Supporting clean energy vehicles

The provincial government’s announcement of $17 million in funding

To the editor;

The provincial government’s announcement of $17 million in funding to help get B.C. consumers into clean energy vehicles, and support B.C.’s green-tech sector, is something that our group, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy (BCCGE), applauds and fully supports.  Making clean energy transportation options more affordable for consumers, and getting more electric, hydrogen and natural gas powered vehicles on the road, along with the necessary infrastructure to support the initiative, is a good thing.

However, in order to achieve a net gain from reduced tailpipe emissions, we also need to ensure that the electricity powering these clean energy vehicles, and the associated infrastructure, is coming from renewable clean energy sources rather than from imported coal-fired electricity.

In this regard, recent talk about scaling back on B.C.’s electricity self-sufficiency objectives, and potentially relying more heavily on imports of cheap coal-fired electricity, at a time when electricity demands from new transportation initiatives and industrial growth are increasing concerns me greatly, and it should also concern your readers.

That’s why our group, BCCGE, has encouraged the provincial government to stay the course with the current policy of electricity self-sufficiency and to support the jobs that renewable energy development can create province-wide.  Our group has also encouraged members of the public who share our concern to write to their respective MLA’s and make their view known.

Placing more electric vehicles and hydrogen powered vehicles, and even natural gas powered vehicles, on the road is a very good thing.  But it is going to place an additional load on B.C.’s already-tight electricity supply over and above BC Hydro’s current load forecasts and over and above newly-identified industrial loads from new mines and LNG plants that were not previously accounted for in BC Hydro’s forecasts.

If B.C. wants to remain a climate change leader and a clean energy leader, then we are going to have to meet increased electricity demand in this province with renewable clean energy.  And we should never lose sight of the fact that investments in clean, renewable energy by previous generations in this province has given B.C. one of North America’s lowest electricity rates and provided thousands of jobs along the way.

David Field, Co-spokesperson

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy