Canada is endowed with exceptional and impressive wind resources. We are a big country with a great many wide open spaces. For the last ten years wind energy has been the largest source of new electricity generation in Canada and its importance and availability continues to grow.
Wind energy does more than keep the lights on and factories working. It has provided substantial economic and social benefits to local and Indigenous communities across Canada. Wind energy is providing new revenue streams, benefits agreements, and green jobs that are helping communities thrive, while improving air quality and fighting climate change.
Image courtesy of City Pages
The good and bad about wind power
A Renewable Non-Polluting Resource
Wind energy is a free, renewable resource. Wind energy is also a source of clean, non-polluting electricity.
About 80% of the cost is machinery. In the last 10 years or so, the cost of wind power has reduced significantly.
With very little impact on the environment compared to fossil fuel production, there does exist concerns around the noise produced by the rotor blades and the look of the wind farms. The impact of wind farms on birds and bats flying into the rotors is also a major cause for concern. Although serious, most of these problems have been greatly reduced through technological development or by properly siting wind plants.
Supply and Transport Issues
The major challenge to using wind as a source of power is that it is intermittent. Wind cannot be stored, and not all winds can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands. Further, good wind sites are often located in remote locations far from areas of electric power demand (such as cities). Finally, land use is key and wind resource development may compete with other uses for the land.
Image courtesy of Innergex
Wind energy is here to stay. It is an ultimate source of renewable energy. It doesn’t contaminate, it is inexhaustible and it reduces the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses, confronting the problem of global warming. The answer is in the wind.
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