Tuesday, February 27, 2007

BC Energy Plan Released

Two weeks ago, the Government of BC announced a bold new vision that would reduce the province's greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020. Today, the BC Government released its updated Energy Plan, which will guide provincial energy policy and provide much of the details for how the that aggressive goal will be met.

Topping the list of announcements is an ambitious target to acquire 50 per cent of BC Hydro’s incremental resource needs through conservation by 2020. The government's press release also promises bold new strategies in 4 key policy areas:

1. Environmental Leadership:

  • All new electricity projects developed in B.C. will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Existing thermal generation power plants will reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.
  • Zero greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity generation.
  • Clean or renewable electricity generation will continue to account for at least 90 per cent of total generation, placing the province’s standard among the top jurisdictions in the world.
  • Eliminate all routine flaring at oil and gas producing wells and production facilities by 2016 with an interim goal to reduce flaring by half (50 per cent) by 2011.
  • The best coalbed gas practices in North America. Companies will not be allowed to surface discharge produced water, and any re-injected produced water must be injected well below any domestic water aquifer.

2. Energy Conservation and Efficiency:

  • An ambitious target to acquire 50 per cent of BC Hydro’s incremental resource needs through conservation by 2020.
  • New energy efficiency standards will be determined and implemented for buildings by 2010.

3. Energy Security:

  • Government has committed the province will be electricity self-sufficient by 2016.
  • To encourage small B.C. Clean or high efficiency cogeneration, BC Hydro is establishing a standing offer program with a set purchase price for power projects up to 10 megawatts.
  • Public ownership of BC Hydro and the BC Transmission Corporation.
  • BC Hydro and the Province will enter into initial discussions with First Nations, the Province of Alberta and communities to discuss Site C.

4. Investing in Innovation:

  • The new $25-million Innovative Clean Energy Fund will encourage the development of clean energy and energy efficient technologies in the electricity, alternative energy, transportation and oil and gas sectors.
  • The new BC Bioenergy Strategy will take advantage of B.C.’s abundant sources of renewable energy, such as beetle-killed timber, wood wastes and agricultural residues.
More details to come as I take the next couple days to read through the Energy Plan as a whole. Eager readers can sift through the pdf file themselves at this link.

1 comment:

kitimat said...

Since the throne speech, the BC Liberals have been saying all of the right things. Although their budget didn't provide a whole lot of muscle.
We need to keep up the pressure and encourage the government to follow through on all of these great promises. In addition, we need to remind our Premier that his proposed Gateway project WILL NOT reduce GHG emissions.