International News Desk – Alberta Makes a Move Toward Wind Energy

Alberta doesn’t come to mind when Canadians think of Green-leaning provinces. In fact, It’s more likely to be the butt of environmental jokes than to be held up as a shining example to the rest of the country. But while we might be far behind the Maritimes when it comes to Green energy and dedication to recycling, even big bad Alberta has started a wind-energy initiative this past March to evaluate the future use of wind energy in place of a percentage of fossil fuels. A joint project of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), this wind forecasting study is hoped to provide the information needed for expansion into wind farming throughout Alberta in the near future.

Environmental activists province-wide have got to be happy that at last their province is moving in the right direction (or might I say if not happy, then relieved), although Dale McMaster, the Chief Executive Officer of AESO, pointed out that “Alberta is the first Canadian province to investigate sophisticated wind forecasting methods . . . one of the tools that will help manage increased amounts of wind power in Alberta” (1).

The year-long tests are meant to help researchers understand the actual amounts of wind power that might be generated in the future, and what kinds of revenue might be expected by producers who will have to start incorporating alternative energy solutions into their current supply lists. It is assumed that following the completion of the study Alberta energy users will be able to source some of their power from wind farms, largely offsetting the carbon emissions from current coal-burning facilities.

Stay tuned for project results next March. we’ll have to wait and see exactly how this information is going to be applied province-wide in terms of cutting carbon emissions and non-sustainable energy use, but once finished It’s hoped the post-Klein Alberta government will see fit to implement a new Green system without delay.

(1) Canadian Wind Energy Association. “AESO/CanWEA forecasting study key to adding more wind power in Alberta” (2007). Retrieved April 4, 2007, from http://www.canwea.ca/news_releases.cfm?ID=43

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