Wind energy destined to become immune to partisan politics

Four major trends are boosting support for more wind energy in Canada

Despite differing policy approaches to renewable energy in Canada, I believe that wind energy is destined to become a non-partisan issue that is supported by all political parties.

Four trends are making wind energy more immune to politics:

    • Firstly, wind energy is the lowest-cost option for new electricity generation.
    • Secondly, it is clean, and clean matters.
    • Thirdly, it is increasingly contributing to the reliability of the grid.
    • Fourthly, wind energy fits well within an evolving and transforming power system.

Let’s look closer at these four trends, starting with affordability.

Customers across Canada are concerned about affordability of electricity. In response, cost is becoming the primary objective of energy policy makers and system operators. This is great news for wind energy.

Wind energy costs have fallen dramatically – by 69 per cent between 2009 and 2018 according to Lazard’s annual study in the U.S. And they are expected to continue falling. Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts wind energy costs will drop another 47 per cent between 2017 and 2040.

Here in Canada, recent auctions have secured wind power for as low as $35 per megawatt hour. Wind energy is now the lowest-cost option for new electricity generation. Because it has the lowest levelized cost of energy, wind energy has become increasingly attractive as all political parties contemplate how to meet voter demands for lower costs.

Now let’s talk about clean energy.

Wind energy produces no air or water pollution, and does not generate toxic, hazardous or radioactive waste. The technology uses significantly less water than virtually any other form of large-scale electricity generation. Wind energy is a very environmentally-sustainable way to produce power. MORE