13 June 2014
Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I rise today to raise awareness of Global Wind Day, which is taking place on Sunday, June 15. My colleague, Senator Dyck, just mentioned that this is a day that reflects a fresh breeze bringing new ideas.
The international event is coordinated by the European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council. It is a day dedicated to promoting awareness of how wind power is fast becoming a leading source of sustainable, environmentally friendly and efficient electricity in jurisdictions throughout the world.
To date, 75 countries around the world have installed wind farms, and the cost of producing wind power has dropped significantly — up to 43 per cent in reduced costs by some measures. In 2012 alone, the global wind power market grew by more than 10 per cent. The two largest economies in the world, China and the United States, are also the two largest markets for wind energy production. In China, wind electricity is now in fact the third largest source of electricity generation, after thermal and hydropower. In the United States, wind power accounted for some 42 per cent of new electricity production capacity in 2012 alone.
Where is Canada in the development of wind power?
In 2012, our wind power market grew by over 20 per cent, generating $2 billion in investment and 10,500 person years of employment. We are the ninth largest wind market in the world, and we have tremendous potential to produce a far greater percentage of our electricity through wind power innovation.
Ontario is this country's leading province in wind development, and by 2018 the provincial government's Long Term Energy Plan will have installed 7,000 megawatts of wind energy.
Global Wind Day encourages us to recognize that the benefits of wind power innovation also extend beyond electricity production. The 9.2 megawatt Diavik Wind Farm in the Northwest Territories has helped open up opportunities for a growing mining sector in the North, while the 4 megawatt M'Chigeeng Mother Earth Renewable Energy Project in Ontario is the first ever to be owned exclusively by First Nations.
For Global Wind Day 2014, the Canadian Wind Energy Association will be hosting its first annual golf tournament in support of Friends of Wind in Markham, Ontario. ENERCON is the fourth-largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world and will be hosting an open house in Matane, Quebec. Senvion, a global leader in producing onshore and offshore wind turbines, will be presenting an exhibit of photography featuring photos showing the construction phase of some of their wind farms contracted by Hydro-Québec.
Wind power is deserving of our attention and efforts to promote energy sustainability in Canada. I encourage each and every one of you to learn more about the admirable work being done by these organizations and by various governments around the world.