Letters: Government dismisses clean energy potential in Saskatchewan

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Readers offer their opinions on Saskatchewan’s strategy for small modular nuclear reactors and the cost of a new downtown Saskatoon arena.

Author of the article:

Phil Tank  •  Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Crown Investments (CIC) Minister and Minister Responsible for SaskPower Don Morgan, Minister of Energy in Ontario, Todd Smith and Minister of Energy, Alberta, Sonya Savage speak at a news conference to launch the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Strategic Plan    on Monday, March 28, 2022 in Regina. KAYLE NEIS / Regina Leader-Post
Crown Investments (CIC) Minister and Minister Responsible for SaskPower Don Morgan, Minister of Energy in Ontario, Todd Smith and Minister of Energy, Alberta, Sonya Savage speak at a news conference to launch the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Strategic Plan on Monday, March 28, 2022 in Regina. KAYLE NEIS / Regina Leader-Post Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post

Renewables support a fantasy in Sask.

Recently, the Saskatchewan government announced that it plans to generate 60 per cent of the province’s power from solar, wind and geothermal by 2034. To this end, the Moe government has agreed to provide generous incentives to individuals and companies wishing to sell renewable power to the grid.

Also, the Moe government has decided to support the federal plan to build a cross-country energy grid. When transmission lines to Manitoba are completed in 2034, Saskatchewan will purchase enough green hydroelectric power that coal and natural gas will no longer be needed.

These initiatives will not only position Saskatchewan as a leader in the transition from fossil fuels, but will create thousands of good-paying jobs.

But, of course, the above is a fantasy. The current Saskatchewan government does not appear to be interested in renewable energy.

Instead of investing in cost-effective renewables and green energy from Manitoba, this government has decided to spend some $20 billion on four yet-to-be-developed and untried small nuclear reactors.

Meanwhile, in the U.K. the government is moving swiftly to invest in renewables and to use storage batteries to guarantee a base load when needed. Germany has been encouraging the development of renewables for several decades.

Saskatchewan, along with Alberta, has the greatest potential in Canada to generate renewable power and certainly very much greater than the U.K. or Germany. In Alberta, private companies are moving ahead to capture this potential because it makes economic sense.

Here, SaskPower, tied to the Moe government’s agenda, appears unwilling to take renewables seriously.

Paul Wilkinson

Saskatoon

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New Saskatoon arena too costly

Re: Event district could be ‘pivotal’ for city: official, April 6.

The main thing to say about the proposed new arena and entertainment/convention centre is that we can’t afford it.

A story in the March 21, 2018 edition of the StarPhoenix told how the estimated cost of the new centre is “between $330 million and $375 million.”

Well, you can bet your bottom million that inevitable construction overruns will increase the costs to $400 million or so and thus add nicely to the city’s debt, which is projected to peak at $439 million in 2025.

Mayor Clark says he’s looking to both the provincial and federal governments to kick in. I’ll bet he is. But that’s taxpayers’ money too, folks.

Meanwhile, the city has just built two new bridges at a cost of about $250 million (or a staggering $497 million, apparently, if you factor in operational and maintenance costs over the next 30 years), a police station ($122 million), and has plans for a new (urinal-less) library ($134 million) and more.

So, until these brutal costs have been taken care of, subsequent generations should not be burdened with the taxes needed to cover off the proposed entertainment complex.

Wayne Eyre

Saskatoon

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