We’re going to be reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, which is 10 per cent more than the federal regulations require today. They’re asking for 30 per cent. As a sector, in Saskatchewan here, we’re achieving those (federal targets) and then some.
— The Leader Post. 27 April 2016. 'SaskPower CEO says CCS project back on track, renewables main focus to 2030'.

To put this welcome new announcement in context; one needs to understand SaskPower's current emissions as well as current Federal targets. So here goes..

Current SaskPower emissions

 

In 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available) Saskatchewan's electricity generation sector (i.e. SaskPower) emitted 15.8 million tonnes (MT) of greenhouse gases. That may not sound too bad relative to Alberta's 48.9 MT. But at 14.1 tonnes per person, it is the highest per capita figure in the country and has been that way for the last seven years. 

 

Source: Canada National Inventory Report 1990-2014 - Part 3.  A11 2013 GHG Emission Summary by Province. StatsCan - Population by Year & Province. SaskWind calculations

Federal Targets for GHG Reductions

 

Federal policy is currently directed towards ensuring that, by 2030, national GHG emissions will be 30 percent below 2005 levels. 

 

Source: Environment & Climate Change Canada: 'Progress Towards Canada's GHG Targets'.  27-Apr-2016

SaskPower's 2030 GHG Target

 

A 40 percent reduction obviously depends on the starting point. Since, as noted, the Federal 2030 target uses 2005 as the base year, it seems logical to assume the same for SaskPower. SaskPower's emissions in 2005 were 15.3MT and will have to fall by 6.1 MT (to 9.2) in order to achieve the 40 percent reduction target. However, and since emissions rose from 2005 to 2014, the actual reduction required will be 6.6 MT (or 42 percent) from 2014 levels. This is summarised in the following;

 

Source: Canada 2016 National Inventory Report. Table A10-16 '1990-2014 GHG Emission Summary from Saskatchewan'. SaskWind estimates

Is this achievable?

 

In December, and following the historic Paris Agreement, we took a look at whether it would  be possible for SaskPower to reduce it's emissions 30 percent by 2030. Our conclusion? Yes.

Is this new, more aggressive, target achievable and how is SaskPower going to do it? That's the subject of our next post. The fact that we are even asking the question is indicative of a major, and wholly welcome, change in thinking at SaskPower.  Long may it last.