Green energy is a very hot topic in BC right now, especially for run-of-river power, and opinions range right across the spectrum, from the gung-ho: “This makes complete sense, and is an essential tool to help us tackle climate change”; to the outraged: “This is a complete scam, designed only to make private corporations rich and bankrupt BC Hydro.”
In December, the BCSEA sent a 25-page submission to the government’s Green Energy Advisory Task Force containing 61 recommendations, plus a review of green power pricing programs around the world. You can read our full submission here.
Our BCSEA submission covers everything from recommendations for renewable energy land-use planning to proposals for two-stage water licensing and environmental screening.
It includes a proposed new approach for the way BC Hydro signs Electricity Purchase Agreements, and seven improvements to the environmental assessment process, including a collaborative consultations protocol designed to be more constructive and transparent.
It recommends creating a clear link between the export of green power and the reduction of carbon emissions, and pushes out the boat for higher electricity prices to create a much-needed stronger incentive for energy efficiency, while protecting low-income households.
It recommends policies to address the future demand from electric vehicles, and the adoption of a voluntary feed-in tariff to build the market for forms of green energy that are shut out of BC Hydro’s Clean Power Calls. It also recommends detailed ways to accelerate the use of solar PV, solar thermal, ocean energy, geothermal energy and bioenergy in BC.
Finally, it proposes four new ways to increase public engagement in the climate/energy discussion, and four ways to prepare for the impacts of both climate change and peak oil, which is advancing far more rapidly than most people understand.