Unlike Site C in British Columbia, wind projects have relatively low budgets and short construction timelines. Those factors impede privatization of public wealth. While good for consumers of electricity, low-cost generating facilities offer only short-term benefits to those who build them.
Sweden has a public utility not stuck in the 1960s
I invite readers to look beyond a comparison of the noted energy projects to consider the long term objectives of two publicly owned energy companies. BC Hydro is focused on doing what it has done since the 1960s. Sweden’s Vattenfall is an innovator, creating permanent jobs and pursuing solutions to address the climate crisis…
Winds of change
Although humans have harnessed wind energy for 1,400 years or more, global capacity only began to grow substantially in the 21st century. Growth is a fraction of that needed if Earth is to achieve net-zero carbon before climate disaster overtakes humanity. Wind energy is affordable. Wind prices for power contracts signed in the last few years are 1.5–4 cents per kilowatt-hour. Compare to Site C where electricity will cost between 15 and 18 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Wind turbine for when the winds don’t blow
Years ago, the head of BC Hydro said the least-cost solutions to energy needs were conservation and efficiency. While that remains true, recovery of energy now wasted would be advantageous. Alpha 311 now offers a vertical axis wind turbine that can produce electricity by harvesting energy produced by moving vehicles.
Site C per MW capex 7x that of Egyptian near-shore wind projects
Because domestic demand by BC Hydro’s residential, commercial and industrial customers has been flat since 2005, the need for Site C is doubtful. Because costs of alternative sources of electricity are substantially below the Peace River project, its completion is a mistake…
Next generation wind energy
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…