Voytek Klaptocz, managing director and co-founder of Mavi Innovations Inc. talks about a new tidal turbine project north of Campbell River during a session on clean technology at the State of the Island Economic Summit, Wednesday. Also pictured are moderator Bert Zethof and panelists Judith Sayers, strategic advisor to First Nations and corporations and Tom Zaban, executive vice-president of Reliable Controls. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

Vision and leadership needed to advance clean technology on the Island

Panelists talk clean tech during the State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo

Vancouver Island needs vision and leadership to become world-renowned for clean-technology solutions.

That’s the view of several panelists who shared what’s happening with clean technology and how to take the sector further, during the State of the Island Economic Summit on Wednesday.

In Canada there are more than 800 firms in the clean-tech sector, which employs more than 50,000 people and has revenue of $13 billion, said Zethof Consulting Group owner Bert Zethof, who moderated the session on Vancouver Island clean technology. He’s counted more than 100 of the businesses on Vancouver Island.

Voytek Klaptocz, managing director and co-founder of Mavi Innovations Inc., recently moved to the Island and his company installed a tidal turbine project north of Campbell River at Blind Channel Resort this past summer. The turbine will generate power from tidal currents, helping the resort rely less on diesel, but the company will also determine if it’s feasible to have off-grid turbine power and its infrastructure could lend itself to learning and data-gathering by like-minded companies and universities, according to Klaptocz.

He’s found there is “tremendous support” for small business, but he also said the company doesn’t quite know what the vision is for the Island and getting communities off diesel.

“A lot of times it seems like we are just trying to execute on our own vision,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk out there about doing it but we aren’t necessarily seeing any action other than from our own initiative to do so.”

He said there probably needs to be consolidation, a central association, that will push initiatives on different fronts, technically but also at the universities and on the policy side.

Tom Zaban, executive vice-president of Victoria-based Reliable Controls and Judith Sayers, strategic advisor to First Nations and corporations, agreed on the need for vision and leadership.

“If we don’t have a vision, we’re not going anywhere,” Sayers said.

There are 249 projects First Nations want to develop in B.C. with a value of $3.3 billion, a survey of 105 nations found, according to Sayers, who said there’s an opportunity for First Nations and it helps reduce greenhouse gases, makes use of renewable resources, has minimal environmental impact, creates jobs, diversifies the economy and creates regional benefits and independence with power.

She said First Nations need the opportunity to create power, access to capital, partner companies and more capacity development.

The Vancouver Island Economic Association announced it’s prepared to assemble a working group to look at how it can support development of clean technology on the Island.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo women look for forward steps at march

Nanaimo Women March On held downtown on Saturday

Nanaimo candidate, premier address spec tax at B.C. NDP event

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

RDN board to vote on spending $150,000 for mapping software

ESRI Canada successful RFP proponent, RDN to vote as part of 2019 budget

Nanaimo’s École Hammond Bay school unveils new gym expansion

Larger gym can accommodate home games and assemblies

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 17

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read