Saskatchewan Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector. 1990 to 2014

 

A graph of emissions by sector over time provides a handy overview of major trends;

 

Source: Canada's National Inventory Report 1990 - 2014. GHG Sources and Sinks. Canada's Submission to the UNFCCC. Part 3.

 

A few points of note;

First - the data is somewhat dated (the most recent year available is 2014 which is not too flash since we are already into 2016). Nonetheless there is useful information in there.

 

Oil, Gas & Mineral Extraction: SK's leading GHG emitters. 

 

Emissions from 'Mining, Oil & Gas extraction and Refining' have grown sharply since 1990 such that this sector now constitutes the single largest source of Saskatchewan emissions - with 31.2 percent of the 2013 total which is up from 29.3 percent in 2013. Within that total 'Oil & Gas Fugitives' was the single largest category at 17.4 percent. No wonder the recent US/Canada climate agreement is targeting this category of emissions as a priority.

 

Transport & Agriculture

 

Transport and Agriculture make up 39.3 percent of provincial emissions. Agriculture emissions were unchanged at 13 million tonnes but the accuracy of the data is questionable since in each year since 1990 the total has been rounded to the nearest million tonnes. Transport emissions fell slightly - by 1.2% or 200,000 tonnes.  

 

How is SaskPower shaping up? Could do better!

 

Electricity Generation/SaskPower emissions have certainly increased since 1990. In absolute terms they have risen from 11.2 million tonnes (MT) to 15.8 MT in 2014 - an increase of 41 percent.

 

Source: Canada's National Inventory Report 1990 - 2014. GHG Sources and Sinks. Canada's Submission to the UNFCCC. Part 3.

 

Although this headline performance by SaskPower appears pretty dismal at first blush; it's not totally awful. Since 2000, SaskPower's electricity generation has increased by almost a quarter (23 percent) while emissions have risen by 'only' 8 percent. 

This has been achieved by a gradual switch over the period from coal- to natural gas-fired power stations. This trend will improve in the  coming years with additional new gas-fired power capacity (the Queen Elizabeth extension in Saskatoon and the recently announced Great Plains project outside of Swift Current) as well as SaskPower's new renewables target (50 percent by 2030)

So is this renewables goal going to be enough to meet the new federal GHG targets (30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030)?

We looked at this in December (see the bottom section of this post). The short answer: yes.  But that does come with some qualifications: namely that there are policy gaps which need to be filled. SaskRenewables has provided details.