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Clean energy projects offer more than Site C, according to Clean Energy B.C.

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A comparison by CEBC of economic-impact numbers from a new KPMG study, and numbers from B.C. Hydro’s Site C projections, are said to show greater returns from a portfolio of smaller projects in employment income, both during construction and in later operation.

It is also said to show a bigger over-all contribution to the B.C. economy.

“It’s clear that a cost-effective diversity of clean-energy projects situated throughout B.C. has a far greater positive impact on BC jobs and the economy, especially for First Nations than does B.C. Hydro’s Site C mega project up on the Peace River in northeastern B.C.,” Executive Director of Clean Energy B.C., Paul Kariya said in a written statement.

KPMG used for its study “real-world data” from a sample of 12 operating B.C. clean-energy projects, according to the association. The association goes on to say a representative portfolio of wind-farm, run-of-river hydro and biomass projects that could produce 5,100 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually was calculated for the potential jobs, income and GDP benefits.

This is about the same output that B.C. Hydro estimates for Site C – enough power to run roughly 450,000 typical BC homes

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The KPMG report comes after an October report from London Economics International (LEI) that found a similar sample group of clean-energy projects could save B.C. $750 million – $1 billion over the 70-year economic lifetime of Site C.

LEI also noted clean-energy projects from independent power producers would transfer development risks from the public to the private sector. And, LEI said that, by phasing in smaller projects as and when needed, they would better match changing supply and demand, and could also take advantage of advancing technology.

Taking the KPMG results, CEBC went on to make additional comparisons between a clean-energy portfolio and BC Hydro’s published Site C project benefits. CEBC found:

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  • Total contribution to B.C.’s GDP during construction would amount to approximately $4.3 billion (KPMG), compared with $3.2 billion from Site C.
  • The contribution to B.C.’s economy during operations would be $90 million a year (KPMG) compared with $7 million from site C.
  • Total labour income from construction of the clean-energy portfolio would come in at $2.9 billion (KPMG), compared with B.C. Hydro’s estimate of $2.2 billion for Site C.
  • Total employment income from operations of the clean-energy projects would amount to $45 million a year (KPMG), compared with only $4.9 million at Site C.
  • The clean-energy projects would rack up a total of 45,200 person-years of fulltime-equivalent employment during construction (KPMG), while Site C would offer 33,000.
  • During operations, after construction, the clean-energy projects would mean 695 person-years of employment (KPMG), compared with only 160 from Site C.
  • Over a 40-year time period, total employment from operations adds up to 27,800 FTE person-years from the smaller projects (KPMG), compared with 6,400 from Site C.
  • Many of the economic impacts would be local in nature leading to widely distributed direct and indirect economic benefits. Jobs and incomes would support First Nations and a variety of rural and urban communities throughout B.C.

Both KPMG and LEI reports stressed the positive impact on B.C. First Nations of smaller power projects distributed around B.C.

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LEI said distribution of projects throughout the province means “more plentiful and meaningful opportunities for First Nations participation.”

Now KPMG’s report says such clean-energy projects would offer “extensive and significant impact” for First Nations.

 

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