SaskPower Carbon Capture and Storage Going Online Today, On Schedule

“The government boasted at last week’s Boundary Dam symposium that the project will be up and running this fall and completed by next April, on time and on budget.”

Hey, today’s April Fool’s Day. Of course it’s not going online today, as planned last May September by politicians managing SaskPower.

Sask., Alta. to lead push for carbon capture; Energy, environment take centre stage at premiers meeting
Wood, James. Star – Phoenix [Saskatoon, Sask] 31 May 2008: A.6.

“The prospect of capturing and storing CO2 to allow for low-emission coal-fired electricity plants and oilsands developments is an alluring one. But much of the technology is yet unproven, the costs involved are massive and there must be a use for the captured carbon such as enhanced oil recovery.”

“(CEO Robert) Watson says SaskPower will be ready to start shipping CO2 to Cenovus by April 1, 2014.”


“Coal is not going away” – Brad Wall
Wall continues to conserve the Conservative way.

ADDED:
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The Blustery Winds of Stupidity Hit Weyburn Hard #skpoli

At least 2 Weyburn City Councillors were not duped by anti-Wind propaganda that afflicts many municipalities. There’s probably no bylaw against this family running a noisy, polluting diesel generator in their backyard, contributing to poor health of their neighbours. I’d have to reason that the neighbour(s) who complained about this windmill isn’t very bright.

The time frame given to Dustin and Vanessa Storle, owners of the turbine, was to have it removed by July 30. After this, there will be no more residential wind power in the windy city of Weyburn.

I hope they find a resident of a less backward Rural Municipality to install their turbine, and split the profits. It’ll probably work better unencumbered by surrounding buildings anyway, which can dampen the wind speed required for maximum output.

There’s probably some multi-century conspiracy from windmill owners to install these tornado generating devices all over the planet. I haven’t figured out the physics for how an energy receiving device is adding low frequency energy to air pressure, but maybe one of the crackpot geniuses in Weyburn can spell it out. They sure convinced the more gullible of their city council to fall for the hoax that wind power is unsuitable for homeowners.

Meanwhile, another municipality outside of Regina is on the verge of getting rich instead.

A public meeting will be held [Tuesday] east of Regina in McLean on a proposed wind farm in the area.

The RM of South Qu’Appelle is holding the meeting to determine if there is public support for the proposal.

So far, some landowners have expressed opposition to the project, citing concerns about vibration, impact on wildlife and livestock and other possible health problems.

The project would first require a test tower. The meeting starts at 7 pm Tuesday at the McLean Community Centre. The RM Council will decide whether to proceed with appropriate bylaws if there is sufficient support for the proposal.

The concern the oil and gas industry shows for “wildlife, livestock, and possible health problems” is world renowned. I can’t imagine how a greener alternative to oil, coal, and gas could possibly kill more.

UPDATE:
There’s no much “debate“, because the anti-Wind folks don’t have facts to back up their conjecture.

First Nations Get $0.3M for Solar Research #skpoli

The Conservative government generously gave First Nations in Saskatchewan enough grant money to build one impressively sized solar array that could power a half dozen homes.

Ontario is going with $5,000M.

SaskPower gave 10 times the recent federal contribution, to the UofR to research how to put CO2 underground so more oil can be pumped out of the Weyburn area.

Lockheed manufactures illegal weapons, and is part of the F-35 dud stealth bomber boondoggle.

Solar is not “concentrated” in SK as explained in the article, we just have more sun hitting the ground throughout the year than most of Canada. There’s no magnifying glass aimed at Regina or Estevan, fortunately.

$300K is better than a kick in the teeth, I suppose. It’s to be used on little demonstration projects. It’s 2013, and Germany has already done a country-wide demonstration project that we can wholesale adopt here in Saskatchewan. Let’s get on with it already.

