Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Metro 2050 Energy Roadmap to a Carbon-Neutral Future. More Electricity, Less Natural Gas.

BC Hydro Power Station near Boundary Bay Dyke Trail

The Metro Vancouver Regional District is creating ten roadmaps to help our region become carbon-neutral by 2050. While the Regional District does have authority over certain aspects of air quality regulation in Metro Vancouver, these roadmaps are more about providing advice and suggestions on how our region could become carbon neutral. It is not a regulatory document. Local governments have an essential role in creating a carbon-neutral region, but it will also require the full support of both the provincial and federal governments.

One of Metro Vancouver’s latest draft roadmaps is around energy systems. The draft roadmap has six major points. I’ve outlined some goals within each:

Plan for the Transition to Clean, Renewable, and Resilient Energy

  • Work with BC Hydro, FortisBC, and the British Columbia Utilities Commission to plan for the transition to a 100% clean, renewable, and resilient energy system.

Accelerate Electrification

  • Develop programs to encourage people to switch from fossil fuel to electricity.
  • Expand and renew the electric grid to ensure that it can handle increased load.
  • Implement time-of-use rates to encourage people to use electricity during off-peak hours.
  • Create an electrical grid and microgrids resilient to major disasters such as earthquakes and extreme weather events. Have backup systems use renewable energy.

Increase Sustainable Production of Low Carbon Biofuels and Hydrogen

  • Increase the usage of renewal natural gas, prioritizing difficult-to-electrify sectors such as industrial applications with high temperatures or that require combustion.
  • Start creating more biofuel, including from wastewater biomass.
  • Enhance low-carbon fuel standards.

Limit Expansion of Fossil Fuel Production

  • While limiting expansion, also look at ways to repurpose existing fossil fuel infrastructure to supply clean, renewable energy.
  • Eliminate government subsidies and financing for fossil fuel energy systems.
  • Create and implement a just transition plan for workers and communities currently involved in the fossil fuel production.

Protect Existing Energy Systems from Current and Future Climate Impacts

Build New Energy Systems that are Climate Resilient

The following graph shows the proposed path to a carbon-neutral energy system and what our region’s energy mix will need to look like over the next 25 years.

The potential impact of the strategies and actions described in the Climate 2050 Roadmaps. Select graph to enlarge.

For more information, please read the draft energy roadmap.

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