Derrick Penner of the Vancouver Sun reported words from the Chief of BC Hydro’s nomenklatura :
In December, [Jessica] McDonald heralded Site C as “essential to keeping the lights on…”
“Fundamentally, (independent power projects) are important partners of ours. It’s only been in the very recent past, but they now account for 25 per cent of our portfolio. That’s a permanent partnership now, and a very important one for us… There will continue to be opportunities for IPPs in the future. We do have the standing-offer program, there will be renewals of some IPPs going forward…”
The BC Hydro Service Plan published in September 2005 said:
Demand on BC Hydro’s electricity system grows each year. From March 2004 to March 2005, BC Hydro connected about 22,000 new customers to its system. BC Hydro’s latest demand forecast shows an increase of 1.5 per cent growth per year over the next 20 years.
Now halfway through that 20 year estimate, the utility’s public records show that, instead of rising 18% by 2016, domestic consumption declined by 3%, comparing the current year’s demand to when the Service Plan was published.
In 2012, BC Hydro ignored its own data and raised the annual growth projection from 1.5% per year to 1.7% (40% in 20 years).
Charles Reid, then BC Hydro President, repeated that assertion in 2014, mouthing a long standing claim that consumption growth is inexorable. He was clearly wrong and probably knew it. A decade of flat demand for electricity in British Columbia is in line with numbers reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Growth in electrical consumption throughout most of North America has been non-existent since 2010. EIA reported in 2014 that U.S. electricity sales had decreased in four of the previous five years. Part of this is from less heavy manufacturing, part from user’s desire to conserve energy and part from increased efficiencies of new technologies.
|Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration|
The International Energy Agency reports that North Americans consume double the energy per person of residents in other OECD nations. Per capita, we use nine times the amount of non-OECD countries. BC Liberal politicians wrongly choose policies to encourage more consumption instead of more conservation. They are concerned about rewards for friends in the here and now and that means billions borrowed to be spent on new power generation that may or may not be used.
Laboratories around the world are working on new energy and solutions are beginning to emerge that will create a revised landscape not based on fossil fuels and waste.
US agency reaches ‘holy grail’ of battery storage sought by Elon Musk and Gates, The Guardian, March 3, 2016:
…The battery storage systems developed with Arpa-E’s support are on the verge of transforming America’s electrical grid, a transformation that could unfold within the next five to 10 years, [Ellen Williams, Arpa-E’s director] said.
The most promising developments are in the realm of large-scale energy storage systems, which electricity companies need to put in place to bring more solar and wind power on to the grid.
She said projects funded by Arpa-E had the potential to transform utility-scale storage, and expand the use of micro-grids by the military and for disaster relief. Projects were also developing faster and more efficient super conductors, and relying on new materials beyond current lithium-ion batteries.
The companies incubated at Arpa-E have developed new designs for batteries, and new chemistries, which are rapidly bringing down the costs of energy storage, she said…
The following graphs are prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy. Keep in mind that in the 3 months ended December 31, 2015, BC Hydro paid an average of 9.14¢ per KWh to IPPs, under price-escalating contracts that stretch beyond 50 years. Site C power will cost between 10¢ and 18¢ per KWh. (Heavy industry pays 5.4¢/KWh for power it uses.)
As requested by Les in comments, here is the price change of power purchased by BC Hydro from IPPs. As indicated, prices decline elsewhere but in British Columbia, rise 42% in five years.
Categories: BC Hydro