With alternative energy prices dropping steadily, when the Horgan Government announced its decision to keep building Site C, I expected opponents would be entitled eventually to say, “We told you so.”
I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly.
Power Worth Less Than Zero Spreads as Green Energy Floods the Grid, Bloomberg News, August 5, 2018:
Bright and breezy days are becoming a deeper nightmare for utilities struggling to earn a return on traditional power plants.
With wind and solar farms sprouting up in more areas — and their power getting priority to feed into the grid in many places — the amount of electricity being generated is outstripping demand during certain hours of the day.
The result: power prices are slipping to zero or even below more often in more jurisdictions… Once confined to a curiosity for a few hours over windy Christmas holidays, sub-zero cost of electricity is becoming a reality for hundreds of hours in many markets, upending the economics of the business in the process…
It’s left the utilities complaining that they can’t earn the returns they expected for their investment in generation capacity…
“Bill Gates became the richest bloke on Earth off the end of the mainframe,” said Neil Eckert, chairman of Aggregated Micro Power Holdings Plc, an energy services company that installs small power plants. “We are seeing the end of the energy mainframe. The world will have to learn new techniques — how to invest in small-scale distributed energy.”
One thing is certain. BC Hydro managers and Government minions are worried about now established trends in renewable energy. Here’s some evidence.
In 2011, the energy department announced $20,000 grants to 11 public and private schools.
The webpage, which is still up, it invites readers to click for more information.
But, follow the links and you’ll find they are dead: “http://www.solarbc.ca’s server IP address could not be found.”
Not long ago, the BC Government was encouraging and subsidizing solar installations. The agency that promised to put solar on 100,000 rooftops by 2020 has now gone away.
Consider also BC Hydro’s elimination of incentives for installation of solar energy. While the rest of the world is adopting solar because of falling prices and rising efficiencies, British Columbia is turning away.
The province won’t now admit that solar power potential is huge and economical. If they did, voters would wonder why BC Hydro is borrowing $11 billion, destroying valuable farmlands and breaking promises to indigenous people, just to reward political friends.
If BC had a Press Gallery or an Official Opposition that cared a damn about the public interest, Site C would be a giant issue.
Sadly, wildfires and property taxes on multi-million dollar mansions are more important.