Small Wind

Wind Turbine DiagramWind is created when the sun heats the land and causes the air to rise. Some areas heat more quickly than others, creating surface air movement. The blades of a wind turbine capture this clean and plentiful source of energy and begin to rotate. The rotational movement drives a generator which produces electricity.

The three-bladed horizontal axis wind turbine is the dominant technology of most commercially-viable small wind turbines. The energy produced from these units can be connected to the electrical grid or used to charge batteries for on-site consumption.

A report by the David Suzuki Foundation shows that Ontario could install 8,000 MW of small and big wind power by 2012, which is 4 times the estimate from the Ontario government and would meet roughly 9% of electricity demand. Currently, there is enough power generated from wind to power over 1 million homes in Canada.

With a combination of technological improvements and an appropriate feed-in-tariff, the small wind industry could be in position for substantial growth (see solar PV industry). This industry could be a significant source of job creation, but it will also need to prove that it can deliver strong performance over the life of a 20 year FIT contract to ensure to investors that the industry is a safe investment.

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