Thursday, November 05, 2009
Gordo decides that burning BC's "forest fibre" to produce electricity is a good thing because it would be Green Energy
First, it was BC Rail ... Does this BC premier have any idea what it means to "Preserve and Protect"?
NEWS RELEASE · 4th November 2009
The Wilderness Committee accused BC Premier Gordon Campbell of sinking to new lows today, when he announced that the burning of “forest fibre” would be considered as a way for private power producers to make “green energy” that BC Hydro would be forced to purchase.
Premier Campbell had been speaking at the annual conference of the Independent Power Producers association of BC when he announced his energy policy review. Wilderness Committee activists picketed the meeting outside, and handed out literature calling attention to the hundreds of rivers at risk in the province because of the BC government’s river privatization policy.
“I thought things couldn’t get worse with more than 800 wild rivers now staked by companies like General Electric. Publicly-owned BC Hydro has already been forced by the BC government to sign secret long-term energy-purchase-agreements with private power producers at rates far above market value, and now totaling over $31 billion. But things have gotten much worse. Now the Premier wants to let the private power corporations burn our forests,” said Joe Foy, Wilderness Committee National Campaign Director.
“It was bad enough that Premier Campbell has said that the damming and diversion of our rivers and streams by private companies to feed their power plants results in the production of ‘green power’,” said Gwen Barlee, Wilderness Committee Policy Director.
“Amazingly, now Premier Campbell’s latest announcement seems to be suggesting that if private companies are given the go-ahead to cut down and burn BC’s forests to produce electricity that would be called green power too. Well, we say that subsidizing corporations and giving them the right to dam up rivers into huge pipes and burn forests is the exact opposite of green power: it’s greed power,” said Foy.
“There is a right way and a wrong way to do green energy. The Wilderness Committee calls for new green energy projects to be regionally planned, publicly-owned, acceptable to First Nations, and environmentally appropriate. Subsidizing companies to wreck wild rivers and burn wild forests is certainly not the right way forward,” said Foy.
Go HERE to see a video clip of the protest. Thanks to Terrace Daily Online.
Go HERE for an update on homeowners affected by a ban on "inefficient" wood-burning stoves.
- BC Mary.
First off Gordon Campbell is a very sick man.
But...Lately alot of people are freaking out over Campbell`s moves,but I read it differently Mary.
Campbell private power is in big trouble,the California senate ruled BC run of river power isn`t green,they(California)won`t pay a big premium for it.
The States(Cali)is broke,also at that meeting,Campbell talked about creating this giant export market to the united states and Alberta.
Lets examine Alberta,Alberta is flush with cheap power and Alberta isn`t exactly a hot bed for environmentists....So the Alberta export market is all but finished,unless BC can match or beat Alberta power rates,that can`t happen with ROR or Bio-mass or wind.
Mary,I hope I`m right,I believe I`m right,thank god the world collapsed financially,just in time to stop Campbell.
So here Campbell with his private power empire plan,California won`t buy it,Alberta sells us dirt cheap power why would they buy expensive power...They won`t...
BC has no big surpluses,no big budget surpluses so these is no where to absorb massive power sales LOSSES.
So meanwhile Campbell took alot of money from private power,Campbell promised alot back,the economy...California senate...technology...BCUC have all come back to bite Campbell in his ass.
So private power,because of promises and money paid have leaned on Campbell for action.
But Campbell knows the game,the big game is finished,but Campbell still has to posture to private power,Campbell has to give the illusion something is happening.
#1)Campbell could of ordered by cabinet to the BCUC to buy what hydro wanted to buy.
#2)Burrard thermal pre-election,Campbell said is was going to be dismantled,now,the government has done 180 degree reversal on burrard thermal,burrard thermal will now be maintained for emergency back-up power,just like it already has.That can`t have pleased the private power pimps.
#3)Do you really think anyone from private power believes expensive private power will make a move into Alberta market...HA HA,not likely
#4)Why has the province started talking about export markets east,Alberta..Saskatchewan...When the big market is south?
#5)Bob Elton...Being shuffled at BC hydro to the board of directors and a new innovation division,but what did Elton do wrong,BC hydro made the plea to the BCUC,BC hydro tried to make the case to the BCUC so why would Bob Elton be removed?Optics,just more optics to appease private power.
#6)BC Hydro will still have to re-submit this spring to the BCUC for power,the decision on a power buy will be made this summer,but,the BCUC decision will depend mainly on one thing,....The power demand,if,as I suspect,power demand will be down big time in the industrial area..(Eurocan mill for example)....
The private power moves that Campbell has made already will be a millstone around our necks but..IMO ..This private power game is over,and as for burning the forests,well,reeks of desperation and it certainly won`t woo California.
So Mary,what we need is an internet/media campaign,conserve power to fend off private power,look around you,are there any items that can be shut off,chargers,garage lights,outdoor lights,con you convert your light bulbs,....
I suggest a duplicate post through out the blogospere,through media,like earth day everyday,save money and help stop private power,we need to make sure burrard thermal doesn`t need to be turned on this winter.
CONSERVE POWER/CONVERT LIGHT BULBS/STOP PRIVATE POWER
Come to think of it, those big bonfires the Mounties et al. hold with plants seized from grwo-ops should be burned in a "biofuel generator" rather than "going up in smoke", shouldn't they?
BC orders Burrard to supply back-up power only
Directive overrules BC Utilities Commission’s July ruling
by Laura Walz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Friday, November 6, 2009 11:24 AM CST
BC’s government has directed BC Hydro to stop relying on Burrard Thermal generating plant for energy.
