Faced with energy market disruption, the European Union is proceeding with REPowerEU, a plan for conservation and production of clean energy. The EU knows that conservation is the cheapest, safest, and cleanest option. It can reduce individual energy costs and add economic resilience. The same is true in North America.
The European Union is putting into action what John Horgan’s NDP promised until elected in 2017:
PowerBC promised the province would:
- Retrofit public buildings,
- Retrofit homes and businesses,
- Maximize output from existing hydroelectric dams,
- Invest in clean energy.
The first two items would have created jobs throughout the province and put cash in the pockets of consumers. The third contemplated upgrades to existing power facilities when needed, including a sixth generator on the Revelstoke dam. The fourth promised investments in wind, solar, and battery technology. All plans were scrapped in 2017.
Outside of Canada, clean renewable power is rapidly gaining importance for hydrogen production. This week Shell Plc announced plans to construct Europe’s largest plant to produce green hydrogen. Leading airline manufacturer Airbus says hydrogen could allow sale of zero-emission commercial aircraft.
Instead of pursing non-destructive renewables, BC NDP cancelled PowerBC and committed instead to destroy 80+ kilometres of the Peace River Valley. If Site C operates, it will produce electricity that will cost three times to five times the cost of non-destructive alternatives. Government plans to sell that energy to natural gas producers and processors for a fraction of its cost.
Of course, there is still time for rational policy. Site C output could help manufacture hydrogen. Instead of using and exporting a planet-killing fossil fuel, British Columbia could be using and exporting clean burning hydrogen. Fort St. John would gain a viable industry.