BC Hydro

NDP energy promises now forgotten

In 2017, Guy Dauncey made a submission to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). It included this succinct paragraph:

The numbers show that even with the rapid electrification of transportation and heat, we do not need to flood precious farmland in the Peace River valley to generate hydropower. We can get all the energy we need in an affordable manner from a portfolio of demand-side management, wind, solar and geothermal, and we can handle the need for dispatchability.

Energy Alternatives to the Site C Dam in a Climate-Challenged World

Demand side management is the modification of consumer demand for energy. It is the least expensive way of dealing with energy needs of a growing population.

One problem with DSM is that it does not result in unbounded spending for utility expansion. As a result, it is never the choice of executives whose financial prospects depend on mega-projects that enlarge the empire employing them.

Without considering malfeasance, it is difficult to surmise why BC Hydro’s leadership has long opposed wind, solar and geothermal power.

Elsewhere, utilities behave differently. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis states the price of solar electricity has been “in freefall, to levels so low they were once thought impossible.

Wind power has attracted attention of utilities not bound to old technologies by inertia. No wonder, given this 2017 report:

The Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new report finding wind energy cost reductions of 50% are possible by 2030. That’s on top of the 66% cost reduction since 2009.

IEEFA reports solar and wind power are growing so rapidly that the United States will get more power in 2021 from renewable energy than from coal.

Most business managers are drawn to new low-price means of production, particularly when costs of innovations are trending steadily downward and costs of conventional methods are rising.

Not at BC Hydro.

BC Liberals and senior provincial bureaucrats aimed to get Site C to a “point of no return” before a newly elected government could be in position to alter established energy policies.

They need not have worried.

NDP promises to change British Columbia energy policies turned out to be easily forgotten rhetoric.

Categories: BC Hydro, Site C

5 replies »

  1. Looking back to 2016, I found this piece by Michael Smyth, damning the BC Liberals for choosing Site C over wind and other alternatives. He also catches the NDP being in support of wind.

    He writes: It leaves NDP environment critic George Heyman shaking his head.

    “We’re foregoing job opportunities in different parts of the province,” Heyman said. “We’re robbing ourselves of the benefits of plunging prices in advancing technologies.

    “Instead, they’re sinking B.C. Hydro deep into debt to go with the dam technology of the past instead of embracing cheaper renewable-energy technology of the future that the rest of the world is clamouring for.”

    https://theprovince.com/technology/smyth-the-site-c-dam-blows-away-major-wind-power-project-from-b-c

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  2. How many NDP’ers in government have always been “wannabe liberals” but were too scared to cross the floor and be honest about it. It seems about half of them to me, from the top down.

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  3. The NDP were not prepared to govern and relied on old school backroom boys and girls, mostly with a 1980’s mind set, to guide the party into power.

    Trouble is, it is 2020 and not 1980 and the policies do not fit in the 2020 landscape.

    Too many failed leaders, who are in cabinet are steering the NDP into a finical iceberg and defeat.

    Horgan’s NDP have learned nothing and have forgotten nothing.

    Big dams were so, so, 1970’s, subways and SkyTrain so, so 1980, forestry, so, so 1970’s and so on.

    Horgan’;s NDP have squandered the precious time they have spinning wheels ever pretending they can do it better.

    Housing, money laundering, ICBC and prohibitive fines on drivers that ensure their is one law for the rich and one law for the poor. Horgan and the NDP MLA’s remain blind deaf and dumb and settle for oh so 1990’s photo ops to spread their message.

    I shake my head as my disappointment makes my gorge rise with this lot.

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  4. “noun
    states·man | \ ˈstāts-mən \
    Definition
    1 : one versed in the principles or art of government
    especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies
    2 : a wise, skillful, and respected political leader.”

    “noun
    pol·i·ti·cian | \ ˌpä-lə-ˈti-shən \
    Definition
    1 : a person experienced in the art or science of government
    especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government
    2a : a person engaged in party politics as a profession
    b : often disparaging : a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons.”

    We vote hoping to elect a #2, but usually get the #2a and #2b combo.

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  5. I learned a valuable lesson. I followed the NDP through the late Clark years. I believed them to be sincere and honest….even donated to the cause. Never again will I hold politicians in high regard.

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