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SaskPower optimistic of geothermal being part of its future energy mix

SaskPower Headquarter, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (source: flickr/ daryl_mitchell, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 8 Jan 2016

The provincial power utility SaskPower in Sasaktchewan, Canada is optimistic of geothermal energy becoming part of the future energy mix, which is planned to be 50% fuelled by renewable energy by 2030.

Some months ago I got into a little heated Twitter interaction with a representative of a wind power advocate group from the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. In an argumentative tweet, he was making the point on spending money on geothermal by the utility in Saskatchewan (SaskPower) was wrong and that money could be better spent into wind development.

Comment: I have been told that I misquoted the group or individual (?) that is representing wind power in Saskatchewan. He describes the Twitter communication as neither “heated” nor “argumentative” .. .  He also does not want to refer to have been saying that the geothermal investment by SaskPower was a waste …

 … I read “waste” throughout it. It also seems to be somewhat of a habit, see here some of the communication of that group (link). 

I thought it to be a lousy play of a renewable energy advocate to discredit one type of renewable energy over another. The argument he made was that money earmarked/ spent by SaskPower on a geothermal feasibility study could more easily and quicker wind power generation capacity online. You can see the tweets in this thread on Twitter (updated).

At the end of the day geothermal energy provides a baseload option to an increasingly renewable energy focused industry and utilities need to balance its energy mix based on availability and cost. Geothermal energy is therefore a valid option, despite the time it takes to develop projects.

It is now reported that SaskPower is looking at wind, solar and geothermal power to meet an ambitious 50% renewable energy target. This 2030 target was announced at a meeting last fall. “An objective of 50 percent renewable power by 2030 is ambitious, but I’m confident SaskPower can meet the target by taking an ‘all of the above’ approach to planning,” said Minister Boyd. “That means a major expansion of wind power augmented by other renewables, such as solar, biomass, geothermal and hydro.”, so Minister responsible for the province’s utility Bill Boyd.

So with utility scale solar power prospects, plans to expand wind power development, SaskPower “has invested in geothermal technology pre-feasibility studies to evaluate its potential in Saskatchewan. The corporation is optimistic that it can be a part of our diversified energy future, and will continue to work with the industry to determine how the technology could work within our system.”

These are great news for geothermal, which could not only provide baseload power to the energy mix of Saskatchewan, and provide heat, but also tap into the large skill set of the oil & gas sector in Sasketchewan, which has taken a huge it with the drop in oil prices.

Source: Transmission & Distribution World

This version saw some changes, due to some comments of the person I referred to.