To the editor:
Considering the reassessment of nuclear energy that has taken place globally following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, it comes as little surprise that Germany has announced plans to shut down all 17 of its nuclear reactors by 2022. In fact, Germany temporarily shut down seven of its oldest reactors in March immediately after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.
Fortunately for the people of Germany, their country is a recognized leader in clean energy with a substantial amount of installed solar and wind energy, and more on the way. Germany is well-positioned to eliminate nuclear power while also reducing their dependence on coal power.
Other countries, of course, are not as fortunate and many of them are literally scrambling to find cleaner sources of energy. For some, nuclear power may even be the only viable clean energy source available to replace coal.
Looking at the difficult energy choices faced by so many other countries, it makes one realize how fortunate we are here in B.C. to have such an incredible wealth of renewable clean energy resources. Roughly 93 per cent of the electricity generated in this province comes from clean hydroelectric sources.
And thanks to a growing number of wind energy projects, clean B.C. wind energy is now contributing to our electricity grid as well.
In fact, as a research report released by our group (B.C. Citizens for Green Energy) in March 2010 found, B.C.’s untapped potential for generating clean renewable electricity could easily be equal to the current generating capacity of BC Hydro’s existing hydroelectric dams, and potentially two to three times as much or more.
Clearly, with that much untapped clean energy potential, B.C. is not going to have to face any difficult nuclear energy questions any time soon. However, it also means we have the potential to export a considerable amount of clean energy to nearby jurisdictions which need it; for example, provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan and states like California.
Exporting clean energy from our untapped abundance would generate substantial revenue for the people of B.C. through fees, licences and taxes, and we therefore invite everyone to consider the environmental and economic possibilities inherent in becoming a major clean energy exporter.
For those who are interested, copies of our March 2010 research report, entitled A Triple Legacy for Future Generations: British Columbia’s Potential as a Renewable Green Energy Powerhouse, are available on our website at www.greenenergybc.ca.
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy