Canada’s wind energy sector is ready to invest in projects worth billions of dollars in Alberta and Saskatchewan as governments in both provinces implement policies to significantly increase the amount of emissions-free electricity on their power grids, industry leaders agreed at the kick-off of the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) 32nd Annual Conference and Exhibition in Calgary this week.
More than 1,500 wind energy professionals from Canada and around the world are attending CanWEA 2016, being held November 1 to 3 at the BMO Centre.
“Many new growth opportunities for our industry have emerged in the west and that’s why it’s so important to be here in Calgary at the heart of the action,” said CanWEA President, Robert Hornung. “Wind energy represents a massive opportunity for Alberta and Saskatchewan and capitalizing on the world-class wind resources in the region can help both provinces meet aggressive climate change goals in a cost-effective way.”
He added: “The industry is eager to demonstrate how wind energy can help position both provinces for success in the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
The Alberta government recently announced that it will support the installation of 5,000 MW of renewable energy as it works to meet its goal of 30% renewable electricity by 2030 — a plan expected to attract at least $10.5 billion in new investment and create a minimum of 7,200 new jobs. Saskatchewan has also targeted the addition of at least 1,600 MW of wind energy to its electricity supply mix over the next 15 years.
Both provinces are expected to start the process of purchasing new wind power before the end of the year.
“Over the next few years, a large number of SaskPower’s generating facilities will reach the end of their life spans, and on top of that, we expect demand for electricity to continue to grow as our province grows,” said Guy Bruce, VP of planning, environment, and sustainable development at SaskPower. “Wind energy is an affordable way to help meet that challenge, and at the same time help SaskPower meet its goal of reducing electricity sector greenhouse emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.”
Delegates also heard from panels of industry and business leaders who noted that the significant long-term targets for new clean energy development in both provinces has attracted the attention of numerous investors who are looking forward to further implementation details that will enable them to move forward on plans to help both provinces capitalize on their massive wind energy potential.
Alberta will be back in the spotlight on Thursday, when The Honorable Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the climate change office addresses delegates at the morning plenary, followed by the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) VP of renewables development and sustainability, Michael Law, who will speak at Thursday’s keynote luncheon.
Filed Under: News, Policy, Projects