In order to help B.C. adapt to climate changes, we need a more sophisticated electrical grid encompassing all provincial energy stock, use and potential. Allowing for autonomous residential/commercial and community power producers to sell their surplus solar, wind, forest biomass, hydro and tidal energy would augment hydro generation in the face of increased electrical demand and the probability that this demand will otherwise be satisfied by fossil fuels.
B.C. has an abundant renewable hydro electric resource, but precariously 1) not all our energy is supplied by receding glaciers as it is in the form of increasingly torrential spring flooding, unpredictable and significant precipitation trends, and in a dryer climate. And, reservoirs can only be so big. 2) Energy stock in B.C. is more than electricity. B.C. has over 1.1 million natural gas customers, a fairly clean fuel but a fossil fuel nonetheless. There are also over 3.4 million gasoline and diesel registered vehicles on the roads. Much of this non renewable “energy” including natural gas, is also imported.
As matters currently stand in B.C., the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, through legislation and BC Hydro, only allows small renewable electrical producers to offset their electrical production against their own electrical bills. It is specifically not the intent of this program to provide a means for bringing renewable power to the market. Hence it is a dis-incentive for residents to become involved as a grassroots movement in alternative renewable energy. The rest of the world, including Alberta, have embraced the concept in line with the growing support for broadly sourced renewable energy.
Time to change BC Hydro to BC Renewable Energy and take an important step towards a greener future here at home. Fortis, Columbia Power, Columbia Basin Trust and Nelson Hydro will undoubtedly continue to follow the path of BC Hydro as directed by the ministry. We can then also sell our surplus cleaner fossil fuels to other areas of the world who currently burn highly polluting fuels.