A winning strategy for Quebec and its regions
Once again, Quebec is Canada's second-biggest market for wind power with 3,882 MW of installed capacity. Quebec's generation fleet includes the 350 MW Rivière-du-Moulin Wind Farm, the largest project built in Canada so far.
Soon to meet its long-held target of installing 4,000 MW of wind energy to its electricity supply, the Quebec government is turning its attention to the strategic role wind can play in the fight against climate change, as well as accelerate the shift to a clean energy economy.
Quebec has adopted a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 37.5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. Its 2030 energy policy aims to increase renewable generation by 25 per cent and decrease fossil fuel use by 40 per cent over the next 15 years. The strategy also recognizes the opportunity to export wind energy and use wind to displace oil and diesel in off-grid communities.
The next step is a detailed 5-year implementation plan, which the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) believes should include specific wind energy targets taking immediate steps to take advantage of export opportunities.
A wind-hydro bundled product represents a significant economic opportunity for Quebec.
States in the U.S. northeast facing strict carbon emission caps and the retirement of aging generating facilities are increasingly seeing clean power imports from Canada as a reliable and cost-effective solution. Large hydro alone, however, does not always meet their requirements, nor does it allow Hydro-Québec to qualify for potentially lucrative renewable energy credits in many markets.
Because wind energy can be deployed quickly and built at low costs, it is a natural source of new generation to meet new export demand.
Quebec’s abundant wind resources, and its strong complementary relationship with hydro, are not just a competitive advantage for the province; they are also the basis for an industry that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the province’s GDP every year. Quebec’s wind energy initiatives have spurred the creation of 5,000 full-time jobs in the province, many at manufacturing facilities in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and the RCM of La Matanie and close to 1,000 in Montreal. Many Quebec, Canadian and international companies have established offices in the city, from which they manage their activities in the province and in markets beyond its borders. Also, because Quebec has 30 per cent of Canada’s installed wind energy capacity and the industry is growing rapidly, new opportunities have been created for a number of Quebec-based companies to develop wind turbine operations and maintenance expertise.
Wind by the numbers in Quebec (December 2018)
- Current number of projects: 47
- 3,882 MW installed capacity
- 1,990 wind turbines
- 371 MW new in 2018
- Approximately 5 per cent of electricity demand
- In the spring of 2018, Aviséo Conseil released a report titled The Economic and Financial Impacts of Wind Farms Operations for Quebec Communities (available in French only). Commissioned by CanWEA, the report focusses on the operational component of wind farms in service and finds that, in addition to creating 5,000 jobs and attracting $10 billion in investments, the wind energy sector in Quebec provides annual revenues of $120 million to project communities, including municipalities, regional county municipalities (RCMs) and First Nations communities.
- In December 2017, CanWEA took part in consultations on the Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) plan for 2018–2023. Quebec’s wind industry maintains that electrification is necessary for the energy transition to succeed, reminding the government of its commitment to increase the production of renewable energy by 25 per cent. Read CanWEA’s position*.
- In June 2017, CanWEA commissioned Léger to conduct a survey of Quebecers’ opinion on wind energy and on the future of electricity development in Quebec. The positive survey results can be viewed in Sondage sur la perception des Québécois à l’égard de l’énergie éolienne
- CanWEA’s submission to the consultation on Bill 106 on the implementation of the 2030 energy policy*: Quebec’s wind industry is committed to helping the government achieve the objectives of the 2030 energy policy. The government’s vision for the inclusion of wind power among Quebec’s electricity exports, as expressed in the 2030 energy policy, would diversify the product offered to neighbouring jurisdictions in search of a Class 1 Clean Energy source to reach their own objectives. Further, the objectives of the 2030 energy policy mean that new quantities of renewable energy must be commissioned by 2030. CanWEA recommends that the 2030 objectives be taken into consideration in the planning of new supplies, ensuring an orderly deployment in order to maximize investments and spinoff benefits.
- The analysis, Estimate of the number of wind industry jobs in the Montreal area*, found that Montreal has become a major North American hub for the wind energy industry. The sector employs nearly 1,000 people in highly skilled jobs, with an average salary that compares favourably with other major industries in the city. The report was compiled by the firm Aviséo Conseil in the summer of 2015.
- In early 2015 CanWEA participated in a government-industry working group on the future of wind energy in Quebec. Subsequently, CanWEA filed an open letter, La filière éolienne : partenaire du futur énergétique du Québec*, proposing an update to its brief and recommendations made in 2013.
- Is a submission to the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec CanWEA presented its vision and recommended that the province continues to develop wind energy and install up to 500 MW each year between 2018 and 2025. A summary is available, La poursuite du développement éolien : une stratégie gagnante pour le Québec et ses regions *.
- Report on the economic impacts of wind energy in Quebec* is Secor-KPMG’s 2013 assessment of the economic benefits of wind energy development in the province.
- Report on new markets for wind energy in Quebec*, prepared by Éco-Ressources, examines how Quebec can take greater economic advantage of its wind energy resource.
- An executive summary of the study, Economic Benefits of the Wind Energy Sector in Quebec (2002-2025)*, outlines the job and investment generated by Quebec’s purchases of 4,000 MW of wind energy and estimates the additional benefits that would accrue if it were to install another 8,000 MW of capacity by 2025. The document is in French only, but a fact sheet is available in English.
- Report on 2025 wind energy prospects for Quebec*. This report is a technical opinion on the integration of an additional 8,000 MW of wind energy to the Hydro-Québec grid. The introduction and main conclusions are available in English.
- For children: The adventures of Rafale* (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques).
*Link available in French only
CanWEA offers additional technical information and full reports to its members. Visit the members only website and browse through CanWEA’s extensive Resource Library today. Not a member? To learn more visit CanWEA’s membership page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.