BC Gold Rush: Energy From The Air
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Dropping everything to Cash in on the Energy Bandwagon, may in principle sounds like a good idea, but many have tried to make a living on principle, leaving many with a "Cold Northern Gust of Wind" up their financial backsides for their troubles. BC certainly could profit from Wind Energy, as we have mountaintops and plateaus in which Wind Power could generate unlimited amounts of power. BC is also fortunate to make use of Oceanic Wave Generation for power as well. BC could produuce more than Energy Twofold using both these natural sources for energy to a energy hungry populace. Getting both there is the problem, not to mention a low rate of return on investment in which many investors will shy away for more lucrative markets with a higher and faster rate of return. At least this guy is trying, with wind energy and I wish him success.
VANCOUVER -- Who has seen the wind?
Nathan Vanderklippe, Financial Post Published:
Monday, April 21, 2008
Stephen Cheeseman has cashed out 20 years of savings, left a successful career as a uranium and base metals geologist and begged his friends and family for as much money as they would invest in him. All to chase the breeze.
Mr. Cheeseman is, like dozens of others in British Columbia, a wind prospector who is making it his life's work to grab hold of the choicest mountain ridges with the stiffest gusts before anyone else does.
Over the past several years, it is a play that has drawn people from all walks of life, from construction workers to marine engineers to lawyers, although in recent times the field has been populated by large domestic and overseas corporations who have found in the province's peaked topography a gusty opportunity for a clean power windfall.
But there remain those who, like Mr. Cheeseman, have dedicated their own lives to a one-man, gold-rush-style effort to buy up prospective land, secure enough funding to test whether the wind blows over it and, ultimately, raise a crop of wind turbines on it.
He is hardly alone. In the past two years, the province has handed out more than 300 investigative use permits -- an initial-stage evaluation permit much like an exploration permit -- to about 1.3-million hectares of land.
It is, however, a risky business. Experience in independent production of hydro and other renewable energy sources has shown that even those fortunate enough to win BC Hydro power contracts have difficulty actually delivering electricity.
Already, more than half of the electricity production contracted for in the province's 2006 call for power has fallen by the wayside; earlier calls had attrition rates near 100%.