October 30, 2018 12:31 am

Regina takes first steps towards becoming a renewable energy city

File photo of solar panels.

File/Mark Wilson/Getty Images
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Regina is taking small steps in a greener direction.

City administration will return a proposed framework to become a completely renewable city to council by October of next year.

Council says untapped resources unique to Regina could turn the city into a renewable energy leader, and they want to achieve it by 2050.

READ MORE: Regina summit discusses climate change, transition to low-carbon economy


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“We’re going to be following communities so small in Saskatchewan you can’t even point them out on a map that have powered their civic facilities with wind power and solar,” Councillor Andrew Stevens said. “We’re already behind but I think we can propel ourselves forward and become a regional expert.”

Along with the framework and possible implications for the city, administration will look into multiple possibilities for concrete sustainable action and external funding sources like grants to cover costs.

“As much as we aspire to have this plan in place by 2050, property taxes are not going to cut it,” Mayor Michael Fougere noted. “This is very evident. We would tax ourselves out of existence if we did that just on property taxes alone.”

Fougere said he’d like to focus on rolling out new green initiatives over a period of time, rather than implementing several at once.

However, he believes the prairie wind, sunlight and geothermal potential bode well for the Queen City.

With projects like the Cowessess First Nation green energy farm already breaking ground in their sectors, experts say the sky is the limit.

READ MORE: Solar power installation complete on Cowessess First Nation

“Solar panels generate electricity on roof stops while solar thermal systems provide hot water. Wind turbines located strategically outside the city limits can send those electrons into the city, and geothermal energy can heat institutions like the University of Regina,” climate change policy researcher Brett Dolter posited.

While an official commitment to becoming a renewable city is still months away, council hopes to keep Monday’s momentum rolling for years to come.

 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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