The Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) held its annual Spring Forum on April 4-5, 2017 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel in the National Capital Region.
More than 120 wind energy professionals, including representatives from leading global companies, attended CanWEA Spring Forum 2017. The event featured a keynote address from 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. “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,” said Carr.
Expert speakers portrayed the wind energy as an opportunity to spur economic growth by investing in new emission-free electricity and green infrastructure. Business leaders said that the Trump administration is unlikely to stop the rise of renewable energy in the face of plummeting technology costs and state-led climate change initiatives, and that the growing demand for carbon-free electricity in the U.S. Northeast represents a significant new growth opportunity for Canada’s wind energy sector.
“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,” said Robert Hornung, the President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
“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.”
According to CanWEA, Canada has11,898 MW of wind energy capacity, enough to power 3 million homes, or 6% of the national electricity demand. In 2016, 21 projects have been completed adding 702 MW of new installed capacity, representing over $1.5 billion of investment. Canada has the world’s eighth largest wind generating fleet.
Presenting the Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan (March 2, 2017), Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne acknowledged that the green policy came with a cost as “we clearly did not always get the implementation right.” Wynne said, “For example, the incentives we first put in place to encourage green energy production were too generous and we’ve had to bring them down.”