Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ontario targets 450% growth in wind capacity

New Energy World Network

The government of Ontario has launched its Long Term Energy Plan calling for an increase in renewable energy developments to 10.7GW by 2018.

The energy plan represents a 450 per cent growth in installed wind capacity in the next seven years, from 1.59GW to 7GW.

The Canadian province has sent mixed messages to the wind power industry this week, making a call to increase the region’s use of wind power after putting a moratorium on all offshore wind projects earlier in the week.

The new energy plan involves the installation of new transmission system upgrades and is expected to lead to the creation of at least 12,500 new jobs.

The plan is also anticipated to lead to more than $12.5bn in new investment in the province, and $22m in annual lease payments to landowners.

Wind energy represents a significant majority of the developments under its energy plan, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

CanWEA president Robert Hornung said, ‘Reaffirming the government’s target for new wind energy supply and proceeding quickly with new contracts for wind energy projects and necessary transmission system upgrades will strengthen investor confidence that Ontario is a good place to do business.’

Wind energy has increased ten-fold in the last six years in Canada as governments seek ways to meet rising energy demand, CanWEA said.

The country has more than 4.15GW of installed wind energy capacity, close to 1.59GW of which is in Ontario. Quebec and Alberta each have less than half this level of wind power, with 663MW and 806MW of installed wind capacity, respectively.

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