A document released today at the CanWEA's 27th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver debuted "WindVision 2025", stating that B.C. can satisfy 17 per cent of its projected electricity demands with clean, affordable wind energy by 2025.
Windvision, A Strategy for British Columbia, describes the province's significant advantage when it comes to wind energy and the resulting economic, social and environmental benefits that can be achieved with a stable and supportive policy environment.
CanWEA believes that sharing wind energy as a percentage of total generation within B.C. can increase from its current 250 megawatts or 1 per cent of electricity demands, to 5,250 megawatts or 17 per cent by 2025.
Between now and 2025, CanWEA believes that following through with WindVision would result in $16 billion of investment in the province, with over $3.7 billion of direct benefits to B.C. communities during the construction phase alone. Implementation of the program would generate an estimated 22,500 person-years of employment during construction and 7,500 person-years of employment during the 20-25 year lifespan of the wind energy project.
Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA says, "this province has a proud history of responsible and strategic development of its natural resources. The time is now for B.C. to act decisively to expand wind energy integration as a key energy component in building a stronger, cleaner and more affordable power system for B.C. families and businesses."
The WindVision document links the compatibility of wind energy with the province’s existing cleanenergy targets and B.C.’s expectation for cost-competitive, low-impact, zero-emission electricity. The report also demonstrates that wind energy is extremely cost-competitive when compared to conventional forms of new electricity generation. Pairing wind energy with the province’s existing hydroelectric infrastructure would result in an electricity system ideally suited for the future needs of British Columbians.
Currently, B.C. rates 6th in Canada in installed wind energy capacity, but that ranking will improve as wind energy captured just under half of the successful bids in B.C. Hydro’s 2008 Clean Power Call.
To view the full WindVision document, visit the CanWEA official website.