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KPMG study says smaller projects better than Site C dam

By Contributor
November 18th, 2014

Smaller clean-energy projects spread throughout BC would offer more economic benefits — and benefits to First Nations — than the proposed Site C hydro-electric dam said a KPMG study.

A comparison by Clean Energy BC (CEBC) of economic-impact numbers from a new KPMG study, and numbers from BC Hydro’s Site C projections, shows bigger returns from a portfolio of smaller projects in employment income, both during construction and in later operation.

And it shows a bigger over-all contribution to the BC economy.

Paul Kariya, executive director of Clean Energy BC, said:

“It’s clear that a cost-effective diversity of clean-energy projects situated throughout BC has a far greater positive impact on BC jobs and the economy, especially for First Nations than does BC Hydro’s Site C mega project up on the Peace River in northeastern BC.”

KPMG used for its study “real-world data” from a sample of 12 operating BC clean-energy projects. A representative portfolio of wind-farm, run-of-river hydro and biomass projects that could produce 5,100 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually was used to calculate the jobs, income and GDP benefits.  This is about the same output that BC Hydro estimates for Site C. (That’s enough power to run roughly 450,000 typical BC homes.)

The KPMG report comes after an October report from London Economics International (LEI) that found a similar sample group of clean-energy projects could save BC $750 million to $1 billion over the 70-year economic lifetime of Site C.

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