2006 A Record Breaking Year for the Global Wind Energy Industry with Canada now ranking 12th in the World for Total Installed Wind Energy Capacity
Wind Energy A Growing Contributor to Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
(Ottawa) – Based on the latest data issued by the Global Wind Energy Council, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) believes that Canada has begun to demonstrate that it is joining the global movement to rapidly implement green and renewable wind energy.
“By more than doubling its total installed capacity to 1,460 MW by year end 2006, a record, Canada became the world’s 12th largest nation in terms of installed wind energy capacity,” says Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA. “Nonetheless, wind energy continues to grow more quickly in many other countries and we are still far from tapping the full economic and environmental potential of wind energy in Canada”.
Only six countries installed more than the 776 MW installed in Canada last year. Figures just released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) show that the installed capacity of wind energy worldwide increased by a record 15,197 MW in 2006 (32%), bringing total wind energy capacity to 74,223 MW – enough to power 22.5 million homes worldwide.
Increasingly, Canada, like many other nations, is turning to environmentally friendly sources for power in an effort to reduce its footprint on the environment. Wind energy is estimated to have reduced global emissions of carbon dioxide (the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission) by 90 megatons in 2006. In Canada, it is estimated that every 1,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity will reduce annual emissions of carbon dioxide by a minimum of 1.2 million tonnes.
“Canadians want to see strong leadership on the environment. If Canada is to become a global wind energy leader, federal and provincial governments must move decisively and swiftly to develop and implement comprehensive wind energy strategies,” says Robert Hornung. “There can be no doubt that wind energy must be a central component of any strategy seeking to reduce air pollution and address climate change.”
Provincial governments are currently seeking to put in place a minimum of 10,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity by 2015. In that same time period, GWEC projects that installed wind energy capacity globally will increase to 171,000 MW.
Wind energy is also big business. The total value of new wind energy generating equipment installed globally in 2006 was US$ 23 billion and it is estimated that some 163,000 people are now directly employed by the wind energy industry worldwide. According to CanWEA estimates, Canada’s wind energy industry contributed $736 million to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2005. That same year, there were 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs (FTE) in the wind energy industry, an increase of 65% over 2004. Achieving the minimum goal of 10,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity in the country would mean, among other benefits, thousands of jobs in manufacturing, project development, operations and maintenance.
Wind energy produces no air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to its environmental benefits, wind energy delivers substantial economic benefits to rural communities across Canada through investment and job creation, lease income for landowners, and a new tax base for municipal governments.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) represents more than 290 companies involved in Canada’s wind energy industry, including wind turbine and component manufacturers, wind energy project developers, and service providers to the wind energy industry.
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Canada’s current installed capacity
Federal and provincial initiatives on wind energy
Global Installed Wind Energy Capacity Data
For information about CanWEA and its activities, visit www.canwea.ca.
For more information: Lisa Brazeau