BC continues the renewable energy momentum
is aggressive in its determination to remain a global leader in
clean and renewable energy. This is not surprising, given that a
recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study predicts that BC’s independent
power sector could inject $26.1 billion into the provincial economy
Determined to capitalize on this potential, the BC government
recently established a Green Energy Advisory Task Force and a new
Cabinet Committee on Climate Action and Clean Energy.
According to the government, the creation of the task force and
the committee will help the province maximize its opportunities for
economic development and job creation, while advancing its climate
action goals and turning BC into a leading supplier of clean
Green Energy Advisory Task Force
The new task force is dedicated to advancing BC’s green energy
potential and to maximizing clean energy opportunities within the
province. The task force will also focus on fostering the export of
green electrons to Alberta and the US.
The task force is composed of four advisory task force groups,
and its members include clean energy experts, energy consultants,
renowned climate experts, leading academics, First Nation
representatives, and environmentalists. The groups will report
directly to the new cabinet committee, and each is charged with a
- Procurement and Regulatory Reform - focusing
on recommending improvements to BC Hydro’s procurement process to
enhance clarity, certainty and competitiveness.
- Export Market Development and Carbon Trading -
focusing on maximizing the value of BC’s green-energy attributes in
all power sold beyond BC borders, and ensuring that emerging carbon
trading regimes treat BC’s green energy exports favourably.
- Community Engagement and First Nations
Partnerships - focusing on ensuring that communities and
First Nations see clear economic and employment benefits, as well
as input opportunities, regarding project development in their
- Resource Development - focusing on impediments
to and best practices for planning and permitting new projects, to
ensure sustainable development and to consider how forestry and
less-established clean energy sectors (i.e., solar, tidal and wave)
can increase their competitiveness in BC.
Cabinet Committee on Climate Action and Clean
The new cabinet committee will include the Premier, the Minister
of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and other cabinet
ministers whose portfolios are important to the development of
clean energy, as well as existing members of the climate action
committee. The committee will also include the chairs of BC Hydro
and the BC Transmission Corporation.
Other Recent Developments
Shortly before announcing the task force, the BC government
issued a legislative direction to the British Columbia Utilities
Commission (BCUC). This direction ordered that the BCUC no longer
rely on the aging gas-fired Burrard Thermal plant for a supply of
firm energy. This direction is not only consistent with the
province’s plans to focus on clean and renewable energy, but BC
Hydro estimates that phasing out Burrard Thermal will also save
tens of millions of dollars in maintenance and capital costs in the
McCarthy Tétrault Notes:
British Columbia has clearly accelerated its clean power agenda.
The province is dedicated to become electricity-selfsufficient by
2016, and will do so by developing green power that creates new
economic and employment opportunities. The new task force and
cabinet committee will provide expertise and analyses that will
help maximize these opportunities, and will foster BC’s emergence
as a powerhouse in the global green energy sector.
McCarthy Tétrault partner Cheryl Slusarchuk is a chair of
one of the task force groups