Electricity needed to fill demand gap

Electricity demand in this province will grow by a whopping 50 per cent over the next 20 years.

To the Editor,

B.C. Hydro recently updated its energy forecast for B.C., and the new numbers, contained in Hydro’s Draft Integrated Resource Plan, show that electricity demand in this province will grow by a whopping 50 per cent over the next 20 years.

B.C. Hydro believes it can cover nearly one-third of the expected growth in energy demand through energy conservation. However, that still leaves two-thirds of the forecasted increase in energy demand that will need to be met with electricity from generated sources.

Given that the proposed Site C dam is expected to cover 5,100 gigawatt hours per year of that demand, it means that B.C. Hydro is still going to need to find an additional 17,852 gigawatt hours of generated energy per year. That’s more than three times the total energy output of the Site C dam.

Based on several available estimates of B.C.’s untapped renewable energy resources that  the B.C. Citizens for Green Energy looked at, B.C.’s untapped potential for generating renewable energy is easily two to three times B.C. Hydro’s total existing hydroelectric generating capacity.

In fact, during Hydro’s most recent call for clean, renewable energy in 2008, it received 68 proposals from 43 green energy producers for more than 17,000 gigawatt hours of clean, green, renewable energy per year.

B.C.’s renewable green energy producers and resources are more than up to the challenge of helping meet the province’s increasing need for energy over the next two decades.

And very clearly, the development of B.C.’s north offers an exciting opportunity for us to develop more abundant renewable energy resources while also creating jobs and economic opportunities across the province.

Bruce Sanderson

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy

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