CanWEA calls for clear signal for wind energy in wake of Site C decision

Dokie Wind Energy Project
Dokie Wind Energy Project. Image courtesy of GE Energy Financial Services.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) calls on the Government of British Columbiato send a clear signal on future market opportunities for wind energy in British Columbia in the wake of its decision to approve the $8.77 billion Site C hydroelectric dam project.

While Premier Clark indicated that there will be an important role for independent power producers in meeting future power needs inBritish Columbia, today’s announcement failed to provide any signals about either the scale or timing of future market opportunities for wind energy in the province.

“While we are pleased the BC government recognizes the important role power sources like wind energy can play in meeting the province’s future energy needs, we are disappointed that there continues to be no clarity with respect to future market opportunities”, says CanWEA President Robert Hornung. “With no call for power in BC since 2008, the wind energy industry will need a clear signal soon or companies will shift their focus and investments to more promising markets that offer more certainty for investors – representing a significant lost opportunity for British Columbia.”

BC Hydro’s own analysis indicates that wind energy now comprises the bulk of BC’s lowest-cost renewable electricity generation opportunities. BC has a world class wind resource, and there are a multitude of investors looking to build in the province.

Wind energy is a zero-emission, low-impact renewable energy generation source that enjoys strong support from First Nations and British Columbians. Wind can be developed flexibly on a scale that matches changing economic conditions and electricity demand, addresses environmental concerns, and reduces the potential financial risks of new electricity generation to BC ratepayers and taxpayers.

Wind energy is already producing enough electricity in the province to power every household in northern BC and it continues to help spread economic benefits to many more BC communities; creating permanent revenue streams and sustainable jobs in local communities and for First Nations interested in participating in the development and ownership of clean energy projects that will bring new revenues to their communities.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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