A Record Breaking Summer
Our world is steadily building a greener economy – but are we doing so fast enough? Fast enough to head off the climate disaster that is heading our way?
This summer has seen record-breaking heat all across North America, except the Pacific Northwest. A record amount of ice has melted in the Arctic, and it has also been much warmer in Greenland, accelerating the ice-melt.
We need to break records for the construction of net-zero energy homes, the purchase of electric vehicles, the construction of bikeways, the shift to organic farming, the purchase of solar heat pumps, and the like. We’re just not moving fast enough.
This Friday August 31st – Deadline to Send a Submission to the Enbridge Pipeline Review
This Friday August 31st – Deadline for your thoughts on BC’s Carbon Tax through BetterFutureFund
What do you think? This Friday is also the deadline for sending your thoughts to the BC government. The BCSEA is part of Better Future Fund, a great initiative that makes it easy for you to tell the government what you think. It’ll only take you a few minutes, but it’s really important that our voices are heard.
Alternatively, you can email your submission straight to the Minister of Finance or mail them to Carbon Tax Review c/o Tax Policy Branch Ministry of Finance PO Box 9547 Stn Prov Govt Victoria V8W 9C5.
Canada Ranks Second Last in Energy Efficiency, next to Russia
Here’s a Green Olympics medal we’re not winning: Canada has been ranked 11th out of 12 for energy efficiency, just above Russia, by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. We came 8th for national effort, 10th for industrial energy efficiency, 11th for transportation and 11th for buildings. The UK came first (under a Conservative government), followed by Germany and Italy. It’s just not good enough.
Solar Grid Parity – How Soon in BC?
The price of solar is falling rapidly, and the BCSEA’s intern Andrew Pye is doing a summer study on how soon solar grid parity might arrive in BC, based on the falling cost of solar modules and other factors. Grid parity is the critical moment when solar can match other power-sources in price, so that it is cost-effective without incentives. A third of American will reach grid parity by 2012 – see this great report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. We expect the results of Andrew’s study in a month or so.
BC Hydro’s Plans for 20 Years
BC Hydro is finalizing its Integrated Resource Plan, which determines where they’ll get the future power that we’ll need for our growing population. This includes whether to dam the Peace River at Site C, invest in more energy efficiency, to burn more natural gas, increasing BC’s greenhouse gas emissions – or turn to clean energy sources such as wind. So it’s a very critical document.
The BCSEA’s Director of Policy Tom Hackney has submitted a detailed paper suggesting that BC Hydro is underestimating both the power than can be saved through energy efficiency and conservation and the amount of wind energy that can be produced at a competitive price. BC Hydro should aim to save at least 2% of its annual sales per year, Tom argues, putting it on a par with North America’s leading utilities.
If increased energy efficiency and wind are left out of the thinking it is easier to conclude that BC Hydro should build the Site C dam, flooding almost 3,000 hectares of quality farmland, and burn natural gas, increasing BC’s greenhouse gas emissions. Given the urgency of the global climate crisis, BC Hydro should regard the Clean Energy Act’s 93% ‘clean or renewable standard’ as an absolute minimum, and avoid using gas-fired generation for either base-load energy supply or peak capacity. For Tom’s full report click here.
Solar Laundry Project
The Kamloops Chapter of the BCSEA ran a great Solar Laundry Project this summer, and eighty new clotheslines are now flapping in the breeze around Kamloops, compliments of BC Hydro and Kamloops Home Hardware Building Centre. Thanks, guys!
Chapter chair Cheryl Kabloona explains: “Currently, clothes dryers account for roughly 6% of all electricity use province-wide. We believe that especially in a sunny place like Kamloops, it really makes sense to promote such an obvious form of sustainable energy.” For the rest of this great story, click here.
Sustainable Energy Events in BC
Mon 17th, 7pm BCSEA Victoria Chapter: Global Energy Transitions from an Energy Systems Perspective, with Dr. Lawrence Pitt, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, UVic. 875 North Park St. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tue Sept 18th, 12 noon. BCSEA Webinar on Passive Houses, with Guido Wimmers.
Sat Oct 27th, BCSEA’s 8th AGM in Vancouver. Place and time tba.
Some Great Links
If you are not yet a member of the BCSEA, please join us. It is our core members and supporters who make it possible to do what we do, and who make all the difference. http://www.bcsea.org/join
Our green condominiums work with the City of Vancouver, our Climate Change Showdown in BC’s schools, our work to develop BC’s solar industry through SolarBC, our policy engagements, our monthly webinars – they all depend on support from people like you.
If you are able to support us, we would be really grateful. The link is here – http://www.bcsea.org/join
With greetings from our Board of Directors and everyone at the BCSEA,