Media release - for immediate release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
October 25, 2011
New electricity loads
set to dramatically increase
demand in B.C.
“Now is definitely not the time to abandon the goal
of electricity self-sufficiency or the jobs that
renewable energy development can create
and support province-wide.”
— David Field, co-spokesperson, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy —
Vancouver, B.C. — B.C. Citizens for Green Energy (BCCGE) co-spokesperson David Field says recently-released forecasts of electricity demand in B.C. prove that now is not the time for B.C. to abandon the goal of electricity self-sufficiency.
Field recently delivered this important message to the all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services comprised of BC Liberal and NDP members of the provincial legislature during their province-wide public consultation process.
In his presentation, Field pointed to a new report commissioned by The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) which identifies substantial new electricity loads not previously accounted for in BC Hydro’s forecasts.
As the CANWEA report indicates, additional demand from new, previously unaccounted-for loads in B.C. means the province is going to need 12,000 gigawatt-hours of new electricity supply by 2017 and 24,000 gigawatt-hours by 2025 — two to four times previous forecasts.
These newly-identified electricity loads are more than double BC Hydro’s current load forecast of 5,800 gigawatt-hours by 2017, and nearly four times greater than the 6,500 gigawatt-hours of additional load forecast by 2025.
“The CANWEA report puts a whole new light on discussions around the 3,000 gigawatt-hours of ‘insurance power’ by 2020 that the energy minister is currently reviewing,” Field said. “Those 3,000 gigawatt-hours are going to be swallowed up by new electricity demand long before any energy surplus emerges.”
Given these new forecasts, Field says there is no time to lose if the province wants to be capable of meeting electricity demand over the next two decades, let alone be self-sufficient. As he points out, the 24,000 gigawatt-hours of new load forecast by 2025 represents nearly half of what BC Hydro is currently able to generate from its existing, but rapidly aging, energy generating infrastructure.
To meet the increased load, CANWEA’s report suggests that wind energy’s share as a percentage of total generation in B.C. could increase from the current 1 per cent of total generation to 17 per cent by the year 2025, bringing an estimated $16 billion dollars worth of investment to the province and over $3.7 billion in direct benefits to BC communities.
Increasing wind energy’s share of total generation would also generate an estimated 22,500 person-years of employment during construction, and 7,500 person-years of employment over the 20 to 25 year lifespan of the wind energy projects.
“We shouldn’t forget that we already have a sustainable job plan in place with renewable, green energy development and existing policies to keep the province energy self-sufficient,” Field said. “Meeting electricity demand over the next couple of decades and creating jobs province-wide by developing the province’s abundant renewable green energy resources really do go hand-in-hand.”
Green energy development, Field says, has to be as much a part of the next generation’s job prospects as anything outlined in the well-received BC Jobs Plan recently unveiled by the Premier. In a very real sense, Field says, B.C.’s job plan “IS” green power.
Field says, given the new load forecasts outlined in the CANWEA report, it’s more important than ever that we support what we’ve already started in this province with job-creating renewable energy development: “Now is definitely not the time to abandon the goal of electricity self-sufficiency or the jobs that renewable energy development can create and support province-wide.”
For more information contact David Field
Co-spokesperson, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy is an advocacy group representing a cross-section of British Columbians who encourage a legacy of clean, renewable electricity for future generations.