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Canada

CANWEA 2016: Ideologies being set aside

CANADA: Political ideology is taking a back seat as Canada's wind energy market expands westward, said Canadian Wind Energy Association president Robert Hornung, during the opening of CANWEA's annual conference in Calgary.

CANWEA president Robert Hornung welcomes delegates to the 32nd annual conference and exhibition in Calgary (pic: Bryan Passifiume/CanWEA)
CANWEA president Robert Hornung welcomes delegates to the 32nd annual conference and exhibition in Calgary (pic: Bryan Passifiume/CanWEA)

Alberta's left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) government has made renewable energy and carbon pricing central features of its climate strategy.

Meanwhile, the more conservative ruling party in neighbouring Saskatchewan has set a 50% renewable energy capacity target even as it fights back against the Canadian federal government's plan to impose a carbon tax.

There are few issues where the two governments find common ground, Hornung told delegates, "but they both recognise that increased wind energy production is critical to the future evolution of their electricity systems".

Both are also looking to diversify economies heavily skewed towards oil and gas production, delegates heard.

Guy Bruce, vice-president of planning for utility SaskPower, said it is in the market for wind energy projects in the 100-200MW range and will issue the first in a series of requests for proposals early next year. Its target is to add at least 1.6GW of wind by 2030.

Alberta environment minister Shannon Phillips is scheduled to speak on Thursday, with delegates hoping she will finally announce the details of her government's plan to support the installation of 5GW of renewable capacity by 2030.

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