With the recent election, there is a great opportunity for Alberta to shine on the international stage.
Solidifying a majority government, our Premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party Alison Redford can lay out a Renewable Energy Framework that will allow Albertans to harness the wind sector as an economic juggernaut, just as we have done with the oilsands.
This is the right time to spell out the incredible benefits on wind energy. The forecast for Wind energy development in Canada looks strong, the country is now in eighth place globally for installed wind energy capacity. Read this article for further details.
Ontario has done incredible work with its Feed In Tarriff System that has allowed many projects to come to fruition. While naysayers will point to the FIT program blaming it on the increasing cost of electricity, there is one thing for sure: the cost of electricity is going up no matter what.
Here is a brilliant article by the Pembina Institute’s Tim Weis that explains this. Click here to read the fully story.
So what can we as Albertans do to make a Renewable Energy Framework a reality? Write to the Premier and write to your MLA and explain that you want the wind energy sector to be a stronger part of Alberta’s energy portfolio.
Here are a few highlights of why we at the International Wind Energy sector believe wind is a great part of our energy needs.
The Alberta Electric Systems Operator predicts 1,600 MW of wind energy in five years with the province expected to generate 2,500 MW of wind energy by 2020. Currently we produce 891 MW of energy from wind, amounting to 6% of our energy mix.
From 1996 to 2006 the Municipal District of Pincher Creek saw more than $10 million injected into the local economy, three offices constructed, 50 full-time jobs, $2.6 million annual payroll and $900,000 in municipal taxes with lease payments to landowners of $3,000 per MW of wind energy. A typical turbine is 3 MW and farmers are reimbursed annually for every wind turbine on their property.
A typical wind farm is about 100 MW (33 turbines at 3 MW each) which equates to $250 million in investment, 100 construction jobs, 10 permanent jobs in operations and enough power to meet the needs of 30,000 homes.
Finally a typical turbine costs approximately $6.6 million when you consider geotechnical, construction and transportation of parts. The incredible thing is it only takes about six years to pay for itself.