In November SaskPower announced ambitious new targets for the expansion of Saskatchewan's renewable capacity to 2030.
The purpose of this post is to convert that 15 year target into annual capacity installations needed between now and then. The reason for doing so is there is a tendency with long-term targets (such as this) to postpone action in the present because the future seems so far off. There's nothing like an imminent target to focus the mind!
In short SaskPower intends to increase renewables from 25 percent of total electrical generation capacity today, to 50 percent by 2030. Given the estimated capacity factors of the different generation types we calculated in this November post that the following new capacities will be required by 2030: 1,900 megawatts (MW) of wind, 350 MW of solar and 170 MW of hydro.
That total amount, represented as an equal installation of each in every year between now and then, looks like this;
Very nice. But how does this compare with actual capacity growth in the last 15 years?
This chart shows the actual change in installed generation capacity from 2000 to 2015 for all generation types - coal, gas, wind & hydro. It also shows the expected increase in renewable generation capacity only from 2016 to 2030 (with a base year of 2015).
The main take-away is that the rate of new renewable generation capacity additions in the next 15 years will be almost twice that for all forms of generation from 2000 to 2015.
This illustrates the very substantial change to our generation mix envisaged by SaskPower.
While these targets may seem quite challenging; that they are eminently achievable has already been demonstrated by numerous other jurisdictions which are already far down the path of significant use of renewables. But to reach these goals requires concerted effort on a variety of fronts: seven major policy initiatives were raised by SaskRenewables in this December press release and are worth a read.