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MacPherson: Solar and wind energy are the best way to freeze in cold, dark Saskatchewan

SaskPower announced this week that solar, among other renewable energy sources, within 15 years will supply half of Saskatchewan’s electrical demand.

I doubt it. I especially doubt the potential in this province for solar energy. It probably is greater than the potential for fairy dust, but not by much.

We simply are too far north here to capture much of the sun’s energy. That’s why, for most of the year, you could not get a sunburn in Saskatchewan if you tried. The days are too short, the sun too low in the sky.

People in this province intuitively understand the limits of solar power. That’s why we rely on parkas and boots to keep us warm outdoors in winter. If we relied on the winter sunshine, we would die.

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Wind, solar power counted on to brighten Alberta’s energy future

The province is counting on trademark sunny skies and blustery winds to lead a suite of renewable power sources that will meet up to 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity needs by 2030.

“I think it’s an ambitious target but it’s certainly an achievable one. And it’s consistent with what we’re seeing as the world shifts from high-carbon fossil fuels for electricity generation to renewables,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

In 2014, the combination of wind (four per cent), biomass (three per cent) and hydro (two per cent) amounted to nine per cent of generation in the province, while coal provided 55 per cent and natural gas 35 per cent.

Solar power, with its 8.5 megawatts of capacity, didn’t even register on Alberta Energy’s list of generation sources. The province has a total installed capacity of 16,242 MW.

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Meaford wants to put solar panels on municipal buildings

Meaford council has endorsed a plan to put solar panels on municipal buildings.

At its regular meeting on Nov. 23, council approved a staff plan to make applications through the province’s MicroFIT program to build 10 kW solar installations on 10 municipal buildings.

“It’s all about being an energy leader in the community,” said Director of Finance/Treasurer Darcy Chapman.

The 10 buildings would be: the fire hall, the Stewart Street operations yard, the former compost transfer station on Stewart Street, the OPP station/Co-operators building, the Meaford Museum, the harbour pavilion and/or washroom, the harbour house, Riverside Community Centre, Bognor Community Centre and Woodford Hall.

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Spain’s solar energy firm Abengoa begins insolvency proceedings

Spain’s troubled renewable energy company Abengoa is said to have begun insolvency proceedings after talks with a potential investor broke down.

The Seville-based solar energy firm, which employs 24,000 people worldwide, has been seeking to reassure investors that it can generate enough cash to service its near nine-billion dollar debt.

Shares in Abengoa, which have more than halved over the past year, were suspended from trading on the Madrid Stock Exchange.

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Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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