B.C.’s energy supply can’t meet demand for power: report

Click to play video: 'B.C. ‘at risk’ of near-constant electricity shortages'
B.C. ‘at risk’ of near-constant electricity shortages
An advocacy group is warning B.C. is not producing enough electricity to meet current needs, and those needs are only expected to increase over the coming years. Aaron McArthur reports. – Jan 10, 2024

An independent group is sounding the alarm that B.C.’s electrical system is not ready to handle the ever-increasing demand for power.

Energy Futures Initiative, an advocacy group, said B.C. could be labelled an “at-risk” area for power generation as early as 2026.

Following 18 months of drought, the B.C. government was forced to import a record amount of power in 2023, roughly the equivalent of two Site C Dams worth of power.

A report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation stated that B.C. is a risk to generating enough power consistently in the future. The report said by 2026 that increasing demand and generation constraints could become an issue.

“One-fifth of our power last year came from outside of British Columbia,” Barry Penner, chair for the Energy Futures Initiative told Global News. “We’re not self-sufficient, and there is a risk to not being self-sufficient.”

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Click to play video: 'BC Hydro imports electricity as demand for power grows'
BC Hydro imports electricity as demand for power grows

The organization is calling on the B.C. government to seriously look at alternatives to hydro to meet the province’s generation needs.

Meanwhile, the government has put out a call for independent power producers to help alleviate some of the future demand.

“When you add it up, the minister says we have a surplus, and I am going blue in the face — it doesn’t make sense,” BC United Energy Critic Tom Shypitka said in December.

BC Hydro is scheduled to bring the new Site C Dam online this year, which will produce another 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

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