Wind power keeps our air cleaner compared to generating electricity using fossil fuels. Wind turbines are powered by wind, producing no greenhouse gasses or air pollution as they generate electricity.
Source: Canadian Electricity Association, ‘Power Generation in Canada: A Guide’. For footnotes, please see resources section at the bottom of the page.
- Greenhouse gas emissions from energy conversion process only, not manufacture or construction.
- Water use is difficult to compare for different technologies. In hydroelectric power stations, fossil-fuelled, and nuclear plants, water use is largely non-consumptive. Thermal power stations may cause some water losses through evaporation, as well as thermal discharges into watersheds, within regulated maximum limits. Hydroelectric dams do not cause thermal discharges, but will affect flow patterns.
- From ash management and/or flue gas treatment.
Wind energy is helping create local green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and fight climate change
- Wind energy can provide substantial amounts of new clean electricity to while at the same time helping to address health concerns about air quality and increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Wind turbines generate electricity without consuming or contaminating water or emitting air pollutants or greenhouse gases.
- The largest wind farm in Western Canada was built near Lethbridge in 2014. At 300 MW, a wind farm this size will:
- Reduce Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions by 600,000 tonnes a year – that’s the equivalent of taking 120,000 cars off the road.
- Reduce water consumption by 960 million litres a year, relative to natural gas generation – equivalent to the volume of 320 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Did you know?
- By 2030, wind power generating capacity could reach 2.1 million megawatts, and supply up to 20 per cent of global electricity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. This would result in the creation of 2.4 million new jobs and would reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) did a review and published a fact sheet of all published research and concluded that the carbon footprint of wind energy is much less than the other fossil fuels and even lower than nuclear and many of the other renewable energy sources.
- The Pembina Institute: GHG Reductions from Enhanced Electrification of Potential New Industrial Demand in British Columbia
- Wind turbine payback: Environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines
- Pricing carbon: Canada’s provinces have until 2018 to adopt a plan for carbon pricing. We explain what that means.