MONTREAL, Oct. 27, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - As the Quebec government turns its attention to the development of a new energy strategy and the optimal future mix of cost-effective and non-emitting renewable electricity Quebec should seek to pursue, climate change is again capturing headlines. Today, the need to explore and implement technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions like wind energy has never been more vital.
These topics were the focus of discussion this afternoon as the Canadian Wind Energy Association convened CanWEA's 30th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Montreal, Quebec.
Jeffrey Simpson, National Columnist at the Globe and Mail, shared his perspective on the barriers that stand in the way of Canada doing more to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are changing our climate. He noted that the major barriers to significant initial action on climate change are not primarily technological, but are instead rooted in politics, public perception and the failure of markets to value low-carbon / no-carbon solutions for climate change.
CanWEA president Robert Hornung addressed the conference, noting that wind energy must continue to be a growing component of Quebec's electricity system. "Quebec's wind resource can make significant and cost-effective contributions to Quebec's efforts to grow the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through further electrification of transportation and industry, and can help the province access opportunities to secure potential new electricity customers as the United States seeks new sources of low-carbon generation to meet the Obama administration's proposed CO2 limits in the power sector," Mr. Hornung said.
A high-level multi-stakeholder panel also discussed the role Quebec wind energy can play in reducing GHG emissions. CanWEA 2014 delegates also heard from Quebec's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Pierre Arcand, and Minister of Transportation and Minister responsible for the Montréal region Mr. Robert Poëti, on wind energy in the province.
Quebec's wind industry has created more than 5,000 jobs, and generated $10 billion worth of investment over the past decade. The wind energy industry contributes $500 million annually to Quebec's GDP.
Wind project operators in Quebec will invest nearly $3 billion over 20 years in operations and maintenance and contributions to local governments and landowners who host turbines alone will add up to more than $25 million a year, not including investment returns to municipalities that have taken an ownership stake in projects. Over the life of the wind farms currently under contract, the Quebec government will reap more than $1.1 billion in tax revenue.
Mr. Hornung added that it is an exciting time to be holding the industry association's annual conference in Montreal as the wind energy industry is working to finalize and submit bids in response to Hydro-Quebec's request for proposals for 450 MW of new wind energy capacity.
About the 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 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. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and for insight on industry issues join the conversation at www.windfacts.ca.
For Canada to be a world leader in the production of clean wind energy, CanWEA believes we can and must reach a target of producing 20 per cent or more of our electricity from wind. Learn more at www.canwea.ca.
SOURCE: Canadian Wind Energy Association
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