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Sun’s “Feed In Tariff” editorial gets an “F”

October 25, 2010

It’s unanimous: The Vancouver Sun’s October 16th editorial regarding the province’s proposed Feed In Tariff gets an “F” for seriously misrepresenting the subject and getting the key facts completely wrong.

The author (or authors) of the editorial clearly didn’t read the province’s “Feed In Tariff (FIT) Regulation Consultation Paper” beforehand; and everyone from Guy Dauncey at the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association to Paul Kariya at IPPBC (recently renamed “Clean Energy BC“) has pointed out the editorial’s obvious errors and inaccuracies.

If the author (or authors) of the editorial had read the FIT discussion paper (all 12 pages of it) they would know that B.C.’s Feed In Tariff is not intended to supply large volumes of “conventional electricity” that can already be acquired from well-proven, cost-effective technologies like run-of-river or wind energy.  

The FIT discussion paper refers to these as “mature” technologies, and except for a few very rare situations they are specifically excluded from the Feed In Tariff.

Instead, B.C.’s Feed In Tariff is intended to help emerging energy technologies by giving them a chance to prove themselves on their way to becoming commercially viable.  And most of these demonstration projects will be well under 5 megawatts in size.

But the most egregious error in the Sun’s editorial is the overarching attempt to equate B.C.’s proposed Feed In Tariff with Ontario’s existing tariff: The two tariffs are completely different in their scope and in their intent and they do not compare in the least.

In Ontario they’re struggling to find renewable energy sources to replace the coal-burning plants they’re shutting down. That’s the policy thrust of their Feed In Tariff. 

Here in B.C., however, where we already get 93 percent or more of our electricity from clean, renewable sources, and where we have a wealth of other green energy resources we haven’t even tapped into yet, the policy thrust is to help bring some of those other green energy resources (such as tidal, wave and geothermal) to the commercial stage, and in the process develop new clean tech expertise, industries and jobs for B.C.

The Sun’s editorial on the proposed Feed In Tariff was uncharacteristically off base and we certainly hope it was an anomaly.  The subject of green energy is far too important to this province and to the planet for it to be derailed by misinformation and poorly researched commentary.

For anyone interested in knowing more about what B.C.’s proposed Feed In Tariff is all about and what it actually entails we recommend you take a look at the province’s 12 page “Feed In Tariff (FIT) Regulation Consultation Paper.”  It’s a very straightforward document. 

And becuase it’s mostly devoid of technical jargon it’s easily accessible to the average public, which is probably what the author(s) of the 12 page “Feed In Tariff (FIT) Regulation Consultation Paper” intended.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 7:26 am

    Hello Guy and Paul, nice post; can you please add a link to the original Vancouver Sun editorial? Cheers.

    • October 27, 2010 7:28 am

      Whoops, sorry, didn’t mean to address you as Guy and Paul!

    • October 27, 2010 11:00 am

      Hi James,

      Thanks for pointing out the oversight. The guys in the BCCGE mailroom didn’t read the whole memo… 🙂

      We’ve added a link to the Sun’s October 16th editorial: click here

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