Deliberate optimism: A sustainable energy outlook for BC in 2017
At first glance, the 2017 sustainable energy outlook for BC is grim.
Last November, the federal government approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, now followed by a compliant BC government. First Nations and environmental groups are vowing to do what it takes to stop the pipeline from being built.
The BC government’s liquefied natural gas export agenda has scored one committed project: Woodfibre LNG in Squamish. Other projects remain in play. If successful, BC’s LNG export policy would negate its other efforts to reduce carbon pollution.
Meanwhile, the Climate Leadership Plan that was supposed to update BC’s 2008 Climate Action Plan has far too few carbon reduction measures for BC to meet its own legislated reduction targets or do its share to limit climate change.
Looking south of the border, many people are dismayed at a new president who apparently “doesn’t do reality” on climate change and generates policy out of his own soundbites and class allegiances.
On the other hand …
Despite its bad decision on Kinder Morgan, we finally have a federal government that is investing political capital in climate action, including a vision of a clean energy economy and – yes – carbon pricing.
At last December’s pan-Canadian framework on climate, Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall argued that Canada could not afford to implement carbon pricing for fear of losing its competitiveness. Prime Minister Trudeau replied with a vision of Canada as a clean tech solution provider, necessarily doing its share on climate action:
“We can develop these solutions. We can deliver them to markets, but if and only if we create the right environment at home for these businesses to thrive, and this has to be through the right price signals and investments. If we don’t do this, we will miss out on this market opportunity and put our competitiveness at risk.”
Is the future bright for BC's sustainability? Take a read through the rest of Tom Hackney's article and find out.
Event Reminders & More
Striving always to provide quality education, enjoyment and inspiration, BCSEA is proud to kick off 2017 with two free events this month. This weekend, on January 14th, the BCSEA Kamloops Chapter opens its incredible Everyday Sustainable Energy Superheroes Exhibition, at the Kamloops Art Gallery.
The exhibition will host an incredible array of public submissions that depict the many ways that people use energy sustainably in the household or business, for such things as getting around, sourcing food, consumer behavior, managing (waste) resources, and general lifestyle choices. Submissions include different forms of energy generation and conservation, and cover the spectrum from old-fashioned to high-tech! Take a read through this article for more information on what the exhibition entails.
In Vancouver, at the VPL Kitsilano Branch, families with children are invited to take part in a free Cool It! In Your Community educational workshop. On January 28th BCSEA will host two workshops, at 12:30pm and 3pm, in which families will learn what actions they can take to reduce their GHG emissions. Children taking part will receive goody bags filled with passes to local attractions (like Science World) and families have the chance to win the prize basket! Take a look at the website for more information and to register.
Finally, the deadline draws near for the Energy Connections 2017 Early Bird discount period. If you've not had the chance, take a look at the Energy Connections 2017 website for information on the four amazing sessions, the sponsors and the event speakers, who'll inspire and educate on BC's energy policy and sustainable success stories from across the province. Register before this Sunday, January 15th and you'll save $25 off your ticket. There's no better chance to meet, network and learn from BC's growing renewable energy industry!
The Road to Sustainability: Renewable Natural Gas in BC - BCSEA's first webinar of 2017!
Join BCSEA for the first exciting free webinar of its 2017 series, The Road to Sustainability: Renewable Natural Gas in BC, on Tuesday, January 31st from 12 - 1pm PST. Click here to register!
In this webinar we are joined by Colton Aston, Energy Solutions Manager with FortisBC's Renewable Natural Gas program, and a representative from CHFour Biogas. Between them they will educate, elucidate and discuss the generation, usage and future of renewable natural gas in BC. In 2010, FortisBC accepted the first molecules of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) onto its distribution system from a local farm in the Fraser Valley. Almost seven years later the RNG Program has grown, with over 7,000 voluntary residential and commercial customers and supply coming from five different projects.
Using case studies from these local supply projects, CHFour Biogas and FortisBC will provide an overview of the utility program, the evolving technology of anaerobic digestion, and the unique world of biogas project development. The webinar will consist of a 30 minute presentation from the two speakers, followed by a Q&A session in which the public are invited to ask questions on the subject of renewable natural gas and its place in BC’s energy sector. The webinar is free to attend, all you have to do is register!
Alert Bay Community Solar Project, with Hakai Energy Solutions
The Village of Alert Bay is situated on Cormorant Island at the northern terminus of Johnstone Strait. Like other remote villages located in Coastal BC they have contributed deeply to BC’s resource-based economy, and share their heritage with the First Nation People.
For decades, the village generated electricity using diesel fueled gensets. In 1946 the Village was incorporated and an underwater cable was installed to supply power from Vancouver Island. Today, as a municipality it has one of the highest concentrations of solar photovoltaic energy per capita in the province.
Costa Rica basks in nearly 100% renewable energy for the entirety of 2016. Read Article
The 'City of Sin' achieves 100% renewable energy power for all city owned parks, lights and buildings. Read Article
Germany enjoys a renewable energy Christmas as wind power surges. Read Article
Solar surpasses wind power as the cheapest form of renewable energy. Read Article
BC homeowners call for less red-tape on solar installations. Read Article
BCSEA Featured Member
Azimuth Solar Products Inc. is a new start up company with a product portfolio for mobile solar power. Their products include a quick set-up tripod support, 300-400 W panels, power management and battery packages, with add-ons. They have several levels of systems to match requirements. Suitable for RV's, large boats, cabins, remote work sites, emergency backup, and military use. They also have advantages over fixed panel systems in that they can track the sun and take down in bad weather to avoid damage to the panels from high-winds, ice storms, hail and flooding. Setup and take down is less than 6 minutes!