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CanGEA Responds to BC Hydro and Geoscience BC Report

Near Terrace, BC, Canada (source: flickr/ Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 14 Aug 2015

AT: "The use of low-cost geothermal heat, a by-product of the power production process, also carries the potential to spur community development via entrepreneurial endeavours."

Today the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) released its response to the recent Geoscience BC report: “An Assessment of the Economic Viability of Selected Geothermal Resources in British Columbia”.

The report addressed 3 main topics. The very fulsome appendix (B-S) provided, in our opinion, a vast amount of useful information about certain geothermal sites in BC. It is greatly appreciated by the industry.

Despite this useful information, CanGEA found various serious shortcomings in the other two topics of the report, which were identified in our response. The Volumetric Assessment (MW of geothermal potential) that was completed, for example, had some significant errors that we identified in our response. In particular, the vast Hot Sedimentary Aquifer located in NE BC, that includes several 1,000’s of MW of resource, was not included in the MW estimate for the province derived in the report.

The final topic of the report, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), was found to be extremely questionable by CanGEA, for amongst other things, its use of highly overestimated drilling and other cost inputs. CanGEA questions the professionalism of the geothermal consultants and the relevance of the scope of work set by both BC Hydro and Geoscience BC.

CanGEA Chair Alison Thompson notes:

CanGEA has asked that BC Hydro retract the report that they sponsored and cease making any statements or decisions about the cost of geothermal power in the province until relevant, locally quoted inputs are used in an economic model. These inputs are widely available in Canada and also from CanGEA’s recent capital modelling exercise, which BC Hydro chose not to participate in. We welcome the opportunity to participate constructively in BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan consultation period, and to aide in correcting the identified shortcomings.  

Geothermal has the potential to provide firm energy at a lower cost than alternatives in a manner that benefits ratepayers, taxpayers, the economy, First Nations and the environment, not to mention having a carbon footprint that is lower than all other renewables and large hydro dams. The use of low-cost geothermal heat, a by-product of the power production process, also carries the potential to spur community development via entrepreneurial endeavours.

CanGEA’s Full Response to BC Hydro is available at  http://www.cangea.ca/response-to-geoscience-bc

To Contact Justin Crewson, CanGEA’s Policy Director – 403-923-4990.

Source: Press Release by CanGEA