Clean Energy BC’s 13th annual conference Generate was based around the theme of “Thinking Bigger” when it comes to clean energy. It was a great place to express and explore ideas of the many avenues, opportunities and challenges on the development of clean energy projects. The conference was hosted at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, BC.
Clean Energy BC’s Conference Chair Colleen Giroux-Schmidt said in her opening message, “This year we are going to think bigger at Generate – New markets and load centres, new and innovative ways of delivering cost effective, clean electricity…both globally and here in BC, we are at a key point in a broad transition in how electricity and energy are used and deployed.” Generate 2015 had hosted presentations from Rick Hansen for the Rick Hansen Foundation; Hon. Bill Bennett from the Ministry of Energy and Mines; Tom Rand, Managing Partner for Arctern Ventures; Kim Baird, Owner of Strategic Consulting, and many more.
Clean energy breaks into five major categories: wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass. Some companies or Corporations are dedicated to one type of clean energy while others are invested in multiple development facets around the world. When somebody takes on a development opportunity and is successful it can open up more financial movement and freedom to take on new projects or projects of their own; and if the second project is a success than the company has done well with thinking bigger on clean energy development. Everything about these clean energy projects take time and moderation.
It was mentioned that you should go as far as you can with your own ideas and planning, but there is no harm in hiring some specialists to assist you on your business venture. The amount of professional details and know-hows of development are so immense you could fill a room full of literature on the subject. These specialists can help navigate through the information to get the end result that you are striving for. However, for this to happen trust gets involved. When trust is put into others it opens up learning opportunities, and these are not always easy going. Clashing of ideas on spending priorities, hiring practises, environmental protection and the list goes on. It all lands on the negotiations and duties getting set into place and the contracts signed. When making these size of decisions it is best to work with a team that can support you and guide you through the mist of economic development. The journey all starts with an idea, but the destination of that journey is the part that counts in these matters.
When thinking about Clean Energy a few things come to mind. For Klahoose the first would be our two run-of-the-river projects: Toba Montrose operating at 196 MWh, and Jimmie Creek in construction will operate at 62 MWh. The development of these projects required a lot of environmental assessments; feasibility and prefeasibility checklists; relationship building between businesses, corporations and First Nations to even get anything started. These are just the tip of the iceberg for the amount of work that goes into beginning stages. Klahoose has been active with its revenue that has been collected through these projects. Whether it is enhancing the lives of the community, band members at home or away from home; the construction of the multi-purpose building or expanding our forestry outfits. These are some examples of financial movement that can happen through the work put into clean energy development opportunities. Many of the partners or companies that provided the supplies for Klahoose to develop the run-of-the-river projects were present for the conference as well.
There were a series of speeches in the main ballroom of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Vancouver. Each of which had a professional stand at the front of the room and speak on a focused subject. The participants were able to post questions on the big screen and the speakers would address as many questions as time would permit. Since most of the people in attendance were professionals or keen environmentalists, communications workers, or science based minds, the questions brought on quite a display of intellectual thinking. One question was, “How could a certain non-renewable resource extraction incorporate clean energy to reduce the green house gases or overall carbon footprint?” The answer was that sometimes alternative power can be found such as creating a run-of-the-river project to power the non-renewable project. The numbers might show it as a major expense for the lead company, but would be a great selling point to the community that would be offering up its land. After the non-renewable project was finished the community could then use the benefits of the run-of-the-river project; this has happened in Africa. It would require tough negotiations because Corporations sometimes can view it as an unnecessary expenditure. These results would likely need the assistance of a specialist to fight for need of the smaller partner, which are often times the supplier of the resource. This was a big theme when relationship building with First Nations was discussed. The First Nations point of negotiation is saying, “you’re here now, but what are you going to leave once you’re gone?” a trivial question indeed.
Generate 2015 was a success in its aim in discussing the dense topic of clean energy and covering as much ground that comes with it.