The potential of using geothermal power generation was brought up by both the environment minister and leader of the opposition in scrums with reporters following question period on April 7.
That was the day after the government’s budget announced there would be a $150 per year tax for road usage imposed on electric vehicles, at the time of registration.
Environment Minister Warren Kaeding was asked several questions about that, but one of his answers referenced the Deep Earth Energy Production (DEEP) project near Torquay. He said, “Well, I would say even directly supporting the electricity is going to be generated to support electric vehicles, SaskPower has made a commitment that they will be going up to 50 per cent renewable by 2030, which isn't very, very long from now.
So you've seen a number of facilities that have been built on a commercial scale, solar facilities that have been built on a on a commercial scale. We've done a lot of other community green energy projects like the DEEP geothermal energy, the bio energy facility is just going to be completed up in Meadow Lake, utilizing that waste from the forest industry. So there's a number of sources of energy now that that is being produced that will have a renewable, or green component.”
A few minutes later, New Democratic Party Leader Ryan Meili was asked about carbon capture and storage with coal-fired electrical generation, small modular reactors, or both. He replied, “We should be going ahead with what is available and ready now. We could be leading in geothermal, there's incredible technology available with closed loop thermo that we could get people who are good at drilling and putting pipe in the ground, of which there are a lot of people here in this province, building tomorrow and be creating power from it. They’re incredible opportunities in solar. This premier killed the solar industry, we could be doing so much more than wind and biomass. We need to explore every option, but we know that SMRs are always on the horizon and never ready, we need to do the things that are available now.”
Asked about Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington New Nuclear Project, which is a small modular reactor planned to be online by 2028, he said, “We'll see, we'll see. Right? It's been, it's been a few years down the road for 30 years.”