4th Annual Global Wind Day on June 15th

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Here are some simple, verifiable facts about wind energy around the planet, to update you since our previous Global Wind Day report in 2011. To learn more about the many celebrations of wind energy happening all around the world on June 15th, you can go to this site, http://www.globalwindday.org/about-wind-day

  • Canada’s wind energy industry enjoyed a record year in 2011 with approximately 1,267 MW of new wind energy capacity representing an investment of $3.1 billion and creating 13,000 person-years of employment, much of which is in Canada.
  • Canada was in 6th place globally in terms of new installed wind energy capacity in 2011 and currently has 5,403 MW of total installed capacity – enough to power more than 1.2 million homes.
  • Canada is on track to install more than 1,500 MW of new wind energy capacity in a record setting 2012.  It is expected to easily surpass 10,000 MW of total installed capacity by 2015 – providing new opportunities for Canadian manufacturers and bringing significant levels of new investment, jobs and economic benefits to rural communities and landowners across the country.
  • Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA, says that “Canada, and in particular Ontario, has emerged as a very competitive destination for wind energy investment globally. This industry represents billions of dollars in new investments across the manufacturing and construction sectors. Wind energy is playing a growing role in delivering clean, safe and affordable energy as provinces look to build stronger electricity systems. Maintaining this growth and momentum will require continued commitments to aggressive targets for wind energy development and a stable policy framework.”
  • In North America, just over 50,000 MW is expected to be installed in 2012-2016, bringing its total to just over 100,000 MW of wind energy at the end of the period. The Global Wind Energy Council  (GWEC) expects a strong 2012 for North America as both Canada and Mexico project well over 1,000 MW of wind energy capacity to be installed – complementing another strong year for the US which began the year with more than 8,000 MW under construction.
  • The global wind energy industry will install more than 46,000 MW of new wind energy capacity in 2012. Overall, GWEC projects average annual market growth rates of about 8 per cent for the next five years. Total new installations for the 2012-2016 period are expected to reach 255,000 MW.  A significant portion of this growth will be driven by China, India and Brazil, with important contributions also coming from new markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • Wind, solar and other renewable energy sources currently account for some 20 per cent of Germany’s  electricity production and are set to produce a third of it within a decade, reaching 80 per cent by 2050.
  • The top 10 global leaders for new installed capacity in 2011 were: PR China (17,631 MW), USA (6,810 MW), India (3,019 MW), Germany (2,086 MW), UK (1,293 MW), Canada (1,267 MW), Spain (1,050 MW), Italy (950 MW), France (830 MW), Sweden (763 MW).

I’ll leave you with these thoughts from Lester R. Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute and author of his latest book, “World on the Edge-How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse”:

If we make a full commitment to renewable energy, Brown writes, by 2020, the world could produce all our electricity from solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal, and we could phase out fossil fuels.”

“For the first time since the Industrial Revolution began,” he says, “we are investing in sources of energy that can last as long as the Earth itself.”

Sources : GWEC ( Global Wind Energy Council ) www.gwec.net and CanWEA ( Canadian Wind Energy Association ) www.canwea.ca

Article submitted by Don Ross for the County Sustainability Group www.countysustainability.ca