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Saving Money on Renewable Energy (SK)

Subject Area: Science

Link(s) to the Saskatchewan Science Curriculum:
  • Analyze how ecosystems change in response to natural and human influences, and propose actions to reduce the impact of human behaviour on a specific ecosystem.
  • Assess the impact of past and current heating and cooling technologies related to food, clothing, and shelter on self, society, and the environment.
Brief Overview of the Lesson:

The students will pretend they are a new company building a factory. They will research the pros and cons of different kinds of renewable energy on the Internet. They will choose which form of energy to use and share the reasons for their choice with the class.

Estimated Time Required for Implementation:

One to two class periods

Materials Needed:


Suggested Implementation Strategy:
  • Divide the class into groups.
  • Ask the students to brainstorm the different kinds of renewable energy. Write their answers on the board.
  • Read the article provided called “Renewable Energy Catching On in Saskatchewan” to the class.
  • Tell the students that each group represents a new company that is planning on building a new factory. They must decide if they should install a geothermal heat pump, use solar panels on the roof, invest in a wind turbine, or use bio fuel to provide energy for their factory.
  • Each group will research on the internet the sources of renewable energy and decide which form of energy they should choose for their factory. The research should include the pros and cons of each form of energy and what factors they considered when making their choices.
  • Each group will share their findings with the other groups.
Options for Consideration:
  • The students could be asked to write a report of their findings.
  • The students may be asked to research ahead of time the different kinds of renewable energy.
Extended Learning Opportunities:


Renewable Energy Catching On in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan has considerable potential to move forward with renewable energy development. One of the sunniest places in the world, it is ideal for solar power. High wind speeds suitable for power production are found in southwest Saskatchewan. Large amounts of agricultural and forestry wastes favour the development of biomass energy production.

About one third of electrical power in Saskatchewan already comes from renewable sources. SaskPower, our electrical utility, produces a total of 3000 MW of power. Some 853 MW is from 5 hydro stations. Although hydropower is renewable, large-scale hydro typically has significant negative ecological impacts.

Wind power is often considered a more environmentally friendly option. By the end of 2005, SaskPower will have 172 MW of wind power capacity. This is about 5–6% of Saskatchewan’s electrical power capacity and enough power for 73,000 homes.