Before John Horgan was sworn in as Premier, BC NDP promoted a wise alternative to construction of Site C, a dam that would cost many billions of dollars and had no certain customers for electricity generated.
Jennie Moore, an associate dean for Building Design and Construction Technology at BCIT, praised the NDP’s plan: “By far the most efficient way to meet B.C.’s future energy needs is to save energy now. Here at BCIT we showed that it is possible to achieve a 75 per cent reduction in energy demand with deep building retrofits.”
Below is the NDP proposal.
- Create jobs with a bold new program of energy efficiency retrofits to public buildings such as schools and hospitals. Energy efficiency retrofits create twice as many jobs as building a new dam, and the jobs are long-lasting, good-paying, and close to home in every community across British Columbia. Conserving energy is the most efficient way to meet BC’s energy needs, and BC’s public buildings need upgrading. We will combine energy-efficiency upgrades to our schools and hospitals with much-needed seismic upgrades. We will save taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing the energy needs of our schools and hospital, as well as reducing the amount of carbon offsets they need to purchase. We will put BC jobs and apprenticeship spaces first so that British Columbians benefit from this work.
- Protect families and businesses from runaway bills with energy efficiency retrofits in industrial and commercial buildings and private homes. These retrofits are needed in communities all across BC and will be funded with the proven pay-as-you-save system. Energy-efficiency retrofits to private buildings are a win-win-win. They reduce your energy bills, increase the value of your home or business, and create good-paying jobs and spur economic activity close to home. Making buildings more efficient will also help BC meet our climate change goals by conserving the energy used to heat buildings.
- Upgrade existing BC Hydro infrastructure with resource-smart projects like Revelstoke Dam. Building Unit 6 at Revelstoke Dam would add 500 MW of energy capacity at a cost of $420 million, a fraction of the cost of Site C, and meet BC’s need for more peak capacity much sooner than Site C. Across BC many hydroelectric dams are operating 50s-era machinery. By upgrading these turbines and transformers with modern high-efficiency technology we can increase output while protecting our farms, protecting our natural environment, and respecting First Nations land title.
- Capture our wind and solar potential by making smart decisions now, freeing BC Hydro to pursue wind, solar, battery technology, and other renewable energy sources as costs fall and these technologies prove themselves. BC can become a world leader in clean energy, and join a global clean energy technology market with countries like California, Germany and the UK. We need to think big, look to the future, and allow BC Hydro the flexibility to pursue these projects incrementally to meet our energy needs, in partnership with First Nations and clean energy providers. PowerBC will position British Columbia as a clean energy champion and a world leader in new and emerging technologies.
What people are saying about BC’s energy future:
“Clean energy and energy conservation technology will increasingly power our economy and drive the jobs of the future. A major energy efficiency retrofit program for B.C. just makes sense. And retrofits will create meaningful skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians across the province, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Lee Loftus, Business Manager, BC Insulators Union
“We are at a crossroads in energy planning in B.C. The Swain environmental review panel and other objective parties have all recognized there is no justification for building Site C now. There is much more to achieve through conservation, building Revelstoke 6 and being ready and nimble to take advantage of technological change. PowerBC is a better, more responsible plan.”
Marvin Shaffer, energy economist and adjunct professor, SFU School of Public Policy
“By far the most efficient way to meet B.C.’s future energy needs is to save energy now. Here at BCIT we showed that it is possible to achieve a 75% reduction in energy demand with deep building retrofits.”
“Ideally, energy efficiency upgrades can be coupled with other building renewal projects such as seismic upgrades, to achieve financial efficiencies in both.”
Andrew Pape-Salmon, Associate, Senior Specialist – Energy, RDH Building Engineering Ltd.
Some projects put idle and polluted lands to use. Others destroy productive lands that are also culturally sensitive.
Which is the preferred route?
The BC Government blundered egregiously when it chose the wrong one. The NDP decision-makers knew better but were in thrall to special interests.
SunMine: How solar is transforming an old mining town
The old guard can’t understand why prices for wind and solar have dropped so far, so fast. It’s not sleight of hand, just the cumulative effects of three factors:
● The technology has improved in leaps and bounds. A 150m tall wind turbine built this year will generate energy for almost 3,000 average Victorian homes. A decade ago, a top-tier turbine would have generated well less than half as much.
● Unlike coal plants, solar panels and wind turbines are products not projects. Repetition leads to cheaper manufacturing and more efficient supply chains. China now produces seven solar panels every second — providing countless opportunities to trim unit costs…
● A decade ago, few banks understood renewables, and investments were seen as “alternative” and risky. Now that renewables are mainstream, the risk premium applied by banks for renewables is much lower than for coal projects. Capital intensive projects are extremely sensitive to the cost of finance.
— Norm Farrell – In-Sights.ca (@Norm_Farrell) March 22, 2018
Categories: BC Hydro