BC Hydro increases electricity imports
Scott Simpson’s article in yesterday’s Vancouver Sun provides an excellent example of the electricity import issue facing B.C.
Simpson reports that “Severe drought conditions in northeast British Columbia have BC Hydro bracing for a $220-million increase in electricity imports this fiscal year… because of low water volumes coming into its hydroelectric reservoirs.”
We’ve been watching the situation for several months, ever since the environment ministry reported that low snowpack accumulation around the province would likely lead to drought conditions this summer. We blogged about it in May in a posting entitled Low snowpack equals electricity imports.
BC Hydro’s annual reports show that this year will be the 10th year out of the last 11 in which BC Hydro has been a net importer of electricity, and most of this electricity is coming from coal-fired and gas-fired generating sources in Alberta and Washington State.
And as Professor George Hoberg from UBC’s Department of Forest Resources Management has determined through his research, not only is BC Hydro a net importer of electricity, the province as a whole is also now a 2 percent net importer of electricity.
Opponents of green energy development in B.C. can pretend all they want the we produce enough electricity for our needs here in B.C. The facts, however, say otherwise and the situation will only get worse as B.C.’s population grows and new uses for electricity (such as the electrification of cars in urban areas) are found.
To say the least, it will be interesting to see what next year and years beyond have in store for us.