B.C. group touts green economic solution

09/03/2010 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Province could pay debt by selling renewable energy, report says

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy says the province has a vast potential for renewable energy -- including wind power.
B.C. could pull in about $4.3 billion annually and eliminate its debt over several years by tapping into and selling its vast green-energy potential, said a report released yesterday.

Bio-energy, run-of-river, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave and solar energy could all be developed to help the environment and to work towards wiping out B.C.’s debt in 15 years or less, said the B.C. Citizens for Green Energy’s 76-page report.

“B.C. is widely recognized as having a natural abundance of renewable green energy resources. However, this natural abundance is currently going virtually untapped as are the economic and environmental benefits that developing them could bring to our province,” said the report, titled A Triple Legacy for Future Generations: B.C.’s Potential as a Renewable Green Energy Powerhouse.

“And if British Columbia was debt-free like Alberta, the $2.2 billion we currently spend to service our provincial debt could be spent instead on vital public services like health care and education.”

That kind of revenue, for example, could be used to build six 300-bed hospitals similar to the new Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, said the report.

The organization pointed to Quebec and Manitoba, which generate substantial revenue by exporting renewable energy to other provinces and states. At the same time, those energy exports help reduce dependence on coal-fired and gas-fired electricity, BCCGE spokesman Bruce Sanderson said in a release.

Green energy developments could lead to the “avoidance of millions of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in western North America,” the report said.

B.C.’s potential for creating renewable green electricity could match or possibly grow to two to three times the current 10,250 megawatts of generating capacity from B.C. Hydro’s hydroelectic dams, the report said.

“Renewable green energy is something our American neighbours need to help meet their renewable energy and climate-change goals, and that puts British Columbia in the driver’s seat for a change and lets us turn the tables in our trading relationship.”

As well, these projects would create thousands of jobs, the report said.

In the past decade, B.C. Hydro has changed from being a net exporter of clean, renewable energy to being a net importer of electricity from places such as Alberta, where the bulk of electricity is generated by burning coal, sending greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere, it said.

On the Web: greenenergybc.ca

Photograph by: Reuters, Times Colonist
Source: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/group+touts+green+economic+solution/2660456/story.html

Entry filed under: Policy, Renewable Energy.

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