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The Future of Wind Energy in BC

It seems so natural that BC should be a leader when it comes to wind power. We have such huge resources, especially in BC’s northeast, but we seem to be stuck at 390 MW, compared to over 2,000 MW in Ontario and 1,648 MW in Quebec, which has similar constraints of huge hydro resources and cheap power.

There’s another 548 MW lining up to enter the grid by 2016, for a total of 938 MW, but compared to BC’s total power capacity of 43,000 MW, it’s still small game. In the same timeframe, Quebec will bring on 2500 MW.

And what about those other critical questions?

  • How much energy is needed to make a wind turbine, and how long does it take to pay it back?
  • Is it really true that wind power makes people sick? Or when people are told a wind turbine will make them sick, is it the nocebo principle at work? (The opposite of the placebo principle).
  • What use is a wind farm, if it only runs for 30% of the time?
  • Can I attach a wind turbine to my home in Vancouver?

If you don’t live in Vancouver, these will be frustrating questions, since I’m not going to answer them (yet).

However, on Wednesday, April 10th, the Vancouver Chapter of the BCSEA is hosting a public meeting on The Future of Wind Energy in BC at the Bill Reid Gallery, 639 Hornby Street in Vancouver, where you can get all the answers

The meeting is being held conjunction with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), with speakers Nicholas Heap, CanWEA’s BC Regional Director; Dr. Tim Weis, from the Pembina Institute; and Marc Soulliere, President and CEO of Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) Wind Power Inc. 

The doors will blow open at 6:30pm, and tickets are available at http://futureofwindenergyinbc.eventbrite.ca or with cash at the door … but only if space permits!


A Quick Wind Energy Quiz:

1. By the end of 2012, the total world installed wind capacity was (a) 150,070 MW  (b) 223,500 MW, (c) 282,482 MW

2. During 2012, China installed (a) 3,578 MW, (b) 9,800 MW, (c) 13,200 MW

3. The world’s current offshore wind capacity is (a) 1,500 MW (b) 5410 MW (c) 8,900 MW

4. The world’s largest operating wind turbine is (a) 3 MW, (b) 5 MW, (c) 7.5 MW, (c) 10 MW

5. Japan is planning the world’s largest offshore wind farm. How big will it be? (a) 800 MW, (b) 1000 MW, (c) 1,600 MW, (d) 2,000 MW

For answers, click the Document download button

World’s largest turbine: Enercon E 126 

Japan’s offshore windfarm



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