Thursday, December 5, 2013

Power in British Columbia - Not Political Power... but really it was Political - BC Hydro - 1961

Hugh Keenleyside  Chairman BC Power Commission December 15, 1961

We can well understand why there's a Keenleyside Dam, damn.  His promise was supposed to be good until 2111!  not 2013.

Keenleyside Speech (to the faithful):
Nanaimo is the largest city served by the B. C. Power Commission.    During the years that you have been our customers you and the people of Vernon, Kamloops and Prince George have been charged rates that have made it possible for us to serve thousands of other people in outlying communities throughout British Columbia, people who would otherwise have had to go with out the blessings of electric light and power.   For what you have done, we in the Commission, and the people you have helped, are deeply grateful.


In spite of the contribution you have been making to the general welfare of the Provine it is only fair to point out that you have nevertheless paid lower rates for our service than the people of Victoria and Vancouver have paid to the B. C. Electric.   Now that a realignment of territories is to take place and both the B. C. Hydro and the B. C. Electric are publicly-owned, the cost of paying for the service to the outlying regions is going to be shared by the two agencies.   Victoria and Vancouver will be expected to bear their fair share.

And the other shoe is un-laced

In spite of this we are planning, with Government approval, to reduce rates to all our customers whether in the large cities, the towns, or the country districts.  And in discussing this matter with the Premier he strongly agreed that I should tell you that the people of Nanaimo, Vernon, Kamloops and Prince George would have their full share of any reduction;  that no one in Vancouver or Victoria or elsewhere in either the Hydro or the B.C. Electric systems will have lower rates than those to be paid by you who have contributed so much to the development of electrical services in our Province.


In the light of what I have just said about the place Nanaimo holds in our affection you will understand why, after two years and a half during which I have made no public speeches on the power problems of B. C., I decided that my first address on this subject should be given here.  I am grateful to you for providing the opportunity. 


The Purpose of this Address

That certain aspects of the power situation in British Columbia are subjects of controversy is a notable understatement.  This is not surprising in view of the complexity of the problems involved, the variety of interests affected, and the magnitude of the issues themselves.   In addition to our elected representative, by whom the final decisions must be taken, the problems we face require for their solution the talents of scientists, engineers, economists, administrators, off-shore Bermuda offices, and sociologists; of industry, labour, commerce and law.  The power policies adopted now, or that will be adopted within the next few months, will affect everyone now living in our Province and everyone who will live here during the next century and a half.
SNIP  Page 2 and 3  of 23

1961 + 100 yrs =  2061               2061 + 50 yrs = 2111

2111 - 2013  =  98 yrs..... to go ... Bill Bennett

No problemo.    LNG will have wiped out our debt by 2050.   And We'll have a Prosperity Fund for fun.   .... Christy Clark

Page 5 of 23    Oooooooops
In the case of nuclear plants the fuel costs are relatively low, on a long-term basis, and may become lower still. Improved techniques of utilization are also forecast and it is now generally accepted that within two decades the cost of nuclear energy may become so low as to make new hydro plants generally uneconomic.

If this is true the importance of the earliest possible development of all our hydro potential in British Columbia becomes vividly apparent. In hydro installations, of course there is no expenditure on fuel; in fact 3 practically all the costs of a hydro plant are those related to the annual fixed charges on the initial capital used in construction. Once in and even partially paid for hydro plants could not be superseded by nuclear energy regardless of the declining costs of the latter. We should, therefore, develop the hydro resources of our Province as rapidly as markets can be clearly anticipated, for by so doing the costs of hydro power will be kept reasonably constant over the useful life of the projects - about 100 to 150 years. To the extent that we fail to do this British Columbia's second most  important resource will be lost for all time.

1 comment:

e.a.f. said...

oh my god, nothing has really changed. the speech certainly takes one back.