Renewable and Low-emissions Energy
By 2023, the City aims to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions below 2014 levels by 40%, and 80% by 2050. The Low Emissions Community Plan (LEC Plan) establishes the City’s vision of becoming completely powered by renewable and/or low-emissions energy and identifies 12 Actions required to complete this switch.
Alternative Currents: A Renewable and Low-emissions Energy Implementation Plan, provides background around how energy is used and generated in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan and the outlook for low-emissions electricity generation by the City, community, and SaskPower. It then outlines the opportunities and challenges for Saskatoon to switch fuel-sources and support the growth of renewable energy to sustainably cool and power buildings, fuel vehicles, and enable industrial and commercial processes. Finally, it identifies all the initiatives required to complete the 12 LEC actions and provides the timeline for each phase of the initiative.
Alternative Currents works in alignment with other City plans, including the City of Saskatoon 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, the Official Community Plan, the Corporate Asset Management Plans, the Corporate Climate Adaptation Strategy, and Saskatoon’s Green Infrastructure Strategy.
What is renewable and low-emissions energy?
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) defines renewable energy as “energy derived from natural processes that are replenished at a rate that is equal to or faster than the rate at which they are consumed;” this includes wind, solar, and hydro. Examples include:
Low-emissions energy does not need to be sourced from a renewable resource, but still must have little to no GHG emissions released when producing energy. Examples include:
The City has developed a summary of renewable and low-emissions energy technologies that could be considered for Saskatoon, which can be viewed online, here.
Why renewable and low-emissions energy?
- Cleaner fuel sources that improve our air quality.
- Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
- Providing employment and economic growth opportunities.
- Decreasing energy poverty.
- Strengthens our energy options.
- Improving our resilience against weather events, natural disasters, accidents, or equipment failures.
What is Saskatoon’s current renewable and low-emissions energy status?
Saskatoon gets most of its energy through non-renewable and high carbon-intensive energy sources, such as coal and natural gas, from SaskPower. A summary of where our energy comes from, as reported in SaskPower’s 2021–2022 Annual Report, can be seen in the figure below.
Getting more of Saskatoon’s power from renewable and low emission energy will take collaboration between the City, the Province, the utility providers, businesses, and the community.
We’ve received an impressive amount of knowledgeable feedback for the Implementation Plan, including preferred technologies, barriers to adoption, and what the City’s role should be in the transition. The final engagement report for the Implementation Plan can be viewed here.