SaskPower Is Going To Miss Target

March 16, 2017
Dear Editor,
People should be asking how SaskPower intends to meet the 50% renewable electricity by 2030 target set by the Premier over a year ago. Since that announcement, a 350 MegaWatt (MW) natural gas burning plant has been planned for opening in 2019. A 170 MW wind installation is planned for southwest Saskatchewan. This week SaskPower is consulting with Saskatchewanians about a proposed 60 MW solar addition to the grid by 2021. And 1 MW of natural gas created by human activity at the Regina landfill, has just come online this month.
According to SaskPower, over 90% of the power produced within Saskatchewan comes from fossil fuel sources. We import hydro from Manitoba, and generate some in Saskatchewan. A bit more hydroelectricity is planned at Tazi Twe, to add 50 MW by 2019. A little more at Saskatoon’s delayed river hydro project.
Not to bore you with basic math, but 350-170-60-50+1 = 71 MW more will come from burning fossil fuels to be added to the grid within the next 4 years. Their “Renewables Roadmap” lists only 210 MW more for wind and solar to be called for by this quarter in their Request for Proposals. This leaves a huge renewable electricity shortfall to be fixed in the remaining 9 years. Does SaskPower have an answer to this? Does the Premier? Are they hoping no one notices?

Sustainable Fossil Fuel Myths

I think the Fossil Fuel industry isn’t going to manage to sustain their myths. They say things that a kid with a 5th grade education should figure out are not true.

Burning natural gas is not sustainable. It’s a fossil fuel. It will run out, and it produces waste gas that contributes to climate change. Yet their project engineer Keith says it produces, “sustainable electricity that is reliable and also good for the environment.”

I looked this place up, and it looks like it would be a terrifically efficient natural gas power plant. Unfortunately it still isn’t sustainable, and does not produce renewable energy. I flew over the site west of Edmonton in February and looked it up to figure out if it was coal or natural gas they were burning. It’s not really clear to me what’s causing that smoke.

Alberta natural gas power Sundance 7

Saskatchewan is familiar with Premier Wall pushing the incorrect idea that burning fossil fuels is “sustainable”.

North Dakota Wind Beats Saskatchewan Coal

Want to verify these numbers?

But what does Saskatchewan’s government and Crown power corp do?
350MW more Gas is next. And they chased away the biggest local wind power proponent.

Predictions That Aren’t Fun

“Asia ramping up coal use. US returning to coal. Lets focus on tech like CCS not tax harming econ w/o real GHG impact” – Premier Wall

The Premier, on down to his Twitter troll army defend Saskatchewan pollution because “China and India” do more pollution.

Well I have news for you, China and India do more of everything. They are the biggest ever in… name the category.
“I can’t get into good shape right now, because China and India”. A SaskParty/Conservative excuse generator would be a funny app.

Wall Took Money From Who?

Who has the Saskatchewan Party accepted donations from? The UofR, City of Regina, Regina Public Library, etc.

Most of the cash came from oil companies such as Crescent Point, Cenovus, Encana and PennWest, though the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the Canadian Western Bank and construction company PCL also contributed.

…The NDP last year campaigned on getting big money out of politics, and Bill 1 passed by the new government banned corporate and union donations.

…“Alberta has some of the best election finance laws in the country, but Saskatchewan is still the Wild West,” Kinney said.

How does Wall get away with it?

Presumed Albertan Joel Teeling  explains:

“Brad Wall stands up for Alberta’s interests more than our own Premier, so I have no problem with this.”
Fans of Petrostates are who run Alberta and Saskatchewan, for the most part.

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What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

There are too many people espousing their uneducated, or simply malicious views about the problem of climate change. There are enough of them in some places as to have totally halted progress against one of the greatest threats facing not only our species, but countless others. It’s equivalent to having spotted an Earth-directed asteroid with perhaps 50 years advance notice, but the urgency to solve the similar problem of climate change is no where close to what we’d expect for that pending disaster.

If you want to understand the problem, there’s this useful guide. Bill McKibben also provided this easy to understand summary of the magnitude of the problem.

[If] our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do?

Here’s the answer: zero.

That’s a lot of not digging. Most people grew up with the idea of oil prospectors and the image of Jed Clampett getting sprayed with Black Gold is seared into the brains of everyone older than 35. Yet if we don’t stop digging in short years, we all might as well be at the bottom of a see-ment pool.

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Wall Wants It Both Ways on #carbontax

The Premier says Saskatchewan doesn’t make a difference in world pollution because of our small population, despite our world-record pollution rate when measured on a per-capita basis. Then he argues to keep Canadian money from going to where in the world it will make the biggest difference in reducing emissions immediately. A journalist asked him why he wants to do that, he’s not the “Premier of the World”, so why not do what he can in Saskatchewan instead? He thinks Saskatchewan has the best chance to succeed in finding solutions for other jurisdictions. I think that’s a stretch since he hasn’t found or implemented a solution for little-old Saskatchewan. He’ll pump up nuclear and CCS, both of which are losing the race to renewables.