Canada’s Wind Energy industry has seen steady growth in recent years. The country already relies heavily on sources of clean, renewable energy, like hydro-electric power, to provide electricity to its citizens. There is still room for growth, however, and expansion in the areas of technology and the manufacturing of wind turbine equipment are key. With a vast amount of available land and many kilometers of coastlines on two oceans, as well as the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay, the trade organization CanWEA, is seeking to get the country’s wind energy capacity up to 20% by the year 2025. It is the goal of this trade association to position Canada as one of the world leaders in wind energy technology. As Canada’s capacity to produce wind energy increases, the opportunities to export this energy will expand as well.
The Canadian and American Wind Energy Possibilities
The electricity grid in Canada makes it ideal for the development of wind technology. The country’s grid already incorporates a large amount of renewable energy in the form of hydroelectricity, so the incorporation of wind is a natural fit. With the surplus of wind produced by provinces like Ontario, Canada can now supply other countries with electricity produced by wind energy.
Canada is the second largest producer of natural gas in the Western Hemisphere. The overwhelming majority of Canada’s energy surplus is exported to the United States. Much of the oil and natural gas used by the United States is imported from Canada as well.
Canada’s Wind Technology is Ready for Export
The future does indeed seem bright for Canada’s wind energy sector. Not only is the incorporation of wind energy growing within the country and supplying more and more energy to Canadian households each year, it is projected that Canada may someday be a supplier of wind energy technology and equipment to the world. Regionally, Canada has been an energy trading partner with the US for quite some time, but now there is the opportunity to export not just electricity, but equipment as well. The construction of wind turbines requires roughly 8,000 separate components. This includes electronics as well as metal parts. Canadian manufacturers already produce towers, blades and nacelle covers which house the turbine’s generating components. These parts are used in the construction of wind turbines built in the country as well as in other parts of the world.
Job Creation & Future Growth
The growth of the wind energy industry in Canada is good news for the job market as well. In terms of job creation, wind energy has provided an enormous boom. The WindTRM is an initiative that was developed to look at the long-term benefits of the wind energy industry in Canada. The organization hopes that wind energy will create 52,000 jobs and can create $330 million in local taxes and land lease revenues, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 mega tonnes.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or ACOA is a government agency that helps boost economic activity in the Atlantic Provinces. ACOA recognizes the enormous potential of wind energy in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. These areas have seen an increase in wind farm construction and make great contributions to Canada’s electric gird.
There is much research and development being done to ensure this area stays at the forefront of renewable energy. Organizations like the Wind Energy Institute of Canada are testing new and innovative wind energy systems with the hopes of increasing capacity. The export potential for wind energy technology is great and Canada has the potential to supply the world with not only wind power, but the capacity to produce this energy as well.