SaskPower's GHG emissions: 2006-2015

SaskPower terminated its annual Sustainability Report in 2011 and has yet to replace it. Nonetheless the company does still report a network average Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission factor in its Annual Report. For 2015 the number was 650 kilograms of GHGs per megawatt hour of electricity generated (page 59). By comparing old Annual Reports it is possible to see how that number has trended in the last 10 years: FYI in 2006 it was 670 kilograms per megwatt hour.

Multiplying that emission factor by gross generation for the year in question allows one to calculate total emissions (the orange bars in the chart).  

Also shown (blue bars) is the estimated GHG emissions had SaskPower expanded its use of wind energy, since 2006, at the same speed as our neighbour - North Dakota. In that ten-year period North Dakota's use of wind energy expanded from 2.1 percent of total generation to 20 percent.  

 
Source: SaskPower Report & Accounts (2008-2015), SaskPower Annual Sustainability Report (Discontinued) 2011. SaskWind calculations

Source: SaskPower Report & Accounts (2008-2015), SaskPower Annual Sustainability Report (Discontinued) 2011. SaskWind calculations

 

The chart shows that in 2006 SaskPower's total GHG emissions were 13.2 million tonnes. In the ten years to end 2015 they increased by 16 percent to 15.3 million tonnes. However had SaskPower expanded its use of wind energy, over the period at the same speed as North Dakota, then emissions would have fallen from 13.2 to 11.5 million tonnes - a decline of 13 percent.

If one assumes a carbon dioxide price of $20 per tonne (which seems not unreasonable given current global trends) then the difference of 3.8 million tonnes (15.3 less 11.5) represents an avoided ANNUAL carbon charge of $76-million. Yet another reason why one might reasonably expect a tiny bit more effort from the powers-that-be in advancing the use of wind energy.