a recent report by a canadian industry group that is promoting geothermal energy, thermal energy generated and stored in the earth, says geothermal operations can create more permanent jobs than the site c dam in northeastern b.c.
>”According to Geothermal Energy: The Renewable and Cost Effective Alternative to Site C, 1,100 megawatts – the same amount as Site C – of geothermal power projects would create more sustainable employment for surrounding communities.
“While Site C promises only 160 permanent jobs, U.S. Department of Energy statistics indicate that the equivalent amount of geothermal energy would produce 1,870 permanent jobs. This does not include jobs that result from the direct use of geothermal heat, which are also significant.”
However, said Alison Thompson, managing director of Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), which published the report, geothermal projects would result in fewer construction jobs than the Site C dam.
“Geothermal projects would be spread around the province, not all on one site,” she said. “And, unlike Site C, they would not be built all at once. They would be staggered, with construction beginning in the highest-priority regions first.”
According to Dave Conway, a Site C spokesman, the $7.9 billion project will create about 10,000 person-years of direct construction employment, and 33,000 person-years of total employment during development and construction.
Construction will take about eight years. This includes seven years for the construction itself and one year for commissioning, site reclamation and demobilization.
Thompson said geothermal energy has other advantages over hydro. “For example, geothermal power has a lower unit energy cost and capital cost,” she said. “And, the physical and environmental footprint of geothermal is small.”
The CanGEA report says the “strategic dispersion” of geothermal projects will have lower transmission costs than Site C.
“There is every reason to believe that, given the thoughtful and (methodical) development of B.C.’s geothermal potential, geothermal power could provide all of B.C.’s future power requirements at a lower cost to ratepayers than the proposed Site C project.” […]
“For the most part, Canada’s geothermal power sector lay dormant for the following two decades while interest in the industry continued to grow outside of Canada’s borders.” […]”<
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