SaskPower says achieving Liberal clean electricity targets “isn’t feasible”
SaskPower says achieving Liberal clean electricity targets “isn’t feasible”

Saskatchewan’s electricity regulator says achieving the Liberal government’s 2035 target year to decarbonize the province’s electricity grid is impossible

According to an interview with the outlet Pipeline Online, SaskPower spokesperson Scott McGregor said that the Clean Electricity Regulations unveiled by Liberal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault last week were unfeasible in every aspect. 

“SaskPower is working as fast as it can to decarbonize the power grid while also providing reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective power,” McGregor told the outlet.  

“We’re committed to achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions power system and we’re on track to do so by 2050 or earlier. We’re also on track to reduce GHG emissions by 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. However, reaching net zero by 2035 isn’t feasible technically, logistically, or financially.”

McGregor said that SaskPower will use the 75-day consultation period to express concerns about the target with the federal government. 

“As stated in the previous note, the CER would require SaskPower to effectively rebuild our entire power system, through retiring the majority of our existing generating units and replacing them with new, ultra-low emitting units or non-emitting energy sources, while also growing the system to support expanding electricity needs that are expected to support growing demand,” explained McGregor.

“Saskatchewan’s power system took nearly a century to build, and with the CER, we are being told to rebuild it with new and non-emitting generation sources, expanding our transmission system, and modernizing our distribution network in a fraction of that time.” 

Both Saskatchewan and Alberta have been outspoken about the impossible expectations placed on the provinces which heavily rely on fossil fuels, coal or natural gas for power. 

Earlier this week, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said she was committed to her province’s original target year of 2050 and would not be complying with the federal government’s draft regulations plan. 

“We will never allow these regulations to be implemented here, full stop,” said Smith.

“If this were to be implemented in Alberta, we’re looking at massive immediate increases to power bills for every Albertan, making life more expensive for families and businesses,” she continued.  

“So let me be clear, any plan that makes electricity more expensive and less reliable is a bad plan and the Clean Electricity Regulations are an exceptionally bad, poorly thought out and illogical plan.”

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