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300 Years Is Bogus

Thanks to another letter writer, Michael McKinlay, I caught this opportunity to again offer a better future perspective than SaskPower’s current President has done thus far.

http://saskboy.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/an-irrational-mixup-at-saskpower/

I’m writing in response to SaskPower President and CEO Robert Watson’s comments in the November 25th article, “SaskPower set to overhaul power grid“. In it he touts a “300-year supply” of coal, as he has since at least 2012 when he used that imprecise figure in a Financial Post article. Doing a wider search of the web, you can find unqualified people using the same “300-year” claim since 2010 in the UK and the US, referring to their own coal supplies. Key words like “recoverable” and “proven” are not present in Mr. Watson’s claim. Many reputable academics estimate world peak coal could come as soon as the 2030s. After that decade it barely matters if there’s coal available, because the cost will be going through the stratosphere.

A more prudent use of our remaining coal supply is to build an energy technology for the future. There are many renewable options for Saskatchewan, including wind and solar power. Our wind potential is significant, and our solar potential rivals the global powerhouse Germany, as we’re at a similar latitude and get even more sunny days.

I’d prefer the smart grid Mr. Watson talked about included plenty of solar generated electricity. A compelling story in the Star Phoenix on November 4th included engineer Brent Veitch who explained a $20,000 solar electricity system is already able to pay itself off in less than 20 years in Saskatchewan. That seems a smarter investment for homeowners, than to buy into Mr. Watson’s subsidization of a 20th century fossil-fueled grid.

This letter above appeared in the Star-Phoenix this past week.

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Made in Canada Scam Plan #cdnpoli

Conservatives are stalling, as they have been for nearly 8 years on both Senate reform and climate change action.

Now:

Misplaced trust, or active covering?

Actively covering for a regret-free industry, is more like it. I think she’s a liar.

The Cons are just trying to make as many people hold off on urgently dealing with air pollution, so fossil fuel companies can make as much as they can by exploiting our atmosphere as an open sewer.

We Have The Technology to Stop Air Pollution

Listen to a scientist say very clearly that we have the science and technology to create 100% renewable power in the United States within my lifetime (2050).

We’re only held back by politicians who fail to implement an urgent plan to save us, as they were required to when implementing policy during WWII from another clear threat to the American way of life.

Coal Hard Facts #cdnpoli

It’s super embarrassing to have these sorts of puppet, lying people in office, when it’s so critically important for Canada to be making REAL, FACTUAL efforts against climate change.

IMG_0533
Yep, SaskPower’s coal plants are still there. Sorry Lying Leona, your “fact” is a lie. Are you from the future or something? If so, you should be more careful to make temporally accurate fact claims.

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Climate Change According to Sask Party Government

This government page will almost certainly disappear at some point on the original website, so here is a backup:

Climate change is a long term shift in weather patterns. Since the industrial age the burning of fossil fuels has resulted in increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane in our atmosphere. These types of emissions are also known as greenhouse gases (GHGs) and they contribute to increasing global temperatures.

Our province’s greenhouse gas emissions were 72.7 million tonnes in 2011 according to Environment Canada. Saskatchewan’s Climate Change Plan is designed to reduce these greenhouse gas emissions by setting annual reduction targets for industry and encouraging investment in low-carbon technologies. Saskatchewan has established a provincial target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 2006 levels by 2020.

To meet the provincial target, we need to reduce emissions in all sectors of our economy. Our climate change program will regulate facilities that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually.  In addition, policy options are being developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from other sources such as agriculture, oil and gas, transportation and municipal activities.

Saskatchewan Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector (2010)
Source:  Environment Canada National Inventory Report, 1990-2011

• Saskatchewan accounts for 10% of the national GHG emissions, with 3% of the country’s population.
• The oil and gas sector and electricity generation are the two largest sources of GHG emissions, accounting for 34% and 21% of total provincial emissions, respectively.
• Non-regulated sectors such as agriculture and transportation each account for 16% and 21% respectively of provincial GHG emissions.
• More information on Saskatchewan and Canada’s GHG emissions can be found in the 1990-2011 National Inventory Report   

Policy and Regulations

Regulated Emitters

Any facilities that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually are considered to be regulated emitters. Under The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act (the Act), regulated emitters will be required to reduce annual GHG emissions to meet the provincial target.

