Monday, January 7, 2013

Electricity sector planning and supply scenarios for Saskatchewan, Canada

Lisa White, P. Eng., M.Sc. and Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon recently published "Strategic environmental assessment in the electricity sector: An application to electricity supply planning, Saskatchewan, Canada" in the Journal of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal which can be accessed with the following link:

In the article a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) framework for electricity sector planning is developed and applied to evaluate electricity supply scenarios for Saskatchewan, Canada. The overall goal of the SEA application was to identify a preferred future electricity production path, demonstrate the application of a quantitative SEA process that operationalizes sustainability principles through the use of assessment criteria, and examine the methodological implications resulting from the application of a structured SEA framework.

Results of the application identified a renewables-focused electricity supply preference, but with several implications for electricity sector investment and sustainability, including increased infrastructure requirements and increased cost of electricity.

Results also demonstrate a practical approach to the operationalization of sustainability through the application of assessment criteria that are linked to higher level principles. The use of structure in the SEA process provided for replicability, transparency and the ability to quantify issues of uncertainty in Plan, program and policy (PPP) decision-making, while at the same time maintaining flexibility to tailor the SEA framework to the electricity sector context.

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