2008-08-14

B.C. plays catch-up on wind power

As B.C.'s first wind tower sites finally began to take shape on Dokie Ridge west of Chetwynd this spring, the surrounding hillsides flared with the now-familiar red of mountain pine beetle infestation, now spreading towards the northwest.

The dying forest is a potent symbol of climate change, frequently cited by Premier Gordon Campbell as his government implements an unpopular carbon tax and embarks on an aggressive plan to develop independent clean power sources.

Campbell has gained a new reputation as a national leader on alternative energy, but in fact B.C. lags behind other provinces in wind development. The Atlantic coast has more than a dozen sites, and another cluster sits in southern Ontario where coal and nuclear plants are mainstays of the power grid.