Provincial Climate Change Plan 
• The Act establishes the framework for achieving the provincial target of a 20% in GHG emissions from 2006 levels by 2020 while supporting environmental commitments and economic growth.
• The Act, its respective Regulations and Environmental Code Chapter are expected to be proclaimed in 2013.
•  The Saskatchewan Climate Change Plan is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting annual reduction targets for industry and encouraging investment in low-carbon technologies.
•  Under this proposed framework, compliance mechanisms such as the Technology Fund, Recognition for Early Action, Pre-Certified Investments, Emission Intensive Trade Exposed credits and carbon offsets will be established to provide flexibility for regulated emitters to meet their greenhouse gas reduction obligations.

Climate Change Consultations
• The Ministry of Environment conducted stakeholder consultations between March and July 2010 on proposed regulations for greenhouse gas emissions in the province.
• The report “Summary of Stakeholder Consultations on the Saskatchewan Climate Change Regulations” provides a comprehensive overview of issues and options identified by participants during these consultations. The report is a “what we heard” summary of the views of participants about the proposed GHG regulatory framework and does not necessarily represent the position of the Ministry of Environment on these issues. See Related Documents below for a summary report.

Non-Regulated Emitters

Industries that emit less than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually are considered to be non-regulated emitters. Their emissions will be reduced through policies and programs that promote adoption of low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency and conservation and renewable energy sources.

Non-regulated sectors include oil and gas production, transportation, agriculture, commercial and residential buildings, and community sources such as water and sewage infrastructure and landfills and account for more than two-thirds of provincial GHG emissions.   Non-regulated sources were responsible for about 50 million tonnes of Saskatchewan GHG emissions in 2010, or 68% of total provincial emissions.

GHG abatement initiatives in non-regulated sectors will focus on negotiating performance agreements with industry, communities, and other sectors, to manage and report their GHG emissions.   Performance agreements provide an effective reporting mechanism for selected non-regulated emissions under the GHG regulations.

Reducing to 20% below 2006 by 2020 was a political number selected by the Conservative Party of Canada, it is not based upon scientific necessity.

http://www.environment.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=4f1c9a61-5550-4dab-8fac-03795e4fb481

An Irrational Mixup at SaskPower

Ten years ago, SaskPower was spending money to promote education about Climate Change.

The poster contest is an important component of our efforts to educate the public about the climate change issue. There are increasing concerns that human activity – such as the burning of coal and other fossil fuels to generate electricity – contributes to climate change, which has been associated with increased risk of droughts, heat waves and storms.

Yet a decade later its CEO and President, Robert Watson, has written the Star Phoenix dismissing a good question from a Saskatoon Community Wind representative, James Glennie, to meaningfully reduce pollution. Why isn’t SaskPower investing heavily in distributed power generation from renewable sources like wind, and solar thermal and photovoltaic? Our coal-burning crown corporation last year on its website was citing a study into solar power, conducted in the year 2000, to dismiss solar as a viable commercial power generation option. It sounded suspiciously similar to Mr. Watson’s excuses given to Mr. Glennie’s good ideas. We know technology has changed significantly since 2000, not only in computers, but in solar panels and solar thermal. Saskatchewan home owners installing net metered solar arrays, now expect to make profit on their investments, in as few as ten years pay-back time.

Instead of giving ‘Can’t-Do’ excuses for why it’s more difficult to use solar and wind in Saskatchewan’s tough climate, our crown corporation’s CEO could co-opt can-do direction from Saskatchewan people, and develop renewable energy technology right here. We can sell those adaptations abroad to other places with harsh, sunny Winters. I’m also not pleased with a SaskPower VP telling me last year, there’s a high cost for “utilities in the Northern Hemisphere” to use solar. Have they not seen what Germany, Spain, Ontario, California, and other utilities in our hemisphere are investing in? Every American border station has a large solar power installation because it’s “a high cost”? I don’t think so. Judging by SaskPower’s President’s remarks in the paper, innovation and change will come from the bottom up.

Below is a re-write of Mr. Watson’s letter to the editor, which cuts through the BS.

