Popular demand drives Canadian small wind market growth
Ottawa, October 13, 2010 - The Canadian market for small wind energy systems is growing rapidly according to a new market study conducted for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The market survey shows that annual sales for small wind energy systems in Canada have grown by 55 per cent over the past two years, despite the global economic downturn. At the same time, Canadian small wind manufacturing capacity has grown, with Canadian firms now representing over half of the world’s manufacturers of mid-size turbines. Small wind systems have a rated capacity of 300 kW or less, and are used to power homes, farms, small businesses and off-grid communities.
“Canadians are increasingly embracing small wind as a way of reducing their environmental footprint while also achieving energy independence. Despite the economic hurdles of the past two years, the small wind industry has experienced strong growth both in Canada and around the world,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA.
Although Canada’s installed small wind capacity is considerably less than the U.S. or the UK, the findings of the market survey compare favourably with the growth of the U.S. and UK small wind markets, the world’s largest and second largest small wind markets, respectively.
“With Canadian manufacturers exporting 87 per cent of their sales, Canada is especially well positioned to benefit from the global rise in small wind sales, as it is home to more than half of the world’s manufacturers of small wind turbines in the 30 to 100 kW range,” said Emilie Moorhouse, CanWEA’s small wind policy manager .“As the small wind market follows large wind’s growth, favourable policies and feed-in-tariffs for small wind could help Canada take its place as a dominant manufacturer, much as Denmark did with the growth of its own wind industry in the 1990’s.”
CanWEA estimates that with favourable policies in place, the industry could sustain annual growth rates averaging 40 per cent over the next 15 years, for an estimated total of 17,900 additional jobs in manufacturing and installation. Without incentives and policies favourable to the industry, CanWEA estimates the industry would only sustain an annual growth rate of 15 per cent.
With the exception of the province of Saskatchewan, there are currently no incentives available for small wind systems in Canada. This is in sharp contrast to several other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. and the UK, who are recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of small wind by offering Feed-in-tariffs or rebates for small wind systems.
The report is available at the following link : http://www.canwea.ca/pdf/SmallWind/canwea-smallwindmarketsurvey-e-web.pdf
CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 400 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country’s electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 – Powering Canada’s Future is available at www.canwea.ca.
For more information:
Media Relations Officer, CanWEA
Direct: 613 234-8716 ext. 228
Mobile: 613 867-4433