Projection: Windpower boom in Canada

Investment in onshore and offshore wind turbines will reach approximately $145 billion between 2011 and 2017, according to a new report from respected market research firm Pike Research.

In Canada 504 MW was installed in 2008, 969 MW in 2009, and 690 MW in 2010. Corresponding figures for North America as a whole were 8.9 GW in 2008, 10.9 GW in 2009 and 5.8 GW in 2010. Pike Research projects a doubling of total installed capacity in North America from approximately 53,000 megawatts in 2011 to almost 126,000 megawatts by 2017. That equates to a record average annual installation of more than 12.1 GW continent wide.

Of particular interest to GallonDaily is a Wind Energy SWOT analysis contained in the summary (free) version of the Pike Research report. While the opportunity is clearly shown to be high, the Threats to the wind energy industry are reported to include such matters as:

  • Policy shifts (primarily in the United States) that make wind less economically competitive with fossil fuels
  • Double-dip recession and/or return of credit freeze prevents projects from being developed
  • Offshore wind deemed too difficult or too expensive
  • Natural gas prices stay at historic lows
  • Public loses concern about carbon emissions, making it more difficult to maintain supportive policies and incentives

The full report can be purchased from Pike Research at http://www.pikeresearch.com/research/wind-energy-outlook-for-north-america (warning: not cheap!). An Executive Summary is available at the same location in return for a registration – free.

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