Canada’s west coast province of British Columbia will double the amount of new generation that comes from wind, small hydro and other forms of energy.
SURREY, British Columbia – The government will conserve energy in public facilities and work with BC Hydro to expand the use of alternative energy in the future, according to an announcement by Premier Ujjal Dosanjh and Environment Minister Ian Waddell. The utility has a plan to meet 10 percent of its new electricity demand from renewables. “I believe that goal is too modest,” says Dosanjh, and he will direct BC Hydro to double the alternative portion of new power generation. The announcement was made at Kwantlen University College in Surrey, which will reduce energy use as a result of a retrofit under the Green Buildings BC program. “British Columbians enjoy some of the lowest electricity prices in North America but, with rising natural gas prices and the energy crises we’ve seen elsewhere, it’s imperative we conserve and find alternatives to traditional energy sources,” he says. “BC Hydro has a proud history of engineering solutions for the power needs of British Columbians,” he adds. “I am committed to making sure British Columbia never experiences the kind of crisis that has hit California. We will do that by keeping BC Hydro as a publicly owned Crown corporation and developing a long-term plan to reduce energy consumption and promote power supply alternatives.” The Green Buildings BC program supports green design in new public buildings and energy retrofits for schools, hospitals and other public facilities, leading to energy conservation, cost savings and fewer emissions of greenhouse gases. The $1.38 million Kwantlen retrofit project will be complete by November. “Our government is taking a leadership role in addressing the environmental and economic issues related to energy,” says Waddell. “In addition to the Green Buildings program, we have directed ministries and Crown corporations to reduce their energy use and their emissions through retrofits and fuel choices in government buildings and vehicles.” “We’ve begun to take important steps within government,” says Dosanjh. “But I know we can do more.”