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Wind Energy

What is wind energy?

The kinetic energy in wind can be converted into useful forms of energy such as mechanical energy or electricity. Wind energy has been harnessed for centuries to propel sailing vessels and to turn grist mills and water pumps.

Today, wind is used increasingly to generate electricity. Turbines with large propellers are erected on wind farms located in strategic areas that have good wind regimes and that are in proximity to existing electrical grids. Wind energy is captured only when the wind speed is sufficient to move the turbine blades, but not in high winds when the turbine might be damaged if operated.

  • Wind energy in Canada

    Canada has large areas with excellent wind resources and therefore a significant potential for wind-generated power. In 2022, Canada was the world’s 9th largest producer of onshore wind.

    Some of the highest quality wind resources are offshore and along coastlines. There are also high-quality areas inland at different locations across Canada, including the southern Prairies and along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. No offshore wind farms have been built in Canada yet, and the development of coastal wind farms is limited because most of Canada’s coastline is in remote regions, away from the existing electrical grid.

    Installed wind power capacity in Canada has expanded rapidly in recent years and is forecasted to continue to grow at a rapid pace due to increased interest from electricity producers and governmental initiatives. In 2022, Canada added 1006 megawatts of installed capacity for wind energy for a total of 15’132 MW.

    In 2022, wind energy generated 36 terawatt-hours of electricity in Canada, accounting for 5.7% of total electricity generation, which provided enough electricity to power about 3 million typical Canadian homes.

Wind Power Capacity in Canada (2007-2022, in megawatts)

Text version

The bar chart displays annual installations of wind power capacity in Canada since 2007, in megawatts. The curve shows the rapid increase in cumulative capacity from 1,846 megawatts in 2007 to 15,132 megawatts in 2022.

Wind energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) at NRCan

NRCan’s science and technology experts are advancing wind energy through various avenues.

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