Saskatchewan's renewables plan

Sasktoon, Canada - A report delivered to the Saskatchewan government last month provides a series of recommendations which can help the province achieve its goal of providing one-third of its power from renewable sources by 2030.

Premier Lorne Calvert received the report, which was commissioned in support of a push to make Saskatchewan a continental leader in renewable energy and energy conservation.

“By the third decade of this century, we want one-third of the energy needs of Saskatchewan people to be met by renewable sources, and to lead the country in energy conservation practices,” Calvert said. “This report provides important options to consider in the months ahead, as we develop a blueprint for achieving our vision and advancing Saskatchewan as a leader in environmental sustainability and the green economy.”

Thirty-two recommendations are included in the report from Saskatoon Greystone MLA Peter Prebble entitled Renewable Energy Development and Conservation in Saskatchewan. The advice covers measures to manage the transition to renewable electricity generation, financial supports for clean energy and conservation, and methods for promoting these initiatives in the commercial and institutional buildings sector.

The recommendations include:

  • A legislated Renewable Energy and Conservation Portfolio Standard for the electricity sector, requiring that a minimum of 50 percent of the province’s energy come from renewable sources and energy conservation by 2025.

  • Major investments in conservation initiatives, aimed at electricity savings of 300 MW by 2025.

  • An important role for large scale wind power, with a target of 500 MW of installed capacity by 2015.

  • Net metering for small scale clean energy projects to allow generators to sell excess energy to the grid at retail prices.

  • Promotion of solar energy through solar rights legislation and cooperation with municipalities to encourage “solar ready” development.

  • A tax credit for businesses that invest in renewable energy or energy conservation.

  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency grants for homeowners.

  • The establishment of higher building energy efficiency standards, as well as promotion of ‘net-zero’ buildings, particularly for businesses and institutions.

  • An expanded role for the Office of Energy Conservation with a mandate to make the province a North American leader in energy conservation.

The report focuses on the electricity and building sectors. A second report is expected from Prebble in June 2007 to address transportation, biofuels, and opportunities in the north.

The full report is available here (PDF).

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