VANCOUVER, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Clean Energy Association of BC (CEBC) today welcomed the BC Government's new natural gas and LNG energy strategies as good news with the potential to stimulate economic activity across the energy sector and generate new jobs and investment throughout the province in rural and First Nations communities.
"The BC Government's new natural gas and LNG energy strategies have the potential to stimulate economic activity across the energy sector on a scale comparable to the W.A.C. Bennett hydro developments of the 1960s," said Paul Kariya, Executive Director of the CEBC. "BC's clean energy producers strongly support the plan to use clean electricity as the preferred source for power in LNG production in order to maximize the environmental benefits of natural gas exports."
While the government announcement did not include an estimate of the potential electrical demand from the gas sector at this time, a recent study prepared for the Canadian Wind Energy Association poses a "Mid-Case" demand for an additional 6,112 gigawatt hours by 2017 and 17,292 GWh by 2025 to service natural gas developments and new mines in northern BC. This compares with BC Hydro's current total energy requirements of approximately 55,000 GWh per year.
CEBC recognizes the significant opportunity for First Nations to benefit from the growth of the natural gas and renewable energy industries. There already are 125 First Nations involved in the clean energy sector as developers, partners or suppliers and through impact benefit agreements.
"This is an unprecedented opportunity for BC First Nations to participate as key partners in the development agenda," said CEBC Board Director Dr. Judith Sayers, former Chief Councilor of the Hupacasath First Nation and an experienced project developer.
"The CEBC will be pleased to work with BC Hydro, the BC Government, the natural gas sector and other key stakeholders government to develop procurement plans that maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of clean energy inputs to meet the forthcoming load growth," Kariya said.
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