Wind power in the US and Canada on the up

» By | Published 15 Mar 2012 |

North America was the third place regional leader last year in terms of installed wind capacity with a total of 52,184 MW, according to the latest annual statistics recently released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

The US saw an additional 6,810 MW of new wind power capacity added to various grid systems in 2011 while Canada experienced an increase of 1,267 MW, GWEC reported.

By the end of last year, the US had a total of 46,919 MW of installed capacity, GWEC reported, while Canada had 5,265 MW.


Canadian wind power is surging but industry needs political certainty

» By | Published 06 Oct 2011 |

Canada’s wind energy sector has recently become a national success story and the next five years should see continual rapid growth in the industry, the president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) said Wednesday in Vancouver.

But Robert Hornung also told people attending CanWEA’s annual conference that there is significant political uncertainty about the long-term prospects for Canada’s wind market beyond 2016.


Wind power an overwhelming favourite amongst residents of Ontario

» By | Published 05 Aug 2010 |

The growing wind power industry in Canada’s most populated province is both highly regarded and hugely supported, a recent public opinion poll has revealed.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) found almost nine in 10 Ontario residents support wind energy for its economic and environmental benefits.

Sean Simpson of Ipsos Reid said the poll indicated 89% of Ontario residents either strongly supported or somewhat supported wind energy in their region of the province.

“Most also agreed (86%) that their municipal government should encourage and facilitate wind energy development, while a similarly high percentage (85%) believe wind energy can provide economic opportunities and benefits,” Simpson said in a CanWEA press release.

Ontario, which has a population of more than 12 million people, is the second largest province in the nation, covering one million square kilometres. About one-third of Canadians live in Ontario.

CanWEA President Robert Hornung said the poll, which interviewed a sample of 1,361 adults living in Ontario, suggests wind power is popular across the province, regardless of where people live.

“Those polled clearly believe that wind energy not only brings environmental benefits but it can also play a vital role in spurring local and regional economic development,” Hornung said. “There is much to be optimistic about wind’s future in the province, and the poll reflects the fact that Ontario citizens believe in the promise of this growing industry.”


Global Wind Day is celebrated in Canada on the northern shores of Lake Erie

» By | Published 16 Jun 2010 |

Wind power creates sustainable energy, spurs on the economy by providing new jobs and helps reduce stresses on the environment, Stephen Molnar, the mayor of Tillsonburg, Ontario, said during a Global Wind Day tour of the Erie Shores Wind Farm.

“Actually, it’s been an extremely valuable experience,” Molnar said in a telephone interview with the European Wind Energy Association.
Molnar and other politicians were part of a tour Tuesday of the four-year-old Erie Shores facility in southern Ontario, which is described as being one of the largest wind power facilities in Canada, representing nearly 3% of the nation’s installed wind capacity.

Organised to celebrate the second annual Global Wind Day, the tour was proudly hosted by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), which quoted in a press release another local mayor as saying her nearby municipality has benefited greatly from wind energy.

“We sought this opportunity to bring positive change to our region, and have benefited from job creation and increased tax revenues, new tourism and our local farmers now have another source of income,” Lynn Acre, mayor of Bayham, which is home to the Erie Shores Wind Farm, was quoted as saying.

The press release also noted CanWEA President Robert Hornung said it is important to celebrate Global Wind Day in Canada.
“Wind energy is now being produced in every province and we expect wind energy’s rapid growth in Canada to continue with production quadrupling in the next five years,” Hornung said. “With its unparalleled wind resource, large hydroelectric capacity, strong manufacturing base and linkages to the US market, this country has an incredible opportunity to maximize the economic, industrial development, and environmental benefits associated with wind energy.”

A growing number of analysts in Canada, which is the second largest nation in the world and has a population of more than 33 million people, are promoting emissions-free wind energy as a solution to the country’s need for increasing amounts of green electricity.

According to the federal government, fossil fuel combustion is the main source of three major air pollution problems — climate change, acid deposition and urban smog. Canada ranks 27th out of 29 OECD nations in terms of energy use per capita, the government says. Canadians annually consume 6.19 tonnes of oil equivalent per capita. This is almost double the OECD average of 3.18 tonnes of oil equivalent per capita, and more than five times the world average.


Military works with proposed North American wind farm projects

» By | Published 23 Apr 2010 |

Wind power supporters in the United States were told this week that the military understands the importance of the emissions-free technology.

General Victor E. Renuart, Jr., who is in charge of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, said the military is dedicated to both homeland defense and clean energy.

“We feel strongly that alternate [energy] sources are vital to our nation’s future,” Renault said in his commander’s blog. “I also know that the defense of our homelands is an equally vital responsibility. I honestly believe that both can be achieved together.”

Norad is charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. The Norad website says aerospace warning includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles. Aerospace control includes ensuring air sovereignty and air defense of the airspace of Canada and the United States.

According to Associated Press, construction of a 338-turbine wind farm in Oregon has been put on hold while experts study whether it will interfere with a nearby radar station. AP said the Federal Aviation Administration, with Air Force backing, issued a notice in March that effectively bars construction. The Defense Department asked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory to investigate.

In his blog, Renault, who also directs the US Northern Command, said the military appreciates “the importance of projects that enable the energy independence of both the US and Canada, and we fully support their development.”

The general said planners regularly evaluate proposed development projects such as wind farms, hotels, or other structures to assess whether they could hinder the military’s ability to detect and provide the warning and defense necessary to keeping North America safe.

Renault also said military planners suggest potential solutions to possible problems discovered in such development proposals.

“These situations really don’t happen all that frequently,” he said.