BC’s Wealth of Low-impact, Healthy Electricity Options

Victoria, BC – A report released today by Pollution Probe and the Pembina Institute shows that British Columbia can and must do more to meet its future electricity needs without compromising health and the environment.

The report, Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in British Columbia, shows that British Columbia has significant untapped renewable energy resources and energy efficiency potential and that stronger policies are needed to capture those opportunities.
“The energy efficiency potential alone identified by BC Hydro could meet our projected energy needs,” says Matt Horne, a senior policy advisor from the Pembina Institute. “Not to mention our wealth of viable and emerging renewable technologies.”
BC Hydro has recently awarded two contracts to coal-fired generation plants which are scheduled to come online in 2009. The plants will provide approximately 2,000 GWh/year and will increase BC’s greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production by almost 120%. In contrast, the report shows that BC Hydro has identified nearly 6,000 GWh/year in currently untapped potential energy efficiency that could be achieved by 2015 – almost 3 times the energy provided by the coal plants – with no increase in emissions.
The report comes on the eve of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention when members will vote on Abbotsford’s resolution calling on the province to consider the full environmental impacts of coal generation, and to increase support for renewable energy and energy efficiency within the province.
“The report released today supports and mirrors the intent of our resolution,” says Councillor Patricia Ross from Abbotsford. “We are sending the message that we want the Province to look for low-impact, healthy electricity options.”
The recommendations of the report are supported by the BC members of the Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance (CanREA), including: The David Suzuki Foundation, One Sky, the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association and the Pembina Institute.
The report Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in British Columbia is available at http://www.pollutionprobe.org/ and http://www.pembina.org/.
CanREA’s recommendations are available at http://www.canrea.ca/.

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