Most of Canada’s electricity (81%) is already generated from non-emitting sources based on values from 2016. As such, Canada’s low carbon electricity will play an important and expanding role in the decarbonization of the economy. Despite this expanding role, further reductions are forecasted from the 2018 emissions of 64 Mt CO2e, to 18 Mt CO2e by 2030. This represents a 72% reduction of emissions in the sector, or the largest sector percentage-based reduction in GHG emissions across Canada. The replacement of fossil fuels with cleaner sources of energy for electricity production, in provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia will present significant clean energy opportunities. The electricity industry also has critical needs in remote, smart, and decentralized clean power solutions.
New developments in sensory, information and automation technologies present considerable opportunities to redesign and reconfigure Canada’s current electricity assets. This includes ensuring grid infrastructure is more resilient and less susceptible to weather-related damages; developing renewable energy capacity and adaptability into the grid; and incorporating decentralized grid design into new grid infrastructure projects.
The federal and provincial governments are currently considering increased uptake of decentralized generation technologies, such as solar PV, micro hydro, renewable natural gas, and cogeneration. Enabling technologies such as battery storage systems can also help achieve the country’s ambitious GHG reduction targets.
A high priority area for the Government of Canada is decarbonizing the generation facilities which provide power to over 280 communities in Canada that are not connected to the main North American electrical grid or gas distribution pipeline systems.