NewEnergyNews: WHAT CANADIAN WIND NEEDS

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

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    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    WHAT CANADIAN WIND NEEDS

    Wind Vision, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) report on the state of the nation’s wind development and what it will take for wind to play a major role in Canadian power generation, says that with effective policies and incentives from Canada’s federal and provincial governments, wind energy could build 55,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity, 20% of Canada’s electricity, by 2025.

    Wind Vision: "[Neither national or provincial governments have] acted as forcefully as governments in other countries to encourage investment in wind power and other emerging renewable energy technologies. So, it's no surprise that we trail much of the world in terms of wind power generation."

    CanWEA is envious of the U.S. wind power industry’s production tax credit (PTC) of 2.1 cents/kilowatt-hour (kW-h) recently extended by Congress as part of the financial rescue package. Canada’s PTC is 1 cent/ kW-h.

    Better policies produce greater growth. There are no technical obstacles to bringing much larger quantities of wind power-generated electricity onto Canada’s transmission grids. Joyce McLean, Chairwoman, CanWEA: "There are only policy barriers…"

    A recent
    Wind Power Survey showed 67% of Canadians want all new electricity generation to come from New Energy sources and 65% are willing to pay a higher rate for electricity generated from New Energy sources.

    The good news: 55,000 megawatts of new wind power = 20,000 turbines and 450 "average" 50-megawatt wind installations (“the size of Prince Edward Island”) = $79 billion (Canadian) of investment, 52,000 full-time jobs, $165 million/year in revenues and stabilized power rates.

    Robert Hornung, President, CanWEA: “The results from The Strategic Council survey show that 87% of Canadians support the 20 per cent by 2025 wind-energy vision…We have the potential, the ability, and the support of Canadians, what we now need is government to step up and come to the table with a regulatory environment that streamlines and aids the development process.”


    click to enlarge

    Industry report cites wind power barriers
    Scott Simpson, October 21, 2008 (Vancouver Sun)
    and
    Canadian Wind Energy Association releases its strategic wind power development program: Wind Vision 2025 – Powering Canada’s Future
    October 20, 2008 (Canadian Wind Energy Association)

    WHO
    The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) (Robert Horning, President, and Joyce McLean, Chairwoman)

    WHAT
    In Wind Vision, CanWEA lays out the policies necessary to drive wind power development and allow Canada to obtain 20% of its electricity generation from wind by the end of this quarter century.

    click to enlarge

    WHEN
    - 2025: A $132 billion investment will make it possible for Canada to get 20% of its power from wind.
    - 2003 to 2008: Canada’s installed capacity grew 500%

    WHERE
    - Canada’s installed wind power capacity is the 16th biggest in the world.
    - While Canada has not yet acted nationally to put a price on emissions, experiments with a carbon tax are under way in British Columbia and Ontario.
    - European nations impose a tax for emissions via a cap-and-trade system.

    WHY
    - Canada presently gets ~1% of its power from wind energy-generated electricity.
    - CanWEA designated the need for including the price of emissions into the cost for Canadian electricity as one of the most urgent policy matters the government could address in making wind power (and other emissions-free energy sources) more competitive.

    - Other needs designated by the report: increased turbine production, improved transmission and grid access, streamlined permitting.
    - 55,000 megawatts of new wind power would be 20% of Canada’s electricity, 5 times the installed capacity of BC Hydro's hydroelectric generating stations.
    - Hydroelectric power is regarded as "firm" or “baseload” power while windpower-generated electricity is thought of as intermittent.
    - The wind industry in Canada has been forced into “boom and bust cycles” trying to respond to BC Hydro’s periods of shortages.
    - The international wind energy market is presently valued at $1.8 trillion.

    click to enlarge

    QUOTES
    - Robert Horning, President, CanWEA: "It sounds like a big number -- it is a big number…But we are going to be investing hundreds of billions of dollars [anyway] in new electricity generation and transmission infrastructure over the next two decades -- remember that we haven't had significant investment in these sectors for a long time."

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