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CanWEA goes professional with staffed office

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is strengthening its political voice by opening a new head office in the nation's capital and appointing its first executive director. "Ultimately, my goal is to convince Canadians and government policymakers and administrators that wind is much more than a niche technology," says Robert Hornung, who spent the past nine years with the Pembina Institute, a respected Canadian environmental consulting and advocacy group, first as climate change program director and later as policy director. Hornung points out that Canada, despite having some of the best unexploited wind energy potential in the world, ranks 13th in installed capacity and began 2003 with less than 1% of the global total. Although the federal government and several provinces have introduced measures to encourage wind development, policy support remains "sparse, ad-hoc, and uncoordinated" in Canada. "Wind should be a good fit for governments that like to talk about innovation, that like to talk about economic performance and that like to talk about sustainable development," says Hornung. "We need to build support for the implementation of a national wind energy strategy." CanWEA has been representing the interests of the country's wind industry since it was founded in 1984. Hiring a full-time executive director, says president Glen Estill, is a "significant step forward" in its efforts to increase public and political awareness.

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