Report confirms shift to 100% renewable energy is possible in the Kootenays

A newly released report shows how transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050 is achievable for West Kootenay communities.

TMTV.NET Nelson BC Canada  (Submitted) – “We started out with a simple question: Is 100% renewable energy possible here in the West Kootenays? It’s the first thing people ask when we talk about making a shift of this significance,” said András Beda, Energy Researcher with the West Kootenay EcoSociety. “What we discovered is that yes, it can absolutely be done, using today’s technology, and we now have one possible pathway – from the many – for what the transition could look like.”

The energy modelling report was commissioned by the West Kootenay EcoSociety as part of their 100% Renewable Kootenays initiative. The initiative aims to build support from residents, businesses and organizations across the region to transition off fossil fuels and onto 100% renewable energy no later than 2050.

“We’re excited to be following the lead of countries like Denmark, who are pioneering this type of energy modelling research,” said Matthew Carroll, Co-Executive Director of the West Kootenay EcoSociety. “Across the Kootenays, thousands of residents and dozens of businesses have signed on to show their support, and this report only strengthens the case that the transition to 100% renewable energy is a realistic, achievable goal for our region.”

The report calls for a reduction of overall energy use by 34%, combined with electrification of transportation and heating, new solar power, biomass, and renewable natural gas, all of which combined would cut carbon pollution and improve quality of life.

“Earlier this year, we looked in depth at each West Kootenay community’s current energy use, and what has already been done to cut carbon pollution across the region. There’s some great work already being done,” said Carroll. “This energy model is about the next step, looking at where we go from here, and how we can get to 100% renewable energy. I’m excited to be going into our regional energy conference this week knowing we’ve already shown that it’s possible. We know there’s a great deal to consider, including environmental, social, and economic perspectives. Now we need to begin the in-depth discussions between politicians, businesses, and the public, to determine which renewable energy development pathways will work best.”

The report is being released as part of EcoSociety’s regional conference on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Castlegar on September 7-9. The conference is open to the public and more information can be found at www.kootenaygreenenergy.com

West Kootenay EcoSociety is a non-profit community-driven organization that works to bring together local residents to protect the natural environment while building just, equitable, healthy, and livable communities in the West Kootenay region.