Since the 1990s, wind power growth has exploded/expanded globally. Why? Because wind power is one of the most clean and naturally recurring sources of electricity. That makes it 'renewable' and 'sustainable'!
How does it work?
Wind power uses the force of the wind to drive the turbines that generate electricity. There are various sizes of turbines available:
small (10 kilowatt) units are suitable for homes, farms, cottages; -
intermediate (10-250 kW) turbines can power villages or small industrial sites; -
large (250 kW - 2 megawatt (MW)) units are used to generate power on a commercial scale.
In Ontario, most small-scale wind turbine owners are likely to use most of the energy generated themselves. This is done through the province's net metering program that allows home owners to feed their home-made energy into the grid. The amount they generate is deducted from their total annual energy bill.
Large-scale wind parks or wind farms sell their electricity to the Ontario power grid, through the Ontario Power Authority's Standard Offer Program or through power purchase agreements.
Many of the windiest areas on the planet are along shorelines. Ontario's Great Lakes provide ample resources for wind power. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is involved in projects that involve the use of Crown land resources and provides comment and support to projects that occur on private land.
For more information on wind power in Canada, wind technology, or statistics on wind power capacity in Canada, see CanWEA's website.
What makes wind power 'clean'?
From 'start to finish' wind power facilities produce very little greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for every kilowatt hour of electricity that is produced. Most of the GHG emissions are produced during the manufacture, construction and disposal phases of the equipment and materials. There are almost no emissions during the actual process of making the electricity. In fact, wind power ranks number 1 as the cleanest source of electricity.
What makes wind power sustainable?
Sustainability is about balancing the social, economic, and environmental values of a project over time. Wind power balances all three:
Social Value - Since the 1990s, wind power growth has exploded globally - Ontario’s wind capacity grew from only 15 MW in 2003 to over 415 MW as of July 2007. Every new MW of renewable energy helps make Ontario's environment healthier.
Economic Value - This new area of business means new investment opportunities, and new jobs. Renewable energy projects can generate local jobs, favourable investment opportunities, benefits for local businesses, opportunities for education and greater ability at the community level to bring about change.
Environmental Value - Wind power is part of the solution to replacing traditional, polluting energy sources such as coal, and it helps to reduce GHG and other emissions that contribute to pollution and climate change. This means cleaner air for healthier people, plants and animals.
Over the course of its 25 year lifetime the average 1.5 MW tower will provide enough clean renewable electricity to power approximately 500 homes. These numbers will only get better as wind power technology becomes even more efficient and as we become better at conserving energy in our daily lives.
Source: Government of Ontario
Seamless Steel Tube Supplier to Expand in Winamac
WINAMAC, Ind. - Plymouth Tube Company, a supplier of specialty steel and tubing to the manufacturing and logistics industries, announced today it will expand its manufacturing and processing center here, creating up to 14 new jobs.
The manufacturer of seamless hot rolled and cold-drawn ....
Montana Selected for Wind for Schools Program
(HELENA) - The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Montana as one of six states to participate in the inaugural year of the Wind for Schools Program.
"This important program will not only provide wind energy for rural Montana schools, but will also educate ....