An energy analyst says he thinks northern Saskatchewan could one day reap the benefits of increased reliance on solar and wind power.
Mark Bigland-Pritchard says small hydro-electric projects, solar power and wind generation are the energy sources of the future.
He says, unlike fossil fuels, they tend to spread out benefits more evenly to the communities that are involved with them.
Bigland-Pritchard says renewable energy projects also tend to operate on a smaller scale and are more in harmony with the environment.
He says Germany is taking the lead in this regard with a plan to generate 80% of its energy needs by renewable sources by 2050:
“Germany has a land area half that of Saskatchewan’s which has to sustain 80 times the population. If they can do it we can do it.”
He says Denmark is striving to get all of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050, while their capital city of Copenhagen wants to get there even faster.
He adds prices for solar energy are improving steadily.
SaskPower says it currently uses wind for about 4.5% of its total generation mix, with plans to approximately double that number by 2017 (to 8.9%).
For his part, Bigland-Pritchard says the province could be doing a lot more.
Bigland-Pritchard spoke on Friday at an event put on by the Fish Lake Metis Local which opposes the provincial government’s direction towards uranium development.