Market News

 April 14, 2007
BC releases Ocean Energy Discussion Paper

 Victoria, Canada (GLOBE-Net) - The BC Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands have released the Ocean Energy on Crown Land in British Columbia Discussion Paper. The paper describes various policy issues and options associated with locating ocean energy projects on Crown land, including tenure types, pricing, first rights, due diligence and related issues.

British Columbia has an abundance of renewable, alternative energy sources such as water (run-of-river), biomass, wind and ocean waves and tidal currents. To date, most projects by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have used run-of--river and biomass resources.

British Columbia has significant ocean energy potential -- over 6000 megawatts (MW) of potential wave energy and over 2000 MW of potential tidal energy development opportunities alone have been identified to date. Worldwide ocean energy potential (wave, tidal, marine currents, thermal and salinity gradients, etc.) is estimated at 10 -- 20 terawatts (TW), which is two to four times the existing electricity consumption of the world.

Ocean energy power projects using modern technologies have only recently begun to appear as demonstration and pilot initiatives around the world. Some projects are within a few years of commercial development, particularly in Europe. In general, the leading countries in terms of ocean energy research and development have established policies to regulate and promote non-hydro renewable energy in a consistent and coordinated fashion.

There is growing interest in developing British Columbia's ocean energy potential, and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands are in the process of developing a Crown land tenure operational policy for ocean energy projects. The policy will provide provincial officials and proponents with direction for administration of ocean energy applications and replacements to access, investigate and develop ocean energy sites on Crown land.

The GLOBE Foundation's Endless Energy Project notes the potential for ocean energy to supply a portion of British Columbia's energy needs in the future. In many cases, ocean power may be suitable for district energy systems for coastal communities, displacing diesel generators. The project outlines how ocean technologies and other power sources and policies can make BC energy self-sufficient by 2025 from renewable sources alone, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to well below year 2000 levels.

The BC discussion paper represents an important step towards developing ocean energy policy for the province, one that is responsive to industry needs and that also meets the needs of the province with regard to the responsible use of public resources.

The Government will receive comments on the issues and proposed options for a Crown land tenuring policy for ocean energy projects until Tuesday, May 4, 2007 4:30 pm. Interested parties should submit comments to Neil Banera, Director, Independent Power Producers Policy and Operations Branch, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (Neil.Banera@gov.bc.ca).

The Discussion Paper can be downloaded here (Word File).

Also, feel free to visit the Ministry's Ocean Energy website.

For More Information: Government of British Columbia