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
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
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.