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Wind Energy in Canada

2020 wind energy numbers

During 2020, 175 MW of new wind capacity was installed in Canada, a moderate decline from the last few years, partially as a result of project delays due to the global pandemic. However, wind production reached a record high for Canada, with over 36 TWh of electricity generated, representing a 10.6 % increase from production in 2019. As electrical demand was 2.6 % lower than in 2019, the share of wind increased to more than 6%.

To read more about Canada’s wind energy sector, read their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2020 Annual Report.

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Megawatt

Total wind power capacity is 13,600 MW.
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Megawatt

Wind power capacity in Canada increased by 175 MW in 2020.
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Terawatt-time

Canada produces 36 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 6.3% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

On November 19, 2020, The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act was introduced in the House of Commons to legislate Canada’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The Act will establish a legally binding process to set five-year national emissions-reduction targets for 2030, 2035, 2040, and 2045, as well as develop credible, science-based emissions-reduction plans to achieve each target.

In December 2020, the Canadian government released the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, outlining how Canada can realize its potential for hydrogen production, including green hydrogen production from wind and other clean power technologies.

The Canadian Energy Regulator Act, now in effect, enables the Canada Energy Regulator to review and authorize activities related to offshore renewable energy in Canada. Through the Offshore Renewable Energy Regulations initiative, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is leading the development of modern safety and environmental protection regulations that will apply to exploration, construction, operation and decommissioning activities related to renewable energy projects and power lines in Canada’s offshore areas.

Progress & Operational Details

There was a moderate decline from previous years in terms of new wind installations in Canada, with only 175 MW of new capacity coming online in 2020. There is however approximately 2 GW of wind capacity that has been approved for construction, and over 700 MW currently under construction. With a consistent upward trend over the past five years, wind power production reached a record high of 36.26 GWh of electricity generated from wind, representing 6.3% of Canada’s national energy demand. The national wind power capacity factor also reached 30.6%, the highest reported value over the past five years.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

The total combined federal and provincial R,D&D budget increased in 2020 to 7.93 million CAD (5.08 EUR; 6.22 million USD), more than double the 2019 budget. Notable R,D&D activities in 2020 included initiatives for improving cold climate performance of wind turbines, developing new tools for wind power forecasting, and increasingly, work is being undertaken to lay the groundwork for future potential offshore wind in Canada.

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