With a growing global effort to develop climate change solutions and increase renewable electricity production, along with Canada’s strengths in offshore and ocean sectors, Marine Renewables Canada has made a strategic decision to grow its focus by officially including offshore wind energy in its mandate.
“Many of our members working on tidal and wave energy projects also have expertise that can service offshore wind projects both domestically and internationally,” says Tim Brownlow, Chair of Marine Renewables Canada. “For us, offshore wind is a natural fit and our involvement will help ensure that Canadian companies and researchers are gaining knowledge and opportunities in the offshore wind sector as it grows.”
Canada has the longest coastlines in the world, giving it huge potential for offshore wind energy development. In addition to the resource, Canada has significant capabilities from offshore and marine industries that can contribute to offshore wind energy projects. The global offshore wind energy industry, estimated to grow by over 650% by 2030, presents new opportunities for Canadian business.
“The federal government’s recent inclusion of offshore renewables in legislation and support for emerging renewable energy technologies are important steps toward building this industry,” says Elisa Obermann, executive director of Marine Renewables Canada. “There are still challenges to address before we’ll see offshore wind energy development in Canada, but we see a great opportunity to get more involved now, increase our experience, and help inform future development.”
Like wave and tidal energy, offshore wind projects operate in harsh marine environments and development presents many of the same challenges and benefits as it does for other marine renewable energy resources. Marine Renewables Canada has recognized that there is significant overlap between offshore wind and wave and tidal energy when it comes to the supply chain, regulatory issues, and the operating environment. The association plans to focus on similarities and synergies of the resources in order to advance the sector as a whole and ensure that clean electricity from waves, tides, rivers, and offshore wind plays a significant role in Canada’s low-carbon future.
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