BC can surpass energy conservation goals by 2020

Vancouver, Canada (GLOBE-Net) - In early December 2007, BC Hydro released the outcome of the Conservation Potential Review (CPR), a study designed to estimate the potential for electricity conservation in British Columbia. That study has identified over 20,000 gigawatt hours of potential electricity savings per year in the province by 2020, an amount in excess of its stated goals.

BC Hydro began the current CPR in 2006 in support of the BC government’s Energy Plan which was also released in 2007. The project was aimed at reducing energy use in British Columbia by 10,000 gigawatt hours per year by 2020.  The 2007 CPR was carried out in cooperation with an External Review Panel (ERP)  of representatives from community groups and business sectors from across B.C.

The Conservation Potential Review is considered the most comprehensive study of its type ever conducted in North America. It examined the benefits and feasibility of energy efficient technologies, alternative energies and fuel switching and behavior and lifestyle choices. This information will be used for:

  • Providing input to the Demand-side Management (DSM) Plan for BC Hydro’s Energy Conservation and Efficiency long-term goal;
  • Developing new conservation programs and modifying existing ones;
  • Providing estimates for future Integrated Electricity Plans;
  • Providing input for load forecasts;
  • Developing new capacity programs to meet the needs of the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) and BC Hydro Distribution Planning.

The scope of CPR 2007 was expanded to include street lighting in addition to the three core sectors (Residential, Commercial and Industrial). The 2007 report encompasses current and emerging electrical efficiency technologies or measures that are expected to be commercially viable by the year 2011. It also considers behavioral and lifestyle changes, customer-supplied renewable energies in the Residential and Commercial sectors, and fuel switching to natural gas.

While the scope of the CPR was expanded, as with any study there are limitations. For example, the study did not include supply-side efficiency improvements within BC Hydro and BCTC’s systems;  savings from emerging technologies beyond 2011; or step-changes in energy-efficient technologies. In addition, electricity savings from lifestyle changes were not included in the combined Upper Achievable Potential, but could contribute substantially to meeting the BC Energy Plan targets.

The conclusions of the review indicate that while electricity demand could increase by up to 35% by 2026,  possible savings could exceed 20,000 GWh per year.  Peak load is expected to jump from 9,600 MW to 13,100 MW with 2,200 in peak load savings from electricity savings in 2026.

The conclusions of the review match those found in the Endless Energy Project, a report conducted by the Globe Foundation in partnership with BC Hydro, Day 4 Energy, the Power Technology Alliance, National Research Council of Canada and Western Economic Diversification.

The Endless Energy Project is a blue print for energy self sufficiency for British Columbia which could cut emissions in the province by up to 60% by 2025 with the adoption of vast amounts of renewable energy technologies.

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