To the editor:
I’m glad to see that California is finally taking steps to classify hydroelectric energy from British Columbia as 100 per cent renewable.
In a wet, mountainous place like B.C. there is nothing more renewable than the water that continually drops from our skies as snow and rain. In fact, that’s why more than 90 per cent of the electricity produced in B.C. is hydroelectric.
In California, where the climate is dry and mostly desert-like, hydroelectric energy is not nearly as plentiful or as easy to tap into as it is in B.C. Because of this fact, any hydroelectric-generating facility in California that can generate 30 megawatts or more of electricity is not considered to be a renewable energy resource.
To generate that much hydroelectric energy in California you need a sizable dam and vast areas of land need to be flooded.
In B.C., however, as California legislators are starting to realize, generating 30 megawatts or more of electricity can easily be achieved by a small run-of-river facility with nothing more than a small head pond and an inflatable weir. Run-of-river facilities pack an incredible clean energy punch and have one of the smallest physical and environmental footprints of any type of energy generation.
It’s good that California is finally starting to realize this about B.C. generated hydroelectricity.