The province of Saskatchewan is looking at continuing to utilize the low-cost fuel with the use of carbon capture and storage technology.
The Canadian government has been pushing regulation to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that come from coal-fired electricity generators, but recently backed off on this for Saskatchewan, stating that if the provincial government can achieve equal or better results than the ensuing regulations coming from the federal government – through carbon capture technology – then the province can continue down the path it is on.
Coal-fired generation accounts for about 11% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, a significant number, but still not anywhere near the 26.5% that comes from fossil fuel refining and production, or the 16.5% associated with industrial processes across the country.
What the province of Saskatchewan is asking the federal government to do, is to evaluate its method based on results, rather than taking a large sweeping, all-encompassing regulatory approach aimed at one source (and in comparison a rather small source) of greenhouse gases.
This is a fantastic approach, similar to the agreement signed earlier this year in Nova Scotia, which encourages each region to take steps towards greenhouse gas reductions, in a manner that makes the most sense financially without hurting the local economies.
These are just the first few steps, but it shows a willingness by several parties to begin working together on a common goal to improve greenhouse gas emissions across the country, utilizing technology to its fullest potential in a cost-effective manner.
It’s a very common-sense, practical approach which will not only provide greenhouse gas reductions, but also lead to improvements in the technology surrounding electricity generation.
Lisa Brodeur is a Quality Assurance Supervisor with 360 Energy.