NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2007EMPR0008-000178
Feb. 27, 2007
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

BC ENERGY PLAN OUTLINES VISION FOR CLEAN ENERGY

VICTORIA — The new BC Energy Plan: A Vision for Clean Energy Leadership puts British Columbia at the forefront with aggressive targets for zero net greenhouse gas emissions, new investments in innovation, and an ambitious target to acquire 50 per cent of BC Hydro's incremental resource needs through conservation by 2020, announced Richard Neufeld, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. The Plan also provides new measures to enhance energy security in the province, which will include entering into initial discussions around a potential Site C project.

"The BC Energy Plan provides made-in-B.C. solutions to the global challenge of ensuring secure, reliable and affordable energy," said Neufeld. "The Province will require zero net greenhouse gas emissions from all new electricity projects and support the development of clean energy technology. This plan balances the economic opportunities available from our wide range of natural resources while leading the world in sustainable environmental management."

The BC Energy Plan's 55 policy actions focus on the province's key natural strengths and competitive advantages of clean and renewable sources of energy. Among the highlights:

Environmental Leadership:

  • All new electricity projects developed in B.C. will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Existing thermal generation power plants will reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.
  • Zero greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity generation.
  • Clean or renewable electricity generation will continue to account for at least 90 per cent of total generation, placing the province's standard among the top jurisdictions in the world.
  • Eliminate all routine flaring at oil and gas producing wells and production facilities by 2016 with an interim goal to reduce flaring by half (50 per cent) by 2011.
  • The best coalbed gas practices in North America. Companies will not be allowed to surface discharge produced water, and any re-injected produced water must be injected well below any domestic water aquifer.

Energy Conservation and Efficiency:

  • An ambitious target to acquire 50 per cent of BC Hydro's incremental resource needs through conservation by 2020.
  • New energy efficiency standards will be determined and implemented for buildings by 2010.

Energy Security:

  • Government has committed the province will be electricity self-sufficient by 2016.
  • To encourage small B.C. Clean or high efficiency cogeneration, BC Hydro is establishing a standing offer program with a set purchase price for power projects up to 10 megawatts.
  • Public ownership of BC Hydro and the BC Transmission Corporation.
  • BC Hydro and the Province will enter into initial discussions with First Nations, the Province of Alberta and communities to discuss Site C.

Investing in Innovation:

  • The new $25-million Innovative Clean Energy Fund will encourage the development of clean energy and energy efficient technologies in the electricity, alternative energy, transportation and oil and gas sectors.
  • The new BC Bioenergy Strategy will take advantage of B.C.'s abundant sources of renewable energy, such as beetle-killed timber, wood wastes and agricultural residues.

"The ongoing public ownership of BC Hydro and BC Transmission Corporation will ensure British Columbians continue to enjoy low-cost power for years to come," Neufeld said. "This plan builds on a proud tradition of innovation that has resulted in 90 per cent of our power generation coming from clean sources and sets B.C. apart as a leading jurisdiction in sustainable environmental and economic management."

For more information or a copy of The BC Energy Plan: A Vision for Clean Energy Leadership, visit http://energyplan.gov.bc.ca on the Internet.

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4 backgrounder(s) attached.

Media contact:
Jake Jacobs
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
250 952-0628

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