If it sounds too good to be true …

I always shake my head when someone claims renewably-generated electricity supplied

Dear editor:

I always shake my head when someone claims renewably-generated electricity supplied by independent producers is more expensive than electricity produced by BC Hydro.

I ask myself: How can people be so easily fooled by a claim that is so obviously wrong and illogical?

The only way anyone can support the claim that BC Hydro can produce electricity more cheaply than the private sector is if they are comparing BC Hydro facilities built decades ago — and fully paid for — to newly built energy projects that have current construction costs associated with them; costs that need to be included in the energy cost calculations.

By the same token, if you compare a newly built electricity generating facility built by BC Hydro to a newly built generating facility built by the private sector, the truth becomes very easy to see, namely, the cost of electricity generated by ANY new energy generating project — public or private — is going to cost more than electricity from a facility that was built and paid for decades ago.

The real question people need to be asking is who can build new electricity generating facilities more cost-effectively and supply the new electricity the people of BC need at the lowest cost?

And on that count, with the possible exception of major megaprojects like the Site C Dam, the private sector has shown that it is the best equipped to deliver the product with the greatest cost-effectiveness.

As a famous saying goes: If you can find it in the Yellow Pages, government probably shouldn’t be doing it.

So if the private sector is able to supply the new electricity we need with the greatest cost-effectiveness, then that’s how we should be going about things.

And as with so many other things in life, mythical claims of unbelievably cheap “public power” that sound way too good to be true probably are.

Mike Taylor

Port Moody

 

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