VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada 6/18/12 (PennWell) -- An ever-increasing demand for electricity in the province of British Columbia makes the development of renewable energies such as hydropower a priority, says British Columbia's Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman.
Coleman, speaking at the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia's (CEBC) annual meeting, says the demand for electricity in the province will grow by 50% in the next 20 years.
The numbers cited by Coleman come from BC Hydro's recently-released Integrated Resources Plan, which says the anticipated growth will translate to more than 2,000 GW of power.
"I can't tell you how exciting it is to look at what we're facing right now," Coleman says. "I throw a major challenge out to all of the industry to get pretty aggressive, pretty creative in a hell of a hurry."
BC Hydro says it plans to meet the demand via conservation efforts, importing power from sources outside the province, purchases of renewable power from clean energy providers, and developing additional generating facilities.
HydroWorld.com reported earlier this week that BC Hydro had signed a power purchase agreement with Alta Gas, and the company is about to invest US$716.5 million into upgrades at the 114-MW Ruskin powerhouse and dam.