wind energy is currently poised to deliver climate and economic solutions.
As reported, the event featured a keynote address from the Honorable 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.
“It’s clear that wind energy’s time has come. My message is a very simple one: Our government is committed to addressing climate change, and we know that wind power will play a critical role in those efforts,” says Carr.
The forum’s lineup 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.
Peter Kelley, vice president of public affairs at the American Wind Energy Association, 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 that 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% 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 needed.
“To make real headway on cutting carbon pollution and to spark clean growth, we need to power more and more of our activities and industries with clean, emissions-free electricity,” says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. “We have the resources, and we have the technology. By pricing carbon, making strategic investments in new transmission infrastructure and setting smart limits on emissions from natural gas generation, we can ensure Canada remains competitive in the rapidly advancing low-carbon economy.”
Photo courtesy of CNW Group/CanWEA – The Honorable Jim Carr, center, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, on his way to deliver a keynote address at CanWEA’s 2017 Annual Spring Forum in Gatineau, Quebec, on Wednesday April 5.