I was shocked to learn that the Australians are among the world’s worst per capita carbon polluters despite having numerous renewable energy resources they could be tapping into.
In fact, over the past 50 years, as Australia’s overall energy use grew more than tenfold, coal power use increased by 1,200 per cent.
Over that same 50-year period, Australia’s percentage of renewable energy as an electricity source dropped considerably in relation to overall energy use: In 1960, for example, 19 per cent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, but by 2008, only seven per cent came from renewable sources.
Could British Columbia be headed in that same direction? Could an increasing reliance on coal power be in the cards for us?
It’s a possibility, considering the fact that B.C. has become a frequent net importer of coal power in recent years despite our province’s untapped abundance of renewable energy.
I don’t know at what point British Columbia ceased to be capable of producing enough renewably-sourced electricity for our own domestic consumption. But with electricity demand in this province projected to increase by as much as 40 per cent over the next 20 years, it’s clear that we need to start preparing for our future energy load instead of continuing to lean on imported coal power.