Geothermal Energy as an Indigenous Alternative Energy Source in BC


  • Titi Kunkel University of Northern British Columbia
  • Mory Ghomshei University of British Columbia
  • Robert Ellis University of Lethbridge



alternative energy, economic development, energy, First Nations, geothermal resources, sustainable resources


British Columbia is anticipating a shortfall in electricity supply because of an expected increase in demand for energy by about 45% within the next 20 years, as well as the phasing out of old utilities. The reliance on fossil fuel and the ongoing discourse on climate changes have resulted in a shift towards carbon-neutral energy alternatives. The province’s current energy policy goals include achieving electricity self-sufficiency by 2016 through clean or renewable sources. British Columbia has an abundance of geothermal resources with wideranging temperatures available for both power development and direct use. Smaller ecological footprints and lower environmental impacts make the geothermal resource a choice for sustainable energy development as part of a diversified energy portfolio. This article reviews the benefits and impacts of geothermal resource development as a complementary indigenous, alternative energy source for the province and as a potential resource to create sustainable economic development within rural and remote communities.

Author Biographies

Titi Kunkel, University of Northern British Columbia

Senior Lab Instructor
School of Business

Mory Ghomshei, University of British Columbia

Adjunct Professor

Norman B. Keevil, Institute of Mining Engineering

Robert Ellis, University of Lethbridge

Dean, Faculty of Management