The wind industry can help Western Canada's provincial governments capitalize on the region's massive – but yet untapped – wind resources to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and support economic diversification.
According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), although the wind energy has begun to make a significant contribution to electricity generation in Western Canada, much more is possible.
‘Canada's western provinces are on the cusp of a number of important policy decisions that will determine what the scope and shape of future wind energy development in these provinces will be,’ says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. ‘We are committed to working with provincial governments to capture Western Canada's wind energy opportunity.’
Governments in Western Canada are coping with the challenges posed by the economic impact of low oil prices and the need to reduce GHG emissions, and cost-competitive wind energy is well positioned to help address these issues.
‘Clean and renewable wind energy can help reduce fossil fuel use in the electricity sector and can also reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in other sectors through the electrification of transportation, space heating and some industrial processes,’ says Hornung. ‘There is no doubt wind energy has a critical role to play in facilitating Western Canada's transition to a low carbon economy.’
CanWEA, which recently concluded its Western Forum 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, says it looks forward to working with governments to develop the new policy frameworks that will shape the future electricity supply mix in Western Canada.