Friday, April 01, 2005

The Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op had a booth at the Better World Handbook Festival last weekend. One person approached me and questioned the viability of solar power here on BC's coast.

I pointed out the success of solar power in Germany which receives less annual sunlight than Vancouver. She said I was wrong. So I double-checked.

Yes, Vancouver does receive more sun than cities in Germany. And yes Germany does use a lot of solar power. In fact, Germany now has the largest installed solar PV base – 300 MW compared to 280 in Japan and 90 in the US.

I felt compelled to comment on an article about Vancouver's Wal-Mart on the excellent Treehugger blog.

This is a classic example of green-washing. While Wal-Mart talks about building this “green” store in Vancouver, it insists on building a store on sensitive riparian habitat not too far away in Campbell River, BC.

It should also be pointed out that Wal-Mart rejected some of the engineering plans that would have made the store even more energy efficient.

The windmills are also a joke. There is not enough wind in this part of the city to power current wind mill technology efficiently. City planners have already rejected the use of windmills in southeast False Creek for that very reason.

Many of us in Vancouver hope that Vancouver will remain a “Wal-Mart Free Zone.”