Posted February 20, 2019 07:00:00 Canada’s wind industry has been booming in the last year, and that’s due in part to the recent federal investment of $5.3 billion into its wind farms, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
The agency said the new investment is expected to create 100,000 jobs in the next five years, with the wind sector set to grow at its fastest pace since the late 1970s.
It said Canada is set to be a leader in the global wind industry and the U.S. will lead in renewable energy.
The IEA’s annual report said that, at the end of 2019, Canada’s offshore wind capacity stood at 2,100 megawatts, and its offshore wind farms were at 12,000 megawatts.
That was up from 10,000 and 7,400 megawatts in 2018 and 2017 respectively.
In the United States, the wind industry saw a 20 per cent growth year over year.
The report said Canada’s renewable energy potential is expected reach 4,000 gigawatts by 2022.
That would represent about 15 per cent of the country’s total energy needs, the report said.
“We are on track to surpass our 2050 carbon emissions goals,” said U.K. Energy Minister Nick Boles.
“Our renewables will help reduce emissions in our energy mix, reduce emissions from fossil fuels, and deliver benefits to our communities and economies.”
Alberta has been a big driver of Canada’s expansion of wind farms.
The province has invested $2.6 billion to expand the capacity of the C$1.9 billion Wind Energy Development Corporation, which is now planning to build two wind farms on the Great Northern peninsula.
The government has committed to building four new wind farms to replace the existing two.
The new projects would create about 1,200 jobs.
The expansion of the wind farms comes as Alberta’s NDP government is pushing to expand its renewable portfolio standard to include new renewable energy projects.
The NDP government has also been pushing to boost the renewable portfolio standards in Canada’s electricity sector.
The Alberta Liberals, who won the last election on a platform to end subsidies for fossil fuels and invest in the renewable sector, are pushing to add a carbon tax to the province’s electricity rates.
That tax would be set at a rate of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, which would apply to new renewable projects.