Quality data collection key to showcase industry growth, benefits
June 2, 2015
How can we measure clean energy growth? Equally important – how can we demonstrate that we have been successful in developing the wind energy industry in Canada? How can we say with certainty that wind energy is one of the fastest growing new sources of electricity generation in Canada, and around the world? We do know that wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity that is bringing direct environmental and economic benefits to communities in every province in Canada, and so the need to both measure and demonstrate these benefits using reliable data and analytics has become increasingly important in all industries, including our own.
Canadians do not benefit from a centralized repository for energy and electrical data, as is the case in the United States with respect to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or the United States Energy Information Administration (US EIA). However, quality industry data, including numbers on wind energy generation, jobs created in the industry and investments made in Canadian communities are just a few examples of extremely useful numbers, not only for the members of our growing industry, but also for key decision makers and the general public. Quality data will, for example, help support internal decision making by wind farm owners; help support governments and regulatory bodies with regards to future power system planning and policy decisions; and help citizens and communities stay informed with regards to proposed projects in their municipalities, by outlining the future growth and benefits a project is expected to bring. In recognizing this growing need for good, high quality data, CanWEA will continue to work with our members, and ramp-up our efforts with regards to data collection.
In the meantime, I encourage you to take some time to explore the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) new REsource. This tool will allow users to easily locate country-specific data, create customized charts and graphs, and compare different regions with regards to metrics such as renewable energy use and deployment. REsource also provides information on general renewable energy market statistics, potentials, policies, finance, costs, benefits, innovations, education and many other topics.
For a specific look at some quality data coming directly from Canada don’t forget to check out the Pembina Institute’s new interactive B.C. Clean Energy Jobs Map! This interactive map highlights clean energy jobs in British Columbia, including 1,300 jobs just from wind and solar energy.
Stay tuned for updated job numbers for Quebec and Ontario throughout the year!
Featured Photo ©Siemens Canada Limited
Vice-President of Policy and Communications at the Canadian Wind Energy Association