For years, informed commentators without a partisan interest or a financial stake in construction of Site C argued for alternative energy projects. BC New Democrats and BC Hydro were disinterested in lower cost production of electricity generated close to where it is consumed. Many of us are certain we know why.
Make no mistake. Special interest groups dictated the government’s energy policy.
Union contributions of $6.3 million in 2016 and 2017 were crucial in the NDP’s rise to power. Without that financial backing, John Horgan’s successful 2017 campaign would have been a non-starter. But for the sale of its headquarters in 2015, the party would have been in deficit for three consecutive years.
The government of France has not been as influenced by financial contributors. In 1995, France enacted a law that prohibited candidates from receiving donations from legal entities. Political parties could not be financial dependents of unions and business groups.
The time required to add wind and solar power capacity is typically about two years from approval to completion. Site C is taking more than 10 years to construct and planning for the project went on for decades before.
Wind and solar can coexist with agricultural activities. Site C will inundate Class 1 farmland that has minimal limitations in what it can produce.
An energy initiative in France is one that could be copied everywhere. The new policy is expected to add capacity of 11 gigawatts to the French electricity grid, which is equivalent to ten Site C projects.
France has approved legislation that will require all car parks with more than 80 spaces to be covered over by solar panels. This is part of a wider programme that will see solar panels occupy derelict lots, vacant land alongside roads and railways, as well as some farmland.France’s plan for solar panels on all car parks is just the start of an urban renewable revolution
Hydrostor, a Toronto based company, advertises itself as “the world’s leading developer of Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) projects, enabling the transition to a CLEANER, more AFFORDABLE and more FLEXIBLE electricity grid.“
Western Canada’s preeminent energy reporter Markham Hislop interviewed Hydrostor’s President about its activities.
The world is moving rapidly toward wind and solar power and new forms of energy storage. Sadly, BC is sitting on the sidelines, stuck in technology that made sense fifty years ago.