Those of us who opposed construction of the Site C dam—including the BC NDP until May 2017—argued that rapid advances in alternative energy systems meant flooding the Peace River valley was inappropriate and unnecessary.
That was true in 2017 and remains true today.
Fourteen months ago there was an announcement that Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is acquiring power from five new wind energy projects at an average weighted price of $39 per megawatt-hour.
Site C power will cost 2x to 3x that amount.
Two years ago, Colorado’s Xcel Energy received even lower prices than Alberta.
Wind-only bids had a median price quoted of $18/MWh, meaning half of the bids were below that. Solar only came in at a median price of $29.50/MWh.
Solar with storage was bid at a median price of $36/MWh, and wind with storage came in at $21/MWh, prices so low they have generated a buzz nationally among those who track the utility industry.Xcel Energy receives shockingly low bids for Colorado electricity from renewable sources
In conversation with John Horgan before he became Premier, I argued that, as traditional resource industries decline, British Columbia ought to focus on innovative technologies for future economic growth.
He seemed to agree and said that with Bruce Ralston, he would be working on proposals for innovation. Unfortunately, once elected, policies of the Liberal party appealed to the NDP more than transformation of the BC energy systems.
Peace Valley’s “extraordinary” farmland could feed a million people. So flooding it make no sense in a time that agriculture is being disrupted by climate change.
World Economic Forum published Here’s how we can use agriculture to fight climate change:
There is one, widely unknown solution to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere: agriculture.
Reducing tillage, expanding crop rotations, planting cover crops and reintegrating livestock into crop production systems have proven to reduce agriculture’s own footprint as well as capture the excess carbon generated by other industries.
This captured carbon is then converted into plant material and/or soil organic matter, improving soil health and increasing the ability to produce food on the land in the future.
Unfortunately, British Columbia’s politicians are too focused on increasing fossil fuel outputs to worry about other matters.