REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is promising a new goal of producing more than half the province’s electricity through renewable energy sources within 15 years.
Wall made the announcement in response to Opposition NDP attacks of the Sask. Party government’s environmental record.
Details will be released by SaskPower next week, but Wall says the goal will include increasing dependence on solar and wind power, as well as “some geothermal” by 2030.
“What will be relatively new is the emphasis and focus on solar power,” Wall said. “In the last number of years, I think there’s been pretty good advancements in the technology.”
The government and SaskPower had dropped several hints in recent weeks about increasing renewable energy use; most came in response to questions about problems with the $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage facility.
Coal accounted for 44 per cent of power generated in Saskatchewan in 2014, with natural gas at 29 per cent and hydro at 20 per cent.
Wind energy made up less than three per cent of the grid, along with three per cent imported from outside the province and one per cent other sources, including solar.
Saskatchewan’s previous wind generation target had been roughly 12 per cent by 2030.
Wall will be meeting with other premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss environmental issues on November 23 – the same day the SaskPower announcement is planned. He’s also attending a climate change summit in Paris in December.
“We just think, because of the advancements in renewable technologies, the mix toward renewables can be much greater,” Wall said.
“We want it to be greater and we need it to be greater.”