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    November 2012
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    Dollars Blowing in the Wind

    Mark Borkowski

    The 2012 Global Wind Energy Outlook report states that one third of the world’s electricity can be supplied by wind, meaning that 129 billion tonnes of CO2 can be saved by 2050.

    From just 4,800 MW in 1995, the world total has multiplied more than twelve-fold to reach over 59,000 MW at the end of 2005. The international market is expected to have an annual turnover in 2006 of more than € 13 billion, with an estimated 150,000 people employed in this industry around the world.

    Canada also had a record year, with the installed capacity more than doubling from 683 MW in 2005 to 1459 MW at the end of 2006. In 2007, Ontario became the second province in Canada, after Prince Edward Island, to enact a feed-in tariff. Public competitive bidding policies continued in Quebec where Hydro-Quebec had originally issued a second solicitation for 2000 MW of wind power in 2005, following the first solicitation for 1000 MW in 2004.

    “Wind energy is an emerging Canadian success story and 2007 will be remembered as the year that Canada first began to seriously capture its economic and environmental benefits,” said Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). “Canada’s is on the cusp of a wind energy boom as provincial governments are now targeting to have a minimum of 10,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity in place by 2015.”

    What does this really mean for Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)?

    First, using wind power energy can add a competitive edge to operations. One of the largest items in many businesses is the cost of acquiring electricity. Current wind turbine technology is fast developing more efficient means of acquiring the wind and turning it into useable power at a cheaper acquisition cost than fossil fuel based energy. This then means the electric bill will consequently be lower and growing lower as newer designs come onto the market.

    In province of Ontario, the government is offering a premium price for buying renewable energy from private sources. As SMEs develop their own wind power generation, there exists the real possibility of not only eliminating the need to buy outside electricity but also the real possibility of earning real dollars for selling back to the grid excess power not needed.

    Even small properties can participate, as there are different sizes of turbines now available to take advantage of different needs. A property owner hosting a number of businesses in a building or the operator of an industrial park can significantly reduce electricity costs that can also act as inducements for new tenants to sign up for leases.

    And here’s the bonus for SMEs.

    SMEs using wind power to operate their businesses can rightfully claim to the world and their customers that they are indeed good corporate citizens in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to lessen air pollution and to participate in the sustainable economy. These days, this claim can be very advantageous to selling in a very competitive marketplace.

    Toronto City Hall is now contemplating installing a farm of wind turbines of each of the city hall towers to augment their already green energy projects on other areas of the city hall property.

    Moreover, governments at all levels are offering serious subsidies to encourage the conversion to renewable energy sources and to wean away from gashouse causing energy sources.

    “Wind energy is the most attractive solution to the world’s energy challenges. It is clean and fuel-free. Moreover, wind is indigenous and enough wind blows across the globe to cope with the ever increasing electricity demand. Wind technology is not a dream for the future – it is real, it is mature and it can be deployed on a large scale,” assures Arthouros Zervos, Global Wind Energy Council’s chairman.

    A private Toronto wind power development company states that that 10 to 20 percent of an average company’s electrical usage could be generated through a wind farm park, further stating that the company is currently in development talks with over 40 companies across Canada, directly working with individual companies of all sizes to develop viable energy strategies

    Industry experts are claiming that over the next five years between 10,000 and 15,000 megawatts of wind energy installed in Canada.

    So, if someone walked into your office offering a cheaper alternative to purchasing electricity with the real possibility of earning extra dollars on a system that would pay for itself within a short time period with the help of various governments, reduce operating costs and be counted as an environmental friendly business to boot, what would be your answer?

    By: Mark Borkowski is president of Toronto based Mercantile Mergers & Acquisitions Corp. Mercantile is a mid market M&A brokerage firm. Mercantile specialize in the sale of mid market companies. Mark can be contacted at (416) 368-8466 ext. 232 or mark@mercantilema.com or www.mercantilemergersacquisitions.com

    The MONEY® Network