The cost of wind energy in the Canadian province of British Colombia continues to fall, while productivity increases, according to a new report.
The “2012 Assessment of Wind Energy Costs in British Columbia” report by consulting group GL Garrard Hassan, and commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) showed the price for wind turbines have fallen since 2009 by 20%. At the same time, wind energy productivity has also advanced by 27%.
The report also concluded there are currently 4,700 gigawatt hours per year (Gwh/year) of electricity available in B.C. at a lifetime cost (LCOE) of under C$87/megawatt-hour, and 18,000 Gwh/hr for a cost of under C$95/megawatt-hour. However, this does not include utility contract terms, and substation costs needed to connect these resources to the grid. Nor does it include savings from pollution reductions and avoided healthcare costs.
“BC Hydro is facing an incredible challenge over the next decade as new LNG plants and mining activity drive electricity demand up by a third — or 16,500 GWh,” said Nicholas Heap, B.C. Regional Director of CanWEA, in a statement.
“Fortunately, this new analysis clearly shows that with wind energy we have an abundant cost-effective, zero-emission option to supply this new demand. British Columbians choose wind energy and other renewables as their top choice for new power in repeated polling, so this is a win-win for the province,” he said.
Heap also said in the statement that wind is becoming a better option to create energy with zero emissions as costs steadily fall and productivity rises, creating new jobs in the process.
“With a much shorter construction time than large-scale hydro, wind energy is an obvious solution to meeting BC’s energy demand. Investing in wind energy will drive homegrown job creation for our skilled trades and the construction sector while also providing significant new economic benefits to regional areas hit hard by other resource declines,” he said.
Photo Credit: Zero Emission Energy Developments Inc (ZED)
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