Canada, – Red, White… and Blue???
In an ocean of Gold, Silver and Bronze for Canada this week: Where is there a lot of resistance to building wind farms in Canada?? Its actually in the blue! (By which I mean WATER! Not the Conservative Party! Don’t make everything Political you guys!)
First, however: A quick recap on 2017 courtesy of my friends at CanWEA:
Growth in wind energy for 2017 included 10 new projects worth about $800 million bringing an additional 341 MW of new installed capacity.
It brings Canada’s total Wind Energy capacity to over 12,000 MW, enough to power over 3 Million Homes!
We now have 295 wind “farms” across Canada with about 6,400 turbines attached to the power grid.
Where does that put us Globally? Well, we now rank globally in 9th place!.
Canada’s Border War
None of these, however, are offshore wind farms, a much debated and yet highly successful source for many coastal countries, the most successful of which is Great Britain.
How do Brits feel about the wind farms? Well, if you’re talking about jobs, they love it!
Siemens just happened to finish building a shiny-new £160 million wind-turbine facility in the port area of Hull, UK, churning out 30 tonne turbine blades for offshore installation. [(That’s about 4 1/2 times heavier than a T-Rex… sorry I was just at the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Shout out to dinosaurs!)]
Back to my point! The Siemens facility… it’s big… and it’s useful for producing turbines.. lots of ’em!
They created almost 1,000 directly related jobs, with many more throughout construction and supply chain phases.
So, great jobs, great for the environment and they’re off-shore… What gives?? No offshore Wind Projects in Canada?
Canada’s waterfront dilemma
Well, currently a wind-farm slated for construction on the Newfoundland coast in the next couple years has been “put to the back-burner”… “That’s investor speak for when you tell your children “maybe we’ll stop for ice cream later”.
Same goes for the only one on the books for the Vancouver Coast…
How ’bout the Great Lakes in Ontario?… they’re not oceans, but if you’ve ever traveled along the Lake Superior Coast or any of the great lakes, you know it’s windy!
What say-you Ontario? …. “Ontario signals offshore wind moratorium will continue for several more years”…. (Yikes!) That story has a lot of NAFTA implications as well, but save that for another day!
No Offshore farms in Canada
So, BC is out… East Coast? Out… Ontario.. Out… What gives people?
For a Country so vocal about our environmental future it sure screams of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)…
As I will ultimately turn this back to Alberta Pipelines… it sure seems people WANT to CONSUME Energy and all its uses, but seem to get quiet when the rubber needs to hit the road (That used to be a car metaphor but a lot of people RIDE BICYLES nowadays, right???)
I’m proud of what my province is doing by standing behind its tough talk! Even if I don’t agree with everything, we recognize our needs for our energy future and are working to find solutions, instead of just blowing hot air!
That’s your Wind Wednesday,
I’ve got to watch some snowboarding, after watching 2 hours on TV I’m pretty sure I’m an expert judge now… kidding!