The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has congratulated new Alberta Premier-designate Jim Prentice on his first-ballot victory on Sept. 6. The group says one of Prentice's five campaign priorities was to establish Alberta as an ‘environmental leader,’ and CanWEA stands ready to work with Prentice's government to ensure wind energy continues to grow in the province.
As the birthplace of commercial wind energy in Canada and the third-largest producer of wind in Canada, Alberta generates over 5% of its electricity from wind, according to CanWEA.
"While Alberta has developed and constructed many high-quality wind energy projects, the province's vast, enviable wind resource remains largely untapped," notes Robert Hornung, CanWEA president.
However, despite the economic and environmental benefits of increasing wind energy's supply in Alberta, CanWEA says the market poses challenges to financing projects: The capital-intensive nature of renewable energy projects make them extremely difficult to finance in Alberta's merchant market.
"To ensure Alberta can capitalize on its clean energy potential, CanWEA is dedicated to finding solutions that create the opportunity for wind energy projects to compete for financing," states Tim Weis, CanWEA's Alberta regional director. "Wind energy is a proven, reliable and cost-competitive energy partner, and we look forward to work with Alberta's new premier to find workable market solutions to demonstrate Alberta's commitment to the environment."