The decision came as a special cabinet directive to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) and was announced by Blair Lekstrom, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources.
“We’ve been committed since 2001 to ending BC Hydro’s reliance on Burrard and to only using it for emergency back-up capacity,” said Lekstrom in a statement. “In BC, we have the opportunity to develop clean, renewable, cost-effective electricity with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions.”
Burrard will no longer be relied on for energy, but will continue to be available to provide emergency back-up power in the event of generation or transmission outages.
In a report on BC Hydro’s 2008 long-term acquisition plan in July, BCUC ruled that BC Hydro should increase its reliance on Burrard over the acquisition of clean, renewable energy....
Nicholas Simons MLA says this "it’s not a good sign that they simply get away with overruling an independent body like the BCUC,” he said. “Because this decision has nothing to do with the environment and because it goes against the public interest, it’s hard not to conclude that it’s about government giving a gift to friends at our expense.”
Burrard Thermal will continue to operate sparingly, regardless, Simons added, “and the hypocrisy around this aspect is kind of obvious. This is the same government that’s promoting coal production, off-shore oil drilling and massive blacktop expansion.”
THERE’S BEEN A HUGE AAMPOUNT OF NONSENSE BY CAMPBELL & CO ABOUT THE BURRARD THERMAL PLANT, ITS USE AND CONTRIBUTION TO GREENHOUSE GASES.
COMING ON THE HEELS OF PROFESSOR JIM MCARTHUR’S REPORT WHICH I SENT TO YOU YESTERDAY, THIS COLUMN OF ELAINE GOLDS IS IMPORTANT TO READ AND CIRCULATE AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE ...
The Tri-City News
November 06, 2009
The press release from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources last week might have you thinking the Burrard Thermal generating plant in Port Moody will soon be shut down and our air quality will be much improved as a consequence.
Wrong on both counts.
I think this press release was more about the BC Liberal government creating energy policies to favour its supporters in the private power industry.
BC Hydro’s Burrard Thermal plant on Port Moody’s north shore has the capacity to generate up to 10% of Hydro’s electricity output. Built between 1961 and ’75, and upgraded in the 1990s, this plant burns natural gas to produce electricity. It has rarely been used at full capacity and remains in good operating condition.
Since 2002, the plant has been used mostly to supply electricity during our peak demand period in the winter, when it is cold and dark. Since that time, it has provided, on average, slightly less than 300 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, a mere 5% of its full capacity.
The plant also provides voltage regulation for transmission lines feeding into the Lower Mainland and is kept fully operational so that it could supply emergency electricity in the event of, for instance, ice storms.
Overall, using Burrard Thermal to meet peak demand periods is an excellent use for this older but still important facility. I certainly don’t support it being used at full capacity but it is well suited to provide peak power.
Last week’s press release was strangely silent on the use of Burrard to supply peak electricity but I expect this vital function will remain in place.
Despite the Minister of Energy’s claims, Burrard produces very little in the way of greenhouse gases or other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides. Given that it operates in the winter, it can’t contribute at all to smog production, which happens during the hot and sunny summer months. As well, installation of selective catalytic reduction units in the 1990s reduced Burrard’s nitrogen oxides emissions by 90%.
Used as a peaking facility for a few weeks in the winter, it now contributes about 0.03% of the total nitrogen oxides and less than 0.3% of greenhouse gases in the lower Fraser Valley airshed.
(continued ... )
By contrast, road transportation accounts for 38% of nitrogen dioxide emissions and 36% of our greenhouse gas emissions.
If you are looking for a culprit on which to blame poor air quality or global warming, you might want to check out what’s parked in your garage.
While run-of-river power is a renewable source, these plants supply only intermittent power, mainly in the spring, when creek flows are high from snowmelt. They cannot substitute for Burrard Thermal because most of these plants are unable to supply power in the winter, when their high elevation intakes are frozen.
In 2008, BC Hydro bought approximately 1,500 GWh of electricity from about 30 run-of-river facilities around the province. This electricity is some of the most costly that BC Hydro purchases. Despite the high price, it is mainly available when there is a surplus of potential electricity i.e., water in BC Hydro’s system. Thus, run-of-river power is high-priced but low-value. This summer, when BC Utilities Commission suggested BC Hydro had only a limited need for this type of electricity, it got its knuckles rapped by government.
BC Hydro also purchases electricity from private companies that generate electricity from natural gas. Last year, it purchased almost 3,000 GWh of such electricity about 10 times more than is generated at Burrard Thermal.
If burning natural gas to generate electricity is such a dastardly activity, I have to wonder why the provincial government is not asking BC Hydro to reduce electricity purchases from these companies?
The government claims B.C. is not self-sufficient in electricity production. In fact, in most years, we export more electricity than we import. Most of the electricity we purchase from outside the province is coal-generated electricity from Alberta in the middle of the night when there is little demand for it and the electricity is low-priced.
One of the benefits of hydro power is that it is easy to shut off or adjust unlike coal plants, which are very inefficient to ramp up and down. This means our night-time purchases of electricity actually help the Alberta plants run more efficiently and, thus, conserve carbon dioxide.
In general, I think we have a sensible and reasonably balanced electricity system in B.C. I’m all for doing more to improve its efficiency and reduce impacts on the environment but I don’t support policies that appear to be designed simply to deliver more profit to private companies.
- Elaine Golds is a Port Moody environmentalist who is vice-president of Burke Mountain Naturalists, chair of the Colony Farm Park Association and president of the Port Moody Ecological Society.