Institutional Recommendation 15
Tribal Energy Vision
Implement strategies to prevent the Northwest’s energy supply system from placing undue reliance on the Columbia River’s ability to generate electricity or placing undue burdens on its ecosystem functions.
In 2003, CRITFC published an energy vsion for the Columbia River. The publication followed on the heels of the energy crisis of 2001 and decisions by the federal government to forego salmon protection measures (spill and flow) at Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) dams. The juvenile salmon migration in 2001 experienced very high mortality rates. The underlying theme of the Tribal Energy Vision is that the Northwest’s energy supply system must not place undue reliance on the Columbia River’s ability to generate electricity nor place undue burdens on its ecosystem functions. The 1995 Plan recommended energy conservation and supply measures to address this vision.
CRITFC is now in the process of updating that vision. Its update will include an assessment of the region’s progress since 2003 and recommendations to address the new challenges facing the region, including:
- Continued aggressive acquisition of energy efficiency measures.
- Utilizing “smart” energy technologies to conserve energy resources and reduce peak energy demands.
- Integration of wind and other renewable energy sources with the region’s existing hydro and thermal generation in a manner that is beneficial to salmon and the river’s other ecosystem functions.
- Anticipating and responding to climate changes as they affect water energy demand and production as well as water supply.
Implementing the Tribal Energy Vision by emphasizing a diverse and reliable energy resource mix saves Northwest ratepayers more than $1.3 billion per year, lessens damage to salmon and other fish and wildlife in the Columbia Basin and reduces emissions that cause climate change.