The strategy is a direct response to a challenge by Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes for the renewable industry to put forth policy solutions to help "green the grid."
Since the country's first wind farm was constructed in southern Alberta in 1993, the province has installed 1,100MW of wind energy - but this represents just a small fraction of the available resource, said CanWEA.
Alberta currently sits in third place for total installed wind energy capacity - behind Ontario and Quebec. WindVision 2025 makes the case that Alberta is well positioned to take strategic advantage of its significant wind resource, access to skilled trades, and interest by independent power producers.
"Wind energy can provide substantial amounts of new clean electricity to Albertans while at the same time contributing to rural economic development and addressing concerns about increases in greenhouse gas emissions from the province's broader energy sector. Without immediate action by policymakers, however, the prospects for additional wind energy development in Alberta are limited," said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA.
CanWEA said its WindVision for Alberta demonstrates that Alberta has about 5,000MW of easily accessible wind resources that can produce energy affordably. However, the structure of the province's current competitive electricity market makes it very difficult for new wind farms to be financeable and to secure the revenues needed to be economically viable, said the association.