CanWEA Responds to Ontario’s Renewable Energy Announcements
July 13, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario, July 13, 2018
“Maintaining investor confidence in the Ontario marketplace is important for Ontario’s short- and long-term economic prosperity. The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) shares the Ontario Government’s commitment to an affordable and reliable electricity system that benefits Ontarians. CanWEA notes that wind energy projects in Ontario are an important source of sustained revenue for municipal and Indigenous partners. Ontario’s wind energy projects are providing long-term, stable pricing for Ontario ratepayers. Wind energy is now the lowest-cost option for new electricity supply in Ontario, across Canada, and throughout much of the world.”
– By Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
Background Information – Updated July 18, 2018
- On July 10, 2018, the Ontario government announced priorities for a July sitting of the legislature including the repeal of cap-and-trade and the cancelling of a wind energy project. On July 12, the Ontario government delivered its Speech from the Throne. On July 13, 2018 the Ontario government announced the cancellation of 758 renewable energy contracts, and on July 16, a Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act 2018 was tabled in parliament.
Ontario is Attracting Global Investment in Reliable Power
- Ontario is Canada’s leading market place for wind energy, with just over 5,000 MW of installed capacity (as of June 2018), supplying approximately 7.7 per cent of the province’s electricity demand, which is 40 per cent of Canada’s installed wind energy capacity.
- Ontario’s wind energy industry is at the heart of a growing wind turbine operations and maintenance business for Canada’s 6400+ wind turbines.
- Global investment in clean, competitive and reliable wind energy is on the rise.
- There are wind installations in more than 90 countries and wind energy has become one of the fastest-growing sources of new electricity. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, total installed worldwide capacity reached an impressive 539,581 MW by the end of 2017, with China continuing to lead global installations.
- Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Outlook 2017 says renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including electric vehicle batteries, in balancing supply and demand.
- Jurisdictions across the globe already have wind energy providing more than 25 per cent of power to the grid and even higher. For example, Denmark now produces more than 44 per cent of its electricity from wind turbines on an annual basis. In the U.S., four states now generate 30 per cent or more of their electricity using wind energy.
- Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation. By replacing a portion of that generation with new renewable sources of energy, it is positioned to lead Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Investments in Ontario have helped drive a 90 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its electricity sector since 2003.
Ontarians Rely on the Social and Economic Benefits of Wind Energy
- Wind energy is providing social and economic benefits and diversifying communities across Canada.
- In Ontario, the economic impacts of investments in wind energy between 2006 and 2030 include:
- stimulating more than $14 billion in economic activity
- contributing $7 billion to the province’s GDP
- creating 73,000 full-time equivalent jobs for workers, trades people and contractors for construction and operations
- generating $5.1 billion in direct and indirect wages and benefits
- infusing $650 million into rural and Indigenous economies in the form of stable land lease agreements, municipal tax revenues, contracts for materials and services, and community partnerships and vibrancy funds
- Speaking About Wind includes stories of Ontario communities that are benefiting as hosts to wind energy projects.
Wind Energy is Affordable
- Wind energy is the lowest-cost source of new electricity generation available to Ontario today. Read more about how the 2017 competitive renewable electricity procurement in Alberta resulted in the lowest-ever price for wind energy generation in Canada.
- Wind energy and Ontario’s electricity prices – let’s destroy the myth discusses how wind energy is a relatively small contributor to Ontario’s electricity bills. More importantly, wind energy’s costs continue to fall, making wind power the best option going forward for keeping electricity affordable in Ontario.
- Wind energy prices continue to decline as the technology continues to improve, lowering the cost of wind turbines while at the same time increasing performance. Wind energy is cost-effective and reliable.
Ontario’s Need for New Power
- Ontario will have a need for new electricity generation in the 2020s and recent procurements have demonstrated that wind energy is the lowest-priced option.
- Public opinion polling in Ontario in 2017 shows that 89 per cent of respondents believe climate change is happening, 74 per cent believe immediate and significant action is needed, and 72 per cent agree that the Ontario government should encourage the development of non-emitting electricity to reduce Ontario’s carbon emissions.
- A recent study of Canada’s wind energy resources and assets has shown that Canada can get more than one-third of its electricity from wind energy without compromising grid reliability – and at the same time realize economic and environmental benefits from these investments.
About the Canadian Wind Energy Association
CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more at canwea.ca.
For more information please contact:
Tracy Walden, Director of Communications and Marketing
Canadian Wind Energy Association
photo: South Branch Wind Farm, courtesy Siemens Gamesa