I’d like to provide additional information on SaskPower’s plans for a power generation mix that has served to make Saskatchewan, Canada’s worst per-capita air polluter.

Unlike fossil fuel sources, which can produce power and greenhouse gas constantly, wind and solar are not sources of greenhouse gases (i.e. they don’t cause climate change) and can meet our day-to-day requirements if we change how we use electricity. We can keep fossil fuels as emergency backup only.

Wind power is intermittent and cannot be effectively stored without innovation SaskPower is not willing or able to provide. Our province’s wind conditions allow for turbines to generate electricity nearly 40 per cent of the time, which is as much time in the day as you might directly need immediate electricity. They do not produce greenhouse gas or smog, which makes them safer than coal plants. We don’t paint windmills black to naturally heat them, so when it’s too cold outside we shut them down and lose potential generation revenue.

Solar power, in various forms, is suitable for widespread generation in Saskatchewan because the technology has improved immensely and is set to become cheaper than coal within the life-span of many coal turbines already built.

SaskPower will continue to ignore innovation so it has to invest less in retraining engineers who are really good at operating coal turbines and conventional grids, but don’t seem to have a sniff about how to create a distributed smart grid of renewable energy with a fossil fuel backup system.

Now, the real, depressing letter:

A rational mix
Robert Watson, Letter to the The Starphoenix
Published: Saturday, August 31, 2013

In response to James Glennie’s letter Blown opportunity (SP, Aug. 26), I’d like to provide additional information on SaskPower’s plans for a power generation mix that will serve Saskatchewan today and into the future.

Unlike geothermal sources, which can produce power constantly, wind and solar are not sources of baseload power (i.e. stable, constant) and cannot meet our day-today requirements due to the unpredictable nature of the source.

Wind power is intermittent and cannot be effectively stored for future use. Our province’s wind conditions allow for turbines to generate electricity nearly 40 per cent of the time. They do not produce when there is too little or too much wind (for safety reasons) or it’s too cold outside.

Solar power is not suitable for large-scale generation in Saskatchewan because of its high cost and low capacity factors.

There is certainly a place for these power sources in our generation mix – Sask-Power currently has approximately 200 megawatts of wind power, enough to power 86,500 homes. By 2017, we will have doubled our wind capacity with the installation of a new facility near Chaplain and other projects with independent power producers.

Solar power is best suited for small-scale operations and SaskPower does offer programs to encourage this.

SaskPower will continue looking at every option to ensure the future includes reliable, sustainable and affordable power.

Robert Watson
SaskPower president and CEO

And here’s the letter that kicked things off:

Blown opportunity

By James Glennie, The Starphoenix August 26, 2013

I read with interest the article, Geothermal study gets SaskPower funding (SP, Aug. 20) and think it’s admirable that SaskPower is using ratepayer funds to investigate expensive new technologies such as DEEP. One might add to these costs the $1.2-billion, carbon capture scheme at Boundary Dam.

One wonders, however, whether Saskatchewan’s long-suffering ratepayers might be better served by an analysis of technologies that can achieve the same thing at much lower cost. For instance, why is $2 million being spent to investigate a technology that is

hugely expensive and buried three kilometres below the earth, when Saskatchewan has one of the best wind and solar resources in North America? No digging required and no carbon emissions.

Very detailed and highly sophisticated electrical studies have been carried out in numerous jurisdictions worldwide that show wind and solar can reliably and economically provide 25 per cent of total electricity demand on an integrated and modern electricity system. At the same time these clean, renewable technologies have minimal technological risk, enjoy overwhelming public support and can provide massive rural economic stimulus – vital for numerous small towns struggling with lack of jobs and depopulation.

Yet despite this overwhelming body of evidence SaskPower insists that wind and, one presumes, solar will never provide more than five per cent of Saskatchewan’s electricity.

Perhaps DEEP’s $2 million would have been better spent on an independent electrical study which sets out to solve the perplexing riddle of why it is that electrons behave so differently in this corner of the universe?

James Glennie

Saskatoon Community Wind