High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.
There is a price to paid for any significant energy generation project and that price will always be paid in some combination of dollars and environmental impact. Achieving high return in terms of KWh production while keeping cost (ecological+dollars) down, is very difficult and fraught with challenges. There are no simple solutions.
For example, where exactly would Geothermal projects be placed in BC such that they yield significant KWh of electricity production? What yields can be expected and how many of these plants, at what cost, do we need to provide enough yield? Further, what exactly do these projects look like? If we transfer vast amounts of heat from inside the earth to a reception facility on site, what do we do with it?
Do we build multiple large, complex steam-turbine electricity generation plants right on site somewhere 'out there' and transmit electricity many kilometers along a number of new powerline corridors? Or do we transfer the heat via multiple pipelines elsewhere, suffering heat transfer loss in the process prior to generating power at multiple new turbine plants in urban areas? These are complex, difficult questions. There are impacts to all these mechanisms, I suggest similar in level to Site C impacts.
Wind, solar etc, all have major ecological impacts as well. First consider their dependence on rare earth elements, of volatile availability and mined in environmentally destructive ways. Further, at American windfarms and solar facilities, so severe is the mortality rate among birds and bats, especially endangered species, that President Obama had to grant many of them exemption from prosecution under species protection statutes. The avian death toll from these 'green' power projects is in the hundreds of thousands so far. I suggest Site C would pale compare to that.