5th Annual Global Wind Day on June 15th

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Don Ross, member of the County Sustainability Group (CSG), a gathering of Prince Edward County residents with a common interest and desire to bring sustainability challenges to public attention, was once again this year’s Global Wind Day Ambassador.

In the lead up to Global Wind Day, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) recruit Global Wind Day Ambassadors to spread the word on wind energy. In 2012 eighteen VIPs and other personalities committed to renewables, particularly wind energy, signed up to become Ambassadors for Global Wind Day.

Each year on Global Wind Day Don writes to his local paper with an article celebrating the growth of wind energy around the world. This year the following article was published in the County Weekly news on June 13, 2013.

5th Annual Global Wind Day on June 15th

Did you know these FACTS about wind energy in Canada and around the world? All of these FACTS can be easily verified  :

  • Canada installed 936 MW of new wind energy capacity in 2012, making it the ninth largest market in the world last year.
  • Both China and the United States, the world’s wind energy leaders, installed more than 13,000 MW of new wind energy in 2012.
  • Europe, bolstered by contributions from emerging markets in Sweden, Romania, Italy and Poland, installed a record 12,400 MW GW last year.
  • Other markets that reached milestones in 2012 include Mexico, which more than doubled its installed capacity to 1,370 MW with addition of 801 MW of new wind, and Brazil, which led the Latin America market with 1,077 MW of installations to bring its total installed capacity to just over 2,500 MW.
  • Canada now ranks ninth globally in total installed wind energy capacity, with more than 6,500 MW operating across the country.
  • Wind turbines in Canada generate enough electricity to meet the annual needs of nearly two million Canadian homes.
  • New wind projects came online in Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories in 2012.
  • Quebec saw the largest gains in 2012 with the addition of four new wind farms totalling 430.8 MW, and is expected to lead Canada to a record year for installations in 2013.
  • In May 2013, the Quebec government announced plans to buy another 800 MW of clean wind energy. The government’s commitment will generate investments of nearly $2 billion and secure 5,000 jobs in the wind energy industry in Quebec.
  • The Northwest Territories saw its first large-scale wind generating facility come online in 2012, with the completion of the 9.2 MW Diavik Wind Farm.
  • Ontario remains Canada’s wind energy leader, with more than 2,000 MW of installed capacity supplying over 3 per cent of the province’s electricity demand. Ontario has reduced use of coal by 90 per cent since 2003.
  • Based on real world operational experience, most electrical grids can obtain at least 20 per cent of their total electricity from wind energy without having to make substantial changes to the existing electrical grid. In fact, in some jurisdictions such as Denmark, wind has at times supplied 100 per cent of the electricity needs of the country.
  • Wind energy is providing high quality jobs for graduates of Fanshawe College, St. Lawrence College and St. Clair College in Ontario, Lethbridge College in Alberta, Groupe Collegia in Quebec and Northern Lights College in BC, to name a few.
  • Wind energy is poised to create hundreds of new jobs in places like Windsor and Tillsonburg where other manufacturing has declined. These are good-paying jobs at a time when every job counts.
  • For every direct job created in the wind energy industry, there are spin -off jobs created in the value chain in areas like construction, transportation, provision of aggregate, etc. Much of the raw materials used in construction of wind farms is sourced locally, so the benefits are experienced at a regional level.
  • Every 1,000 MW of new wind energy drives $2.5 billion in investments, creates 10,500 person-years of employment, and provides enough clean power for over 300,000 Canadian homes.
  • A report by Blue Green Canada entitled “More Bang For Our Buck “ examined the $1.3 billion in taxpayer subsidies the federal government provides to the oil industry and found that if those dollars were invested in renewable energy or energy efficiency it could create between 18,000-20,000 jobs. In comparison, that same amount of money invested in oil and gas would yield less than 3,000 jobs.  See www.bluegreencanada.ca
  • Wind turbines generate electricity without consuming or contaminating water, emitting greenhouse gases, air pollutants, or hazardous waste of any kind – making a healthier environment for all of us.
  • A 150 MW wind farm uses 480 million litres less water each year than a natural gas facility of the same size. That’s equivalent to the volume of 160 Olympic sized swimming pools.
  • The IEA ( International Energy Agency ) recently stated that worldwide, the energy system is thirsty: in 2010, 66 billion cubic meters of water are consumed, and projected to increase consumption by 85 per cent by 2035 – increased use of wind energy will help to reduce our growing thirst for fresh water in the energy sector.
  • Ontario’s 41st annual Air Quality Report shows levels of many air pollutants have dropped across the province and Ontario’s air quality continues to improve, thanks in great part to the replacement of dirty coal with clean energy such as wind.

Learn more about wind energy at www.windfacts.ca and www.globalwindday.org

Submitted by Don Ross of County Sustainability Group www.countysustainability.ca

The CSG’s 15 or so active members collaborate on a biweekly column in a local newspaper, writing on issues ranging from population growth to climate change.  The group, which has another 65 associate members who supports its activities, also has a website (www.countysustainability.ca) where it posts news, position papers, and action alerts on a wide variety of topics.