Artist’s rendering of the Site C dam, the third hydro dam on the Peace River that started construction in 2015. (BC Hydrophoto)

FortisBC outlines renewable energy plan blueprint

Sees $100 billion savings in diversified approach rather than electrification option

One of B.C.’s major public utilities has outlined how the province can achieve a 30 per cent energy use reduction by 2030.

FortisBC says the province faces either electrification or diversified energy pathways to reach omissions reduction targets set by the province and is coming out in favour of the diversified option.

“We don’t feel it a choice between gas or electric to optimize our energy system, we need both rolling at the same time in the same direction to meet the province’s 80 per cent energy reduction target by 2050,” said Tyler Bryant, low carbon energy and policy manager for FortisBC.

Bryant was among a team of FortisBC officials who presented an energy use vision for the future last Friday (June 4) which will impact homeowners, commercial businesses and the transportation industry.

That vision was reinforced by a study conducted by Guidehouse Inc. commissioned by Fortis, over an 18-month period from 2019 to 2020, which sided with the diversified pathway as the best option to meet greenhouse gas reduction demands.

“B.C. is a unique place that we know very well having operated as a public utility in this province for more than 100 years,” said Bryant.

“We have a unique energy system so where we go from here, what might work elsewhere is not going to work here. We need to set our own blueprint.”

Bryant said both pathways face challenges – massive energy infrastructure deployment and significant technological improvements.

“There are no free lunches here. Decarbonizing the B.C. economy will be challenging… we really need all hands on deck to produce as much clean energy as we can.”

But he said the Guidehouse study concluded the overall cost of diversified energy pursuits is $100 billion less than the electrification option.

He added electrification will require new large-scale hydroelectric power station infrastructure and energy storage capabilities to meet peak demand periods, noting the current Site C project will quickly max out its energy supply capabilities shortly after 2030.

“This means building out the provincial electricity system by about two-thirds more than what we have today to meet peak load power demands and electrify our building heating needs,” Bryant said.

But with challenges come opportunities, Bryant stressed, noting B.C. already has an extensive hydroelectric energy source supply, a forestry sector that produces biomass waste which can be re-utilized as renewable energy and potential to further develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Along with infrastructure, Bryant said the technology of new energy products, such as high-efficiency natural gas heat pumps to generate heat and hot water, energy-efficient new building and retrofit energy-saving concepts and both electric, natural gas and other renewable energy powered vehicles that reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

“The key point here is we maintain that the use of a gas system is not incompatible with long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals. We hear concerns about being locked into a higher emission gas system, but we flip that idea on its head with the idea of a gas delivery system as significant reduction potential built into it which we feel we can utilize,” he said.

“Fortis is positioned to contribute with either of these pathway options…but we just feel with the diversified approach we are not putting all our energy eggs in one basket.”

READ MORE: Letter – Renewable energy options are cost-effective

READ MORE: Columnist – Renewable energy far better than fossil fuels

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

FortisBC

Just Posted

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

(File)
“Gift card scam,” and “grandparent scam” are on the rise, Cranbrook RCMP say

Folks are falling for these scams: “No Government agency or reputable company will ever ask anyone to pay with gift cards in lieu of their fines”

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read