Saturday, September 26, 2009

Canada's Coast a Major Asset for Wind Power - But Motivation Lacking

According to the CIA Factbook, Canada has over 202,000 km of coastline.

Big deal, huh?

Well, it is a bit of a big deal if you consider that the country with the next longest coastline is Indonesia, with 54,000 km. Then it's Greenland, with 45,000 km, and Russia, next in line, has only 37,000 km.

If you think these figures must be in errror - well, yeah, maybe they are - who knows? But, they are repeated on Wikipedia. On top of that, certain Canadian sources claim as much as 240,000 km of shoreline.

Without getting into too much detail, consider Hudson Bay, consider all the Arctic islands, etc. There is definitely a lot of coast in Canada.

One significance of this is the wind power potential implied by all this coastline. For a variety of reasons, the coast is one of the favourite places to install these megaliths.

The trouble is, these things are big, they kill birds, they are noisy and they can instantly ruin a pristine vista that has endured thousands of years.

Meanwhile, Canada is also rich in hydro-electric energy, which supplies roughly 59% of our electricity and carbon-based energy sources. So, our wind power potential may be huge, but our other energy sources are plentiful and reliable. When you consider the negatives of wind, it becomes clear why it has been difficult to get the wind industry into high gear in Canada.

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