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Published on June 24th, 2012 | by Adam Johnston


BC Wind Energy Costs Declining, Productivity Increasing: Report

June 24th, 2012 by  

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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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business www.salayconsultiing.com.

  • Geoff de Ruiter

    ‘Columbia’ for your first paragraph, not Colombia 😉

  • tibi stibi

    C$87/megawatt-hour, and 18,000 Gwh/hr for a cost of under C$95/megawatt-hour

    what is that in dollars (or euro’s)?

    and how does it compare to solar?

  • Aaron

    Yes, this is great news and I live in BC. We can build a wind farm or park in basically 1 year.
    Could we please look into the materials of these wind turbines and start to design the materials to be safe and healthy and infinitely upcyclable industries? I would ask the materials be Cradle to Cradle Certified to avoid the problems associated with waste.

    BC go huge and renewable!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Many of the materials can be reused. Certainly the metals can. The concrete in foundations can be crushed and reused.

      The least recyclable is likely the blade material, but it’s most likely reusable. When making things like fiberglass boat hulls a few layers of glass cloth are laid down and then chopped fiberglass (think old wind turbine blades) are applied to the insides for stiffeners.

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