Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/439781
>> IN CANADA TOM VAN DUSEN JR. Green is the Scene Wind energy sector stirring up new opportunities, but let's not overlook Energy East pipeline project either. F or a few days last fall, sleek, efficient-looking mini replicas and artistic renditions of industrial wind turbines dominated Montreal's downtown Palais des Congrés convention centre. e occasion was the 30th anniver- sary conference and exhibition put on by the Canadian Wind Association Conference (CanWEA). e turbines are the industry symbol of power produced – and power sought – among other energy providers. Rapidly emerging in Canada's energy development game, many see wind energy as possessing tremendous future development potential. e sector is supported by several Canadian provinces interested in backing up and/or replacing historic electricity-generating methods with more contemporary options. Even with energy demand dipping, wind power promoters remain optimis- tic that planned projects will go ahead and new ones will come on board. "Wind energy in Quebec is truly a success story and it's especially fitting that we're in Montreal," CanWEA president Robert Hornung stated at the time. "Quebec has played a critical role in the history of Canada's wind energy industry." One of the industry's top selling points is that it's seen as "green," and these days, green is the scene. Employment Powerhouse In a report released in December, think tank Clean Energy Canada (CEC) made the startling claim that the green power sector has become such an important part of the economy that it now employs more people than the Alberta Oil Sands. About $25 billion has been invested in the sector in the past five years, increasing employment by 37 percent, CEC said. e 23,700 people working directly in green energy outnumber the 22,340 workers connected to the oil sands. "Clean energy has moved from being a small niche or boutique industry to really big business in Canada," said CEC director Merran Smith, adding that the generating capacity of wind, solar, run-of-river hydro and biomass installations has expanded by 93 percent over the past five years. However, despite its increasing importance to the national economy, building the sector hasn't yet become a priority with the federal government, Smith observed. Smith emphasized that clean power generation isn't a slave to commodity prices and the boom-and-bust cycle that regularly hits the oil and gas sector. In addition, she noted, the oil industry eats up a good deal of Canada's diplomatic relations efforts, as in the never-ending lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline. She contends that the federal level should create tax support for renewable technology investment, pump infra- structure cash into new transmission lines devoted to clean energy, and put a penalty on carbon. On Firmer Footing anks to 2014 re-election in Ontario of a Liberal government, Hornung said the industry there is on firmer footing because of a strong commitment to wind energy development. 52 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | January 2015 Quebec has played a critical role in the history of Canada's wind energy industry. Trans Canada spokesman Tim Duboyce shows a scale model of a piece of equipment known as a "Smart Pig" that patrols a crude oil pipeline collecting data leading to pre-emptive repairs where required.