Wind cheapest form of renewable energy

Re: “We have the tides, why build Site C?” letter, April 9

The writer raises some excellent points. Vancouver Island is at the other end of the transmission system from most of B.C.’s electricity supply, line losses are significant and the island remains dependent on mainland supply, even as population and economic growth on the island continue to rise.

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He also notes the potential of tidal energy, a technology which might be more cost-effective in the future. Today, we have a renewable-energy resource in the form of wind energy that is fully cost-competitive.

Remarkably, wind energy is B.C.’s lowest-cost option: B.C. Hydro’s 2012 modelling of 121 wind-energy resources confirms that wind energy now provides the bulk of B.C.’s lowest-cost renewable energy opportunities, and is fully cost-competitive with Site C. Wind farms create permanent revenue streams and high-paid jobs in local communities and for First Nations interested in developing clean energy projects, helping spread the economic benefits of new development to more communities across B.C.

No question, wind energy has low environmental impacts when compared with other sources of electricity supply, and can help B.C. achieve the “cleanest liquefied natural gas in the world.”

Vancouver Island, in particular, has excellent wind energy resources. The island’s first wind farm, located near Cape Scott, began operations last November and produces enough power to supply every home on the Island north of Courtenay.

Nicholas Heap

Regional director, Canadian Wind Energy Association




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