VANCOUVER — Kate Harland, the Canadian Climate Institute’s interim mitigation research director, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s “Powering Canada Forward” electricity vision paper:
“The federal government’s electricity vision maps out a win, win, win: to grow the economy, create jobs in growing sectors, and keep energy affordable for Canadians. The shift to clean electricity is also one of the country’s single-most important ways to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.
“Canada needs to build a lot more clean electricity—and quickly—to stay competitive in a global economy that sees clean energy as a business imperative. Our G7 peers have already committed to net zero electricity by 2035, and the U.S. is supercharging clean energy growth through major incentives and new regulations. Falling behind would mean losing jobs and investment to other jurisdictions.
“Switching to clean electricity isn’t just good for the economy—it will save Canadians money. The costs of renewable electricity and electric technologies keep falling, and governments have tools to keep energy bills affordable. Our research has found most Canadians will spend less on energy over time as they make the switch from fossil fuels to more efficient equipment like heat pumps and vehicles powered by clean electricity.
“To be clear: there is no path to a prosperous net zero economy in Canada without making our electricity systems bigger, cleaner, and smarter. The forthcoming federal Clean Electricity Regulations will be a crucial next step in that direction. Simply put, the future is electric. The federal government’s electricity vision is grounded in that reality—but delivering on the vision will take a serious, coordinated effort from governments across the country.”
- Our research has found that, on average, people will spend 12 per cent less on energy by 2050 than they do today as Canada makes the transition from fossil fuels to clean electricity.
- Switching from fossil fuels to clean electricity alone can get Canada 37 per cent of the way to its 2050 net zero emissions target.
- The federal government has offered over $40 billion in incentives to help provinces upgrade their clean electricity systems.
- Canada’s electricity grid has the advantage of already being 84 per cent non-emitting, compared to only 40 per cent in the United States.
- The cost of renewable power has fallen dramatically over the last decade, making it the cheapest source of new power, even after considering its intermittency.
- On August 4, 2023, over 30 leading Canadian industries, labour associations, Indigenous energy developers, clean tech businesses and others published a letter stating they support a nationwide net zero electricity grid by 2035.
Canadian Climate Institute