Huge green power reserves can fuel jobs, economy

British Columbia has huge reserves of green power that could stimulate enormous economic development and employment opportunity, with as many as 400,000 new jobs over 25 years, and establish BC as a leader in renewable energy.


CONTACT: Guy Dauncey 881-1304

Huge green power reserves can fuel jobs, economy

Victoria, BC (November 21, 2005)—British Columbia has huge reserves of green power that could stimulate enormous economic development and employment opportunity, with as many as 400,000 new jobs over 25 years, and establish BC as a leader in renewable energy, according to a report released today by the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA).

Tallying the province's green energy potential from wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and other technologies, combined with energy-savings from efficiency measures, would produce 84,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year. This is 50% more than BC Hydro's current total generation and enough power for 8.4 million homes.

"BC can be a global leader in green energy technologies if it chooses to," said Guy Dauncey, BCSEA president and author of the report, Sustainable Energy Solutions for BC, prepared as a submission to the BC Alternative Energy and Power Technology Task Force. The Task Force is expected to release its findings soon. BC Hydro is also due to release its 2005 Integrated Electricity Plan that will outline how BC Hydro expects to meet anticipated customer electrical demand over the next 20 years.

The BCSEA report identifies tidal energy as BC's largest long-term source of potential power: 13,000 GWh/yr. A further 12,500 GWh /yr could be freed up by 2025 by saving electricity currently used wastefully. BC also has the potential for 11,000 GWh a year of wind energy. Full- and part-time jobs created over the 25-year period total 413,000 jobs, including installation of solar PV roof systems and retrofitting homes and businesses to double their energy efficiency. The report draws on BC Hydro energy resource data and a variety of employment studies to arrive at these conclusions.

"BC's impressive solar energy potential is very similar to that of Germany, a world-leader in solar installations thanks to progressive government energy policies," said Kevin Pegg, of EA Energy Alternatives Ltd., a Victoria solar, wind and microhydro company. "Washington State recently announced incentives to grow their renewables industry: If they can do it, so can we."

"The challenge is not technical", said Guy Dauncey. "It lies with the decision to prioritize sustainable energy over other sources, such as coal, coal-bed methane, natural gas, or large-scale hydro." BC Hydro is currently following a voluntary commitment that 50% of its energy will come from "clean" resources, which includes cogeneration from natural gas. BC Hydro's 2005 Integrated Electricity Plan may conclude that BC's future power should come from green resources such as those described in the BCSEA report, or from coal-fired power, the Site-C dam, natural gas, or a combination of these sources.

"Deploying these resources will require a transition over several years along with some transition costs," said Dale Littlejohn, a Vancouver sustainable energy consultant and BCSEA director, "but we can do this profitably while improving jobs, health and the economy. As a bonus, we can make BC fossil-free by 2025 and set an example for the rest of the world."

The full report is available at:

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For more information:

Guy Dauncey (Victoria) 250-881-1304

Kevin Pegg (Victoria) 250-727-0522

Dale Littlejohn (Vancouver) 604-785-5130

Peter Ronald, Coordinator
BCSEA - BC Sustainable Energy Association
5-4217 Glanford Avenue, Victoria, BC V8Z 4B9 - (250) 744-2720

Seeking Sustainable Solutions for all of BC's Energy Needs

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