Record year for wind energy
- January 15, 2015
For the second consecutive year, Canada has set a record for the installation of new wind energy capacity, according to the latest statistics from the Canadian Wind Energy Association.
A total of 1,871 MW of wind energy capacity was installed in five provinces in Canada in 2014, with most growth centred in Ontario (850 MW), Quebec (439 MW) and Alberta (350 MW). Canada ended 2014 with nearly 9,700 MW of installed wind energy capacity, producing enough electricity to meet the needs of over 3,000,000 million average Canadian homes every year.
The Canadian market was split between seven wind turbine manufacturers in 2014, however, more than 98 per cent of new wind capacity came from five manufacturers. Installations were led by Siemens, followed by GE, Vestas, ENERCON and Senvion. Siemens and GE supplied over 50 per cent of wind turbines in 2014.
"Canada's 37 new wind energy projects in 2014 represent over $3.5 billion in investment," said CanWEA president Robert Hornung. "Wind energy has now brought economic growth and diversification to more than 100 rural communities across Canada through land lease income, tax payments and community benefits agreements. Of the 37 new wind energy projects installed in 2014, 15 projects also include significant ownership stakes from First Nations, Municipal Corporations or local farmers."
2014 also produced more evidence of the cost-competitiveness of wind energy, as the year ended with Quebec awarding contracts for 446 MW of new wind energy projects that will provide power at an average cost of 6.3 cents / kWh. While every market is unique, it is clear that wind energy can compete on cost with virtually all forms of new electricity generation, including nuclear, hydroelectric, and coal-fired power.
"Wind energy has demonstrated that it is a proven, reliable and cost-competitive energy solution that drives economic diversification, environmental sustainability and rate-base value," adds Hornung. "These attributes will continue to drive wind energy growth in 2015, where we expect a minimum of another 1,500 MW of new wind energy capacity to come on line. This coming year will also see new wind energy contracts awarded in Ontario, a new Energy Strategy in Quebec, and a new climate change framework in Alberta that may open the door to accelerated wind energy development in that province."