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Wind energy blowing strong in Canada

Attendees can learn about export, investment opportunities, and new solutions at the upcoming CanWEA 2014 show, Canada's largest annual wind energy educational and networking event, being held October 27-29 in Montréal.

By Larry Turner

If you've been considering exploring wind energy opportunities in Canada, check out these important statistics:

• 2013 was a record year for new wind energy installations in Canada with almost 1,600 MW of new capacity commissioned.

• Canada is the ninth largest wind energy market in the world and ranked fifth in terms of new installations in 2013.

• Growth has been stable and steady, averaging 1,100 MW of new installations per year for the last five years.

Two strong trends have driven growth. First, Canada has an enormous untapped wind resource. According to Global Data's Wind Power In Canada, Market Outlook to 2025, "the geographic location of Canada makes it one of the best places for wind energy globally."

Canada's wind energy now meets three percent of domestic electricity demand and is expected to meet more than five percent by 2016. There is also growing interest in the United States in seeing increased clean electricity exports from Canada (including wind energy) to help the U.S. reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.

Second, all Canadian governments are seeking affordable, reliable, and cost-competitive electricity generation and the economic benefits to the communities that host it.

While over 2,000 MW of wind energy projects are currently under construction in Canada, new opportunities continue to emerge. Examples include:

• Quebec will award contracts under an RFP for 450 MW of new wind energy this year (total new procurement will be 800 MW).

• Ontario will issue a 300-MW RFP in early 2015 and another 300-MW RFP in early 2016 (the original requirement to use local resources has been lifted).

• Saskatchewan plans to issue a new RFP in 2015.

Explore Canadian Wind Energy at CanWEA 2014

CanWEA 2014, Canada's largest annual wind energy educational and networking event, offers a venue to learn more about this growing industry. This year marks the 30th anniversary of CanWEA, which will be held October 27-29, at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec.

CanWEA 2014 will bring together approximately 2,000 industry experts and 200 exhibitors from Canada's wind energy market to discuss opportunities, review the latest developments, and facilitate networking. Many consider it the "one-stop shop" to learn about export and investment in the Canadian wind energy market.

CanWEA 2014 also offers a new "Innovation Zone". This new platform provides a showcase for cutting edge technologies in partnership with the research community, industry leaders, and the start-up scene. Visitors can learn about energy storage and smart grid technology, hybrid generation (wind-diesel, wind-solar, wind-natural gas), and solutions for operation in cold climates.

CanWEA 2014 - Export and Investment Opportunities

As provincial governments in Canada consider the next decade of electricity sector expansion, there is little doubt about wind energy's important role. Opportunities for North American investors, manufacturers, and service providers involve:

• Investment in projects that are currently contracted to be built or in development for future procurement opportunities

• Manufacturing needs, especially in Ontario and Quebec

• Providing construction and consulting services

CanWEA 2014 - International Investment Expansion

For many years, people in the industry outside North America have tended to view Canada as an afterthought. That's changed with Canada's emergence as one of the world's leading wind energy markets. Many international providers see Canada as an entry point to the U.S. and a hedge against the ups and downs of the U.S. market. As mentioned, Canadian clean energy exports can also play a role in North American efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.

Leading international wind energy companies that have invested in Canada and will exhibit at CanWEA 2014 include: EDF EN Canada, Enercon, GE Power & Water, Senvion, Siemens, and Vestas.

CanWEA 2014 - New Solutions Emerging

As the wind energy market matures, other aspects of managing wind energy have emerged. Storage, for example, is an important complement to wind energy and can economically facilitate the integration of larger amounts of wind energy into electricity grids. Besides storage, companies are exploring the collaboration of wind energy with other technologies, like solar energy, to expand renewable energy opportunities.

Three Tips to Navigate CanWEA 2014

These three tips can help optimize time at CanWEA 2014:

• Goals: Spend time thinking about what your top goals are for attending. Ask yourself: What are the three things I want to know when I leave CanWEA 2014?

• Educational program: CanWEA 2014 offers a broad educationalprogram and covering all sessions can be a challenge. Use the program agenda posted prior to the show to select what most interests you and supports your goals.

• Trade show: You can walk all the show aisles, but what's better? Look ahead at the exhibitor list to select your "must see" exhibitors and schedule appointments in advance.

CanWEA 2014 provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the market, learn the latest global trends and newest ideas, and establish partnerships with key players.

Larry Turner is CEO, Hannover Fairs USA, Inc., which jointly organizes CanWEA's Annual Conference and Exhibition with the Canadian Wind Energy Association.


September/October 2014