Environmentally friendly camping

Camping takes on a a new light

Dear Editor,

Anyone who has been camping lately will have noticed that many campers are starting to make use of solar energy panels. These panels are not cheap, but they are clearly making inroads through a growing awareness and interest in renewable energy, combined with marketplace innovation and ingenuity.

Battery storage is also starting to make great strides and prices are likewise coming down, and for the same reasons. Just look at the battery in your cell phone compared to the first cell phone you may have owned.

This is good news for people in those parts of the world (even here in remote BC communities) where there is no electricity grid and where the electricity they do have typically comes from diesel generators.  Combining a local renewable energy source with battery storage has the potential to greatly improve the lives of these people and eliminate their dependence on diesel power.

Obviously, in hot, dry places, solar power makes sense as a renewable energy source, and it could be used to pump water for improved irrigation and improved crop yield.

Equally obvious, in wet, windy places such as can be found here in BC, hydro and wind energy make sense.  These renewable energy sources could improve living conditions in remote BC communities and also expand economic opportunity and job possibilities.  And all of this is becoming possible through the innovation and ingenuity that thrives in a free market environment.

Properly motivated, the free market is an unrivalled tool for bringing down costs, improving quality, and increasing supply.  Solar panels for campers and ever-smaller, more powerful batteries for cell phones are just a small taste of what the free market has in store for us as awareness and interest in renewable energy continues to increase and drive demand in a changing global economy.

Yolanda Lora Vilchis

Surrey, B.C.