Because domestic demand by BC Hydro’s residential, commercial and industrial customers has been flat since 2005, the need for Site C is unproven.
Because costs of alternative sources of electricity are substantially below the Peace River project, its completion is a mistake.
Egypt is just one country dedicating itself to clean renewables. It plans to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022, and 42% by 2035.
The budget for Site C will probably exceed the amount shown above. Bureaucrats and politicians never hide good news and BC Hydro has been unwilling to release details of engineering challenges that require redesign of important project segments.
The cost of abandonment has grown substantially since 2017 but continued spending does not guarantee Site C will ever contribute anything to BC’s power grid.
The Horgan Government needs to remember the First Law of Holes:
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
I have written that BC Hydro’s energy outlook is rooted in the 20th century, when electricity demand moved inexorably upward. Executives assumed growth in GDP resulted in need for additional energy.
BC Hydro’s demand expectations have been tied, not to real world consumption, but to expected economic expansion. To justify capital spending, the utility used optimistic forecasts of GDP changes, even though the validity of that indicator had ceased to matter.
In 2005, demand for electricity in British Columbia stopped rising, even though economic expansion continued. This is happening elsewhere too.
This chart is from Germany. Although GDP has been rising, energy consumption has fallen in the last 15 years.
Germany offers another lesson to British Columbia. Having expanded dramatically in the past decade, wind and solar power generation now provides about 30% of German electricity.
Yet outdated proponents of traditional hydro in this province argue that wind and solar power can contribute only a tiny portion of needed electricity. Of course, if those renewables can be integrated into utility grids elsewhere, they can be used here.
Another piece of misinformation spread by those with fingers in the lucrative dam-building business is that hydro power is the cleanest of all sources. Independent scientists know that is untrue.
The scientists compared the environmental impacts of hydro, solar, and wind energy. Hydropower does the most damage, the scientists found. “Hydropower has degraded some of the most biologically rich habitats on our planet,” said Professor William Laurance from James Cook University in Australia.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.09.007
Categories: Site C