As the environment dominates the agendas of many world leaders over the coming weeks, those in Saskatchewan are announcing an ambitious new plan to help clean up our air.
Minister responsible for SaskPower Bill Boyd explained how by 2030, wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy sources will have the capacity to power up to 50 per cent of the province.
“This is a doubling of Saskatchewan’s renewable power capacity in just 15 years,” he said from SaskPower headquarters Monday morning.
Boyd said greenhouse gas emissions should be about 40 per cent below 2005 levels.
Right now, roughly 25 per cent of our power comes from renewable sources, with wind accounting for five per cent. However, over the next decade and a half, wind will jump to 30 per cent. Three new wind power projects are already approved or in development in Chaplin, Grenfell, and Riverhurst. They’re expected to be complete by late 2019.
“Solar and wind are both intermittent renewables,” SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh reminded the public. “It’s still a very, very good thrust and the more capacity we build the more energy we’re going to get from free fuel sources — the wind and solar.”
That means coal will still be part of the picture moving forward, along with the carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam near Estevan which diverts emissions away from the atmosphere.
SaskPower estimates that it will need to spend an additional $1.5 billion over the next 15 years towards the move to 50 per cent renewable energy. The Crown also estimated customer’s bills will be approximately five per cent more by 2030 than they otherwise would have been.