Wind power, despite climate change

Wind power, despite climate change

Hydro-Québec calls for tenders : Est-du-Québec wins five projects.

According to a study carried out jointly by Hydro-Québec, Nergica and the Ouranos consortium, climate change will not affect the potential wind.

According to this study, wind power remains a mature technology that will help meet Quebec's future energy needs and achieve carbon neutrality objectives for 2035.

Other studies had already demonstrated the little impact of high winds on wind power, notes Marilys Clément, project manager in research and innovation at Nergica.

The present study looked at wind, but also at the effects of frost, which was poorly documented, explains Clément.

The great particularity of the study, argues the Nergica spokesperson, what makes it truly unique is to integrate the impact of climate change on frost to adequately assess changes in climate potential in Canada cold.

In cold climates, such as in the Gaspé, frost can force wind turbines to stop. This is the largest source of energy loss and financial loss in the country for our wind turbines, notes Ms. Clément.

The authors of the study modeled two periods, one without the effects of climate change and another with the anticipated effects of the climate over the next few years. Both in terms of winds and frost, the consequences on production are not significant in places where wind farms are already established.

Marilys Clément explains that, according to the modelling, the wind regimes will be substantially the same over the next few decades, and the frost episodes will not be more numerous or longer. So, she says, the turbines of the future will react in the same way as those of today. They will have the same wind speeds, there will be no more energy loss due to frost, that's excellent news.

Overall energy production wind turbine should remain the same, according to Nergica. The study should help turbine manufacturers and power grid operators to improve the performance of their equipment.

Ms. Clément believes that this is good news in a context where Quebec, like the rest of the planet, must reduce its consumption of fossil fuels over the next few years.

At the same time, the demand for energy is growing, stresses Marilys Clément. Electricity demand in Canada is set to increase by 47% by 2050, according to the Régie de l'énergie, recalls the project manager.

To meet this demand, Quebec could double wind capacity by 2030 and quadruple it by 2040.

Study reveals bright future for wind power despite climate change

SHOW ICI PREMIÈRE • In the heart of the world

A study reveals a promising future for wind energy despite climate change. 11-minute audio content, ICI Première broadcast. Listen to audio.