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BCCGE presents to the SSCFG

October 12, 2011

Yesterday, David Field (one of our BCCGE co-spokespersons) made a short presentation to the all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

The Committee has been holding province-wide public consultations based on the Ministry of Finance’s Budget 2012 Consultation Paper and is also accepting responses via an on-line survey as well as by written and video submissions through their website.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 14, 2011.

David reports that his presentation was well-received and that it generated a lot of good questions from committee members.

Specifically, David spoke to the revenue side of the provincial budget and the revenue contribution that developing B.C.’s renewable green energy resources has in the present and for the future.

David applauded the vision of the recently unveiled BC Jobs Plan and its focus on taking the strengths of British Columbia, converting them into competitive advantages, and turning opportunity into lasting economic benefit for all British Columbians.

As David noted, for BCCGE, that means developing B.C.’s wealth of renewable energy resources and supporting what we’ve already started in this province in terms of the clean energy investment we’ve attracted and the tax revenue it generates.

As David said: “Now is not the time to abandon the goal of electricity self-sufficiency and the jobs that renewable energy development creates and supports and the investment it brings; developing B.C.’s renewable clean energy resources creates jobs all over the province.”

In his presentation, David also referenced a recent report commissioned by The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) in which a number of very likely new electricity loads for B.C. are identified.

Notable among these likely new industrial loads are the eight new mines by 2015 referenced in the BC Jobs Plan and the expansion of at least nine existing mines.

The CANWEA report shows that the additional demand from new industrial activity in B.C. will hit 12,000 gigawatt-hours in 2017 and 24,000 gigawatt-hours by 2025.

These new load forecasts are more than double BC Hydro’s forecast of only 5,800 gigawatt-hours by 2017 and only 6,500 gigawatt-hours of additional electricity load by 2025.

So the question the boys in the BCCGE mailroom have all been asking is “how” are we going to power the increased electricity load from all of the industrial activity the Jobs Plan envisions for the province?

As always, everyone here at BCCGE believes we need to do it right and serve new load growth the right way with clean energy from renewable sources.

As we’ve learned from the example of W.A.C. Bennett, no matter how we build it, or how much it costs, our power will be the cheapest in North America 20 years from now.

If B.C. wants to be a “climate change leader” as the Jobs Plan states, then we need to stay the course with all renewable energy development and our self-sufficiency plan, and not miss the opportunity we have to meet future electricity load growth in our province the right way with renewable clean energy — today’s renewable energy is tomorrow’s cheap electricity.

For those who are interested, here’s a link (click here) to the BCCGE presentation David made to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

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