Econ­omy’s de­mand for elec­tric­ity is fall­ing

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Re: “Site C megapro­ject rouses cam­paign de­bate,” April 19.

The Site C dam is be­com­ing a cam­paign is­sue, ac­cord­ing to the ar­ti­cle. B.C. Lib­eral Leader Christy Clark is de­fend­ing the project by stress­ing the need to en­sure that the prov­ince’s fu­ture grow­ing de­mand for elec­tric­ity will be met.

Where are the signs of this grow­ing de­mand? There has been no growth in elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion for the past 10 years, and none is fore­cast for the next five. How is this pos­si­ble as the econ­omy of the prov­ince con­tin­ues to grow?

One has only to look to our south­ern neigh­bours, a coun­try far more in­dus­tri­al­ized than this prov­ince. Down south, elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion per capita has been fall­ing for the past six years in a row, even though the econ­omy has been steadily grow­ing and has more than fully re­cov­ered from the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

To­tal elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion today is less than in the pre-crash year of 2007. There has been an un­prece­dented de­cou­pling of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween eco­nomic growth and elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion.

Why will the sit­u­a­tion be any dif­fer­ent here, and if it is not, why are we build­ing Site C? Charles Woodruff Oak Bay

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