I sat in on a discussion presented by Canada's sole Green Party MLA in Port Alberni Tuesday night.
The MLA for Victoria's toney Oak Bay/Gordon Head riding and leading Canadian environmental scientist, Dr. Andrew Weaver touched on a lot of topics including British Columbia's unique alternative energy resources. Our province's capacity for generating clean, renewable energy is unlike any other.
B.C. has enormous resources from tidal energy, wind energy, ocean current and wave energy, hydro-electricity, solar and geo-thermal. It's all there and in huge abundance. Continental west coasts get westerly winds that build across the open ocean. We get wave energy that likewise builds across the ocean. Those winds bring rainfall that drives our hydro-electric system. The Pacific is wide which means high tides and plentiful tidal energy. Powerful ocean currents line the coasts. Being on the Pacific means being on the Ring of Fire which means strong, geo-thermal options. In fact, Weaver pointed out that Canada is the only Pacific Rim country that hasn't tapped its geo-thermal energy.
We have the ocean and we also have mountains. Mountains are ideal for placement of wind turbines. They're also great for energy storage. During peak energy production you can use the surplus to pump water into mountain reservoirs that can release the water for hydro-electric (turbine) generation as needed. Weaver pointed out that the desert of the Okanagan valley would be ideal for solar power generation on an industrial scale.
Properly developed, these resources could allow British Columbia to be the power plant for western Canada. As though we needed another reason to pry loose the cold, dead, boney fingers of the Fossil Fuelers.