Evening Pubinar Series (IAIA-WNC Southern Alberta)
Title: Are Large Big Hydros a Big Mistake?
Speaker: Miles Scott-Brown (Ciera Group)
Where: Ceili’s Irish Pub on 8th Ave Downtown (803, 8th Ave SW, Calgary)
The International Association for Impact Assessment - Western and Northern Canada Affiliate (IAIA-WNC) is pleased to announce the return of the “Pubinar” series of talks. Come on out to Ceili’s Pub in downtown Calgary to hear great speakers and get involved in some lively discussion. Drinks and food are available for purchase from the Ceili’s menu. Members and non-members alike are welcome for this free event.
The third pubinar of the Spring 2018 series is coming up on Wednesday, June 6 from 5:30-7:00 pm at Ceili’s Irish Pub in downtown Calgary.
Topic: In an era where we are transitioning from power generation supplied mostly by fossil fuels, large hydroelectric projects are again under the microscope. Once thought to be a green solution providing “cheap” and reliable baseload power, the success of large hydros has been compromised by significant cost and schedule overruns, environmental and social challenges and rampant public opposition, equal to that commonly seen on large oil and gas projects. Furthermore, large gigawatt scale hydro schemes involving a series of cascade dam developments pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems by disrupting hydraulic and ecological connectivity and potentially erasing watershed integrity. Hydro development is further complicated by the common public perception that wind and solar projects can simply replace power generated by large hydros and that as a result new hydroelectric development is neither needed nor wanted.
While the developed world focuses on decommissioning large hydro projects, many of the world’s future proposed hydroelectric schemes are in developing countries, but Alberta too is poised to expand hydropower generation. My presentation will examine the challenges facing future large hydroelectric projects and addresses the question as to whether they are a big mistake or an essential part of our renewable energy future.
About the Speaker: Miles is President of the Ciera Group, a company dedicated to finding sustainable solutions for the pending global infrastructure challenge. He is also a self-confessed hydro nut. Recognizing the need to transition away from the environmental and social challenges facing oil and gas development or face becoming an EA dinosaur, he has focused on assessing the trials and tribulations facing large hydroelectric projects many of which are in developing countries. In addition to his 30+ years experience in environmental assessment, he is a certified environmental auditor, an adjunct professor in Environmental Design at the University of Calgary and an IAIA lifer.