|February 08, 2012|
Canada in wind power top 10
|Canada ranks ninth in the world in wind power installations, after a year that saw the business grow by 21 per cent globally.|
New figures released by the Global Wind Energy Council, a trade association that promotes the industry, show Canada now has 5,265 megawatt of wind capacity, producing enough power for about 2.3 per cent of its electricity requirements. That's up by about 1,300 megawatts from a year earlier.
Canada's ninth place ranking is the same as last year, as wind installations have accelerated in other parts of the world as well. China remains by far the largest installer of wind turbines, making up more than a quarter of the world market with a capacity of 62,733 megawatts. The United States is second with about 47,000 MW, and Germany is third at 29,000 MW.
China is also growing at the fastest pace, having added 18,000 MW of wind in the past year.
GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer said wind installations are now growing quickly in new markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He said growth rates will not be maintained, however, unless there is a global price on carbon.
Canadian Wind Energy Association president Robert Hornung said Canada needs aggressive targets for wind energy development, and a "stable policy framework."
Ontario -- Canada's largest market for wind power -- is in the process of reviewing its policies that support renewable energy. The province is expected to make changes soon to its electricity pricing structure which effectively subsidizes wind, solar and other green energy production.
Ontario, and other jurisdictions across Canada, also face vocal opposition from groups that say wind turbines are essentially industrial structures that are defacing rural landscapes, and potential health issues are not understood well enough to go ahead with unbridled growth.