Quebec’s Vast Wind Power Potential

The province of Quebec has 100,000 MW of wind energy potential within 25 kilometres of existing transmission lines that is economically viable in the short and medium term according to a new study produced by Helimax Energy, one of Canada’s leading wind energy consulting firms. If only 10% of this potential was captured, wind energy would account for more than 15% of Quebec’s total electricity production.

Montreal, Canada – April 30, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “This study makes it clear that wind energy can make a significant and substantial contribution to electricity production in Quebec,” says Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. “It also demonstrates that wind energy is not only good for the environment, it is an engine for economic development. Quebec should move aggressively to take advantage of this valuable natural resource.” Over a 25 year period, the study shows that an initial commitment to install 4,000 MW of wind energy in Quebec would result in $5.8 billion in investment and the creation of 62,000 person years of employment. It is projected that more than 70% of these economic benefits would remain in Quebec. “What this studies shows is that Quebec’s wind energy resource is equal to 35,000 MW of fossil fuel fired generation – enough to meet almost all of the electricity needs of Ontario. With Canada’s large land mass and long coastlines, it is likely that other provinces are also rich in wind energy resources,” said Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace. “We challenge the federal government and all Canadian provinces to conduct similar studies”. Canada’s 327 MW of installed wind energy capacity produces only 0.16% of Canadian electricity. This ranks far behind global leaders like Germany (14,609 MW) and Denmark (where wind energy accounts for 20% of total electricity production). The study was prepared for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), the Regroupement national des conseils rýgionaux de l’environnement (RNCREQ) as well as the Regroupement des organismes environnementaux en ýnergie (ROEE)(1) to support their interventions before Quebec Energy Board hearings on the energy future of Quebec.

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