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The Columbia Journal
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Canada V6B 3W8
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  • Volume Eight, Number Five: July 2003

    BC lags behind in development of renewable energy.

    BC’s economy is still far too dependent on non-renewable and ecologically damaging energy sources and doesn’t show much sign of changing, says a recent report by a lower mainland urban ecology group.

    The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation says the BC government is not maintaining its prior commitments to improve energy consumption. In comparison, the group says, European countries like Germany are working on doubling their renewable energy resources.

    “It is clear that European energy policy is moving into the 21 century with a real commitment to renewable energy,” said SPEC coordinator Ivan Bulic. “We in Canada should be looking at similar programs to boost our use of solar, wind and tidal energy and move away from fossil fuel based energy."

    He says currently BC’s economy derives less than three per cent of its energy from renewable sources. The German economy get about nine per cent of its energy supply from wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of clean energy.

    This, Bulic says, has created 130,000 new energy-creating jobs in a nine-billion Euro a year industry.

    “Although the BC Government has created a Renewable Energy Technology Program, it has yet to fund the program,” he said. “And despite a January 2003 promise by BC Water, Land and Air Protection Minister Joyce Murray to fill 50 percent of additional energy needs from renewable sources, so far BC has done little to reach that goal.”

    A WLAP progress report for 2001 indicates the Ministry’s renewable energy initiatives were focused on $220,000 for nine projects in BC parks.

    Meanwhile, BC’s Energy Plan, released in November 2002, commits the province to offshore oil and gas exploration and expanded petroleum extraction in
    Northeast BC.

    The previous NDP government had created a policy for BC Hydro of meeting 10 percent of new energy demands with renewable energy by 2010. But now it is before the BC Utilities Commission arguing for construction of a natural gas power plant at Duke Point in Nanaimo and a pipeline across Georgia Strait to supply natural gas to Vancouver Island.


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