Equivalency agreement made for coal-fired energy

The Saskatchewan and Canadian governments have reached an agreement in principle to finalize an equivalency agreement for Canada’s existing coal-fired regulation.
The federal government announced regulatory actions on November 21 that will accelerate the transition from traditional coal power to clean energy by 2030. Traditional coal-fired electricity does not use carbon capture and storage to trap carbon dioxide and store it.
Once finalized, the federal/provincial equivalency agreement on coal-fired electricity generation regulations will provide Saskatchewan more flexibility in transitioning to additional renewable energy, including evaluating future opportunities for carbon capture and storage to trap carbon dioxide and store it.
“This agreement is good news for Saskatchewan’s environment and the provincial economy,” said Scott Moe, Minister of Environment.
“We can proceed with our aggressive plan to move to 50 per cent renewable energy generation capacity by 2030, cutting emissions by 40 per cent over 2005 levels.”
“Saskatchewan can also continue to use coal in a responsible manner beyond 2030 as long as equivalent emission reduction outcomes are achieved.”
“I’m very pleased to work with the province of Saskatchewan toward an equivalency agreement that makes sense for them and that considers the innovative steps they’re taking toward renewable electricity and lower emissions electricity sources,” said said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“I look forward to continuing to collaborate with all provinces and territories to find ambitious solutions to climate change as we set ourselves on a sustainable and prosperous path for the future,” said McKenna.
Through an equivalency agreement, the province would be allowed to meet or improve upon federal emission requirements over time on a electricity system-wide basis, as opposed to regulation of every coal-fired plant.
The agreement in principle recognizes that Saskatchewan will meet the emissions outcomes of the federal government’s coal-fired electricity regulation and proposes to take provincial emissions into account as of July 1, 2015, in establishing the equivalency agreement.
The agreement also acknowledges that the province has introduced carbon capture and storage “in advance of, and beyond regulatory requirements” and has public commitment to renewable energy.
All three of Saskatchewan coal-fired generating plants are located in the southeast, and provide about 42 per cent of the province’s electricity.
“Shutting down coal-powered electricity would have had devastating effects on the riding,” said Dr. Robert Kitchen, MP for Souris-Moose Mountain.
“Hundreds of my constituents are employed at either the coal mines or the SaskPower plants in Estevan and Coronach, and given the downturn in the oil and gas industry, southeast Saskatchewan cannot afford to lose any more jobs,” said Kitchen
According to SaskPower, in 2015, 42 per cent of the province’s power is from coal while 34 per cent is from gas and 14 per cent is from hydro.

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