OTTAWA, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) expressed serious concern today about the implications of the Ontario government's new proposed 5 km setback for offshore wind energy developments in Ontario. If implemented, this decision will prevent several proposed offshore wind energy projects from proceeding in their current form.
"Encouraged by the Ontario Government to explore offshore wind energy opportunities, companies have been making significant investments to develop wind energy projects in areas that would now be excluded from development under the proposed regulation," said CanWEA president Robert Hornung. "Investors require strong and stable wind energy policy, but this element of the proposed regulation is inconsistent with past policy signals concerning offshore wind energy in Ontario."
The proposed regulation is part of a package of policies on offshore wind energy development that are now open to public consultation. CanWEA will be reviewing and responding to these proposals with a view to proposing changes targeted at maintaining investor confidence in Ontario's offshore wind energy policy framework while at the same time facilitating and ensuring the responsible and sustainable development of offshore wind energy in Ontario.
"It will be critical for the Ontario government to ensure that any new regulatory framework provides opportunities for existing offshore wind energy project proponents to build on the work they have undertaken to date to make offshore wind energy a reality in Ontario," said Hornung. "If not, Ontario's early lead in the pursuit of offshore wind energy opportunities in the Great Lakes will be challenged by the many US states now also actively encouraging such development."
At the end of 2009, there was more than 2,000 MW of installed offshore wind energy capacity in ten countries worldwide. While there are not currently any offshore wind farms in North America, projects are in development in both Canada and the United States.
About Canadian Wind Energy Association
CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 450 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country's electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 - Powering Canada's Future is available at www.canwea.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Wind Energy Association
For further information: For further information: Ulrike Kucera, CanWEA Media Relations Officer, 613-234-8716 ext. 228, Mobile: 613-867-4433