Sask. environmental group offers recommendations to SaskPower
YORKTON -- An environmental group has provided a list of recommendations to SaskPower to help the Crown corporation become carbon neutral by 2040.
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) presented a report and eight recommendations on Tuesday. SaskPower received the report Tuesday morning and is evaluating it.
"At the heart of these recommendations is a principle that SaskPower should move decisively to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, greatly increase its renewable energy generation capacity and focus more heavily on electricity conservation and efficiency," said Bob Halliday, engineer and vice president at SES.
The recommendations start with committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, which the SES said could be accomplished if at least half of the province’s power generation comes from renewable sources by 2030. The report also recommends interconnection with Manitoba Hydro, wind farms and solar stations.
In 2013, the SES also provided recommendations to reduce emissions, but feel SaskPower has made little progress in recent years.
"While SaskPower should meet its modest 2030 goal for renewable energy generation under its present course of action, it could readily go much further," said Halliday.
Joel Cherry, a spokesperson for SaskPower, said the corporation welcomes feedback from all stakeholders, whether it be customers, industry groups, environmental groups like the SES and Indigenous groups.
In 2015, SaskPower set a commitment to reduce emissions 40 per cent below the 2005 levels by 2030, a goal that is not only going to be reached, but also surpassed.
"It's looking right now like we're going to actually reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030," said Cherry.
Cherry explained the corporation is taking a number of steps to accelerate that goal with various upcoming projects involving clean energy, including three new wind facilities and a utility solar project coming this year.
"We've set a target of net-zero by 2050 and the way we're going to achieve that is through looking at all the available low and zero carbon generation options," said Cherry.
He added SaskPower wants to be a “good steward of the environment” and is looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible.