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Wind Energy

Wind energy is produced by wind turbines that leverage naturally occurring forces to generate electricity. Wind energy is a fast growing renewable resource as Canada’s geography is ideally suited to capture energy while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

Did you know?

Wind power has harnessed by humans for centuries. Windmills were originally used to generate power in Persia and China in 200 BC

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Basics of Wind Energy

Wind power, usually referred as wind energy, is the use of wind to create mechanical power through the use of windmills, which subsequently spin electric generators to produce electricity. Wind energy is a popular natural, renewable energy source that has a far lower impact on the environment than the combustion of fossil fuels. Wind turbines function on a basic principle: rather than using electricity to produce wind—like a fan—wind turbines harness wind and use it to generate power. Wind moves the propeller-like blades of a turbine around a rotor, which drives a generator, thus generating energy.

How much energy can be generated from Wind Energy?

The production of a wind turbine is determined by the size of the turbine and the speed of the wind through the rotor. A typical onshore wind turbine with a performance of 2.5–3 MW can generate over 6 million kWh per year, which is sufficient to power 1,500 typical Canadian homes.

Wind energy is becoming an increasingly important component of Canada’s energy infrastructure, accounting for approximately 5% of the total electricity generation in the nation. The provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta are leading the charge with a combined 11,000 MW of wind energy capacity currently installed. These are just some of the reasons why Canada’s ranks 8th globally for total capacity–proving that Canada has set the stage to continue to rise as a global player in the industry.

What are the costs of Wind Energy?

As it stands, wind energy is the most affordable source of renewable energy power production in Canada. The bulk of the costs associated with wind energy projects (for ex. wind farms) come during the design and development phases of the project. Wind power has no fuel costs for operation and thus can be very cost-effective to operate on an ongoing basis. 

Benefits of Wind Energy

Utilizing the power of wind to generate electricity continues to have smaller environmental consequences than the vast majority of energy sources. Ultimately, the use of wind turbines reduces the amounts of power generated from fossil fuels, resulting in lower overall air pollution and CO2 emissions.

Small Footprint

Allows of existing land use to continue as only a fraction is needed

Emission Free

Produces no emissions or greenhouse gases whatsoever

Job Creation

Enables redeployment of workers from fossil-fuel dominated industries
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    Commonly asked questions about Wind Energy

    Wind Energy FAQs

    Wind turbines use a natural resource, wind, to generate electricity. Wind rotates the blades of the turbine around a rotor to spin a generator that produces electricity.
    No, wind turbines do not produce emissions. Wind power keeps the air cleaner compared to electricity created through fossil fuels. Since turbines are powered by wind, a renewable energy source, they do not produce greenhouse gases or pollute the air while generating electricity.
    Wind energy is extremely cost effective, costing roughly 1-2 cents per kWh after the production tax credit. Electricity from wind farms is sold at a fixed price over an elongated time period, and its fuel is free, so it eliminates many uncertainties regarding price when compared to other sources of energy that include added fuel costs. ​
    Projects revolving around wind energy contribute various economic benefits to neighbouring communities. It creates new jobs, a new revenue source for farmers through payments on land, and an increased local tax base. Wind energy is also a significant contributor to a reduction in electricity rates in many communities.
    Wind power is an energy efficient resource. It aids in the reduction of the overall environmental impact of energy generation because it does not require fuel, does not pollute the air, and it does not produce greenhouse gases. Also, wind power can be transformed into hydrogen to be used as a type of fuel for transportation or stored for subsequent power generation. It’s multi-purpose aspect allows it to be considered efficient. ​
    Wind turbines do pose conflict and harm to certain wildlife. The intensity and strength of the wind produced, as well as the physical turbine blades pose a threat to flying wildlife such as birds and bats. The wind industry, however, has acknowledged these negative impacts, and prioritize addressing impact minimization.