I just read this editorial advocating for a transCanada energy network and it got me thinking about New Brunswick and energy (again). I think we really need to get in on the Labrador hydro project. They will not push that power through Quebec – at any cost – due to the acrimony over Churchill Falls. So, we need to get that power through New Brunswick (undersea and land cable). Further, I think we should seriously explore taking an equity stake in Churchill Falls 2 (if that is an option, I don’t know). They are forcasting that Lepreau II could be $7 billion or more. How much hydroelectricity capacity could be purchased on a long term basis for $7 billion?
Electricity rates are only going to increase – particularly production based on oil but even coal. Wind and solar will become more popular but will not come down in price point to the level of hydro- probably never (at least in our lifetime). Those will access to lots of hydroelectricity will have a strategic competitive advantage – for the next 50 years or more. So the question is how can we get in?
I don’t have the problems with nuclear energy that some have but I do know there are at least a half dozen nuclear projects on the table in the U.S. right now and Barack Obama has said he supports nuclear energy development. There are very few (if any) large hydroelectricity projects on the docket.