Cowichan Valley is very well-suited to solar energy use

Mill Bay – Responding to Laurie Thomson on Cowichan Valley sunshine: I would also like to inform and educate.


It is a fact that Germany is the world leader in solar power installations. It is responsible for half of the solar electricity generated worldwide. The average amount of sunshine per year in Germany is 1,500 hours. Here in the Cowichan Valley we receive an average of 1,800 hours per year. This indicates that our Valley is well suited for solar power.


We already lead the province on private solar installations. This is partly due to the fact that it is now financially viable. A new privately owned solar array installed in the Valley this spring is expected to have a four to eight per cent return over 25 years.


Events that could alter these numbers are: the sun stops rising every day or BC Hydro starts giving energy away for free.


Investment in solar infrastructure now could be a revenue source for us and future generations. I think our local government might be very interested to be involved in this kind of investment.


Like the evolution of all beneficial technology we have produced so far, solar panels will become more efficient, smaller, cheaper, easier on the environment to manufacture and totally recyclable, because that is what responsible, conscientious citizens demand.


As for thorium power, a quick Google search tells me that it is nuclear energy producing radioactive waste we will have to store for hundreds of years hoping all that time that nothing goes wrong with the storage facility. Is Laurie Thomson suggesting that we should build a thorium nuclear power plant here in the Cowichan Valley? Isn’t one Fukushima disaster on the Pacific Ring of Fire enough?


Catherine Wallace


Mill Bay