British Columbia has some of the best conditions and opportunities for generating “green power” from small-scale hydroelectric projects. It is considered much less disruptive to ecosystems than massive hydroelectric dam and reservoir systems, which include natural water flow disruption, habitat disturbance, and fish & other wildlife population depletion on a large scale. However, there are serious considerations, and many people concerned with wilderness preservation and environmental integrity in the often remote areas suitable for run of the river projects oppose the road building and infrastructure development that must occur to generate electricity from the river. Larger issues such as ownership of water, including privatization to multinational corporations are also serious concerns. As sticky and difficult to sort out as this controversy has become, it is nevertheless emblematic of choices we will have to increasingly make, as demand for energy continues to grow beyond existing supply capacity. It also underlines the great importance of reducing demand through energy saving measures and technologies. Here are a couple of sites that currently are discussing the issue from different perspectives:
ZeroCarbonCanada.ca » Blog Archive » Backlash Against the Green Economy in BC.