Wind energy is one of the lowest cost sources of new electricity generation, and a new poll finds that Saskatchewan residents support an increased effort to develop more wind energy to help meet Saskatchewan’s future electricity needs.
A recent public opinion poll completed by Oracle Research and commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) surveyed Saskatchewan residents’ opinion on wind energy in the province. The poll found wind energy to be the most popular choice of residents when asked their preference for new electricity supply.
Over three-quarters of those surveyed felt more should be done to encourage wind energy development in Saskatchewan and a similar margin felt that taking action on climate change ought to be a priority for the province. The results were remarkably consistent across age groups, urban and rural residency as well as political voting intention.
“Wind energy represents an important opportunity for Saskatchewan as the province looks to fill the gap that will be created as coal units face federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Tim Weis, policy director at CanWEA. A September 2014 report from the major US financial firm Financial Advisory & Asset Management found that wind energy has become one of, if not the lowest cost option, for new electricity generation across the United States. This, coupled with the fact that Saskatchewan’s wind resource is among the best in North America, suggests that wind energy could and should play a significant role in meetings Saskatchewan’s future power generation requirements.
“Even at today’s historically low natural gas prices wind energy is cost competitive with all other sources of electricity generation. Wind energy provides an important opportunity to hedge against future fuel price and carbon risks that will nudge natural gas costs higher in the future, protecting the Saskatchewan ratepayer while reducing long-term greenhouse gas emissions,” adds Weis.
The poll contacted 750 voting age residents from across the province of Saskatchewan by telephone using live operators at the Oracle poll call centre facility. The margin of error for this sample is +/- 3.6%, 19 out of 20 times.