The BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) today responded positively to the province’s new BC Energy Plan. “We are exceptionally pleased at the commitments in the new plan,” said Guy Dauncey, President of the BCSEA. “Almost all the things that we were asking for have been included.”
The Energy Plan includes a goal that 50% of new power demand in BC should come from conservation, by reducing the amount of energy used, instead of generating new energy. The Plan also introduces a Standard Contract Program for small renewable energy producers under 10 MW, similar to the program introduced in Ontario.
“This is something we have been recommending for a long time,” Dauncey said. “Our only concern is the price that will be offered to producers of solar, wind and tidal energy. We hope that BC will offer a similar deal as Ontario, where solar producers are paid 42 cents a kilowatt hour. In Washington Sate, solar producers receive 50 cents US a kWh.”
In a disappointing move, the Energy Plan repeats the government’s goal to see the federal moratorium on drilling for offshore oil and gas lifted, and to nurture more investments in BC’s oil and gas sector. “This is counter-productive and counter-intuitive. It makes no sense to try to expand BC’s oil and gas industry at the same time that we are trying to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Dauncey said.
“The government has budgeting to spend an average $263 million a year on subsidies for oil and gas in 2007, compared to $25 million for renewable energy and $89 million for hydrogen. This is a ten-fold greater commitment to oil and gas than to renewables.”
Dauncey said, “while the Energy Plan is very good in its requirements for sustainable electricity, it is weak when it comes to our use of energy for transport, which produces 37% of BC’s greenhouse gas emissions. We hope the government will produce a BC Transport Plan to match its Energy Plan. If we are to have the best Energy Plan in the world, it must include our use of energy for transport.”
There is a new fuel standard for biodiesel, requiring that all diesel contain a 5% biodiesel mix by 2010. “This will accelerate the biodiesel industry,” Dauncey said. “We hope that this can be generated as much as possible from biomass wastes within BC, rather then a imported farm-grown biodiesel from Iowa.”
BC Sustainable Energy Association