Thursday, February 26, 2009

Western Renewable Energy Zones

I found out about this from an article in the Tyee.

The Western Govenors Association in the US has developed the Western Renewable Energy Zones to quantify the potential for renewable energy in 11 US states, BC, Alberta and Baja Norte. They are seeking input into their project at the moment.

In their plans they clearly see BC as the source for a significant portion of the renewable energy in western North America. In total they see 11.4% of the power coming from BC, closer to one fifth of the total when solar is factored out. This table shows that they potential they assign to BC a majority of the hydro power in western North America, a total of 69% of all of the hydro power.

In the wind category they assign 14.6% of the total to BC. The document calls for 118 790 MW of power to come from wind in the west. This is a huge expansion of wind power, a scale I had not imagined at all.

They have nothing apportioned for BC based solar power, though I doubt this would ever be a major source of electrical power.

The geothermal potential in BC is also barely touched, there are some very significant possible geothermal sources in BC.

The renewable energy sources they map out does not include any bio-mass generated power. We already have a number of bio-mass operations functioning here in BC already.

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