Power generation goal weak, already watered down

The NDP is disappointed with the Sask. Party government’s weak approach to renewable power – setting a ceiling instead of a minimum goal for generating power from greener sources.

SaskPower announced Monday that “up to” 50 per cent of Saskatchewan’s power could come from renewables by 2030. It also says that’s 50 per cent of capacity – not 50 per cent of actual generation powering the grid. The Crown corporations’ announcement makes it clear that Brad Wall’s statements about 50 per cent of power coming from renewable sources is the cap, not the floor.

“Saskatchewan should be joining other premiers in showing leadership on this file. A firm commitment to generate at least 50 per cent of our power from renewables by 2030 is a realistic, achievable goal if the right actions are taken to match the target,” said NDP SaskPower and Environment critic Cathy Sproule. “Setting a capacity cap instead of a generation base is a big disappointment. It looks like a decent goal was set, but the watering down started immediately.”

Sproule said she wants SaskPower’s target amended to be at least 50 per cent of Saskatchewan’s power generated by renewables by 2030. She’s also looking for a commitment that the province will look to local businesses and co-operatives for energy generation and innovation, not foreign corporations. 

“Changing our carbon footprint is right for our environment, and would also be a massive driver for jobs and the economy,” said Sproule. “I want the green jobs in power generation, plus in research and development, to be jobs for Saskatchewan people and Saskatchewan companies.”

The NDP laid out renewable power goals, as well as conservation targets and greenhouse gas reduction targets in a bill tabled in the spring. Those goals are at least 50 per cent renewable generation by 2030; a 350 megawatt efficiency and conservation target by 2050 and an 80 per cent greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2050 with benchmarks along the way for each.