Government of Canada Releases Vision to Build a Clean, Affordable and Reliable Electricity System to Power Canada Forward
August 8, 2023 Vancouver, British Columbia Natural Resources Canada
As more Canadians ride electrified public transit and shift to electric vehicles, more homeowners adopt electric heat pumps, and more businesses and industries green their operations, an abundant supply of clean, reliable and affordable electricity will be required.
Canada has built one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world with, more than 80 percent of our power coming from non-emitting sources, and we are well positioned to keep leading. The opportunity for this generation is to decarbonize what remains while dramatically increasing our supply of clean, reliable and affordable electricity to seize the economic and job-creating opportunities of a net-zero future.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, released Powering Canada Forward, the Government of Canada’s vision for transforming Canada’s electricity sector, to decarbonize our grids by 2035, keep our electricity systems reliable and ensure household energy costs are affordable. This project rivals any nation-building project in Canada’s history.
Powering Canada Forward underscores the critical importance of decarbonizing Canada’s electricity systems as a step toward achieving net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050 and ensuring a prosperous future for Canadians. To get there, the paper invites Canadians to join an important national conversation that will inform the development of Canada’s first Clean Electricity Strategy to be released in 2024.
Powering Canada Forward recognizes the pace and scale required to transform Canada’s electricity sector. The paper will inform how the federal government will accelerate work over the coming months with partners — including provinces, territories, Indigenous leaders, utilities, industry, private and financial sectors, unions, academics and civil society — to ensure Canadian competitiveness in a rapidly decarbonizing global economy while making life more affordable for energy consumers. This work will strengthen Indigenous partnerships, create good jobs and economic opportunity in every region of the country and aggressively tackle the climate crisis.
While provinces and territories are primarily responsible for electricity generation and delivery infrastructure within their borders, the federal government has a role in establishing environmental regulations and governing interprovincial power lines, regulating nuclear power, making strategic investments to achieve desired outcomes and facilitating collaboration with provincial and territorial counterparts. Just as Canadian governments of the past invested in national highways and railway networks, the federal government will work with provincial and territorial partners to build a clean, affordable and reliable electricity system for every region of the country while taking into account unique regional circumstances.
Creating a grid that can meet our electricity needs is a crucial step in Canada’s efforts to grow the economy, make life more affordable and protect the environment.
“Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity is a critical step in driving down emissions and seizing the massive economic opportunities that will be enabled through the shift to a low-carbon future. This vision document, Powering Canada Forward, illustrates how, working together, we can build out a clean grid at a pace and scale needed to fight climate change, create good sustainable jobs and secure our economic prosperity for generations to come. This is a truly transformational, nation-building project that will require active, positive collaboration with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities, utilities, labour, industry and all Canadians.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
“Building a clean grid across is a generational opportunity for Canada, key to fighting climate change, key to our economy. Retrofitting power plants and building new clean sources of electricity means cleaner air and the creation of good jobs in communities across Canada. The simple fact is that we will need more clean electricity to support Canadians who are making the cost-saving switch to electric cars and heating and to support industries looking for a lower carbon footprint. Never before has the Government of Canada come forward with such a comprehensive vision on electricity in Canada, and we are keen to work with all levels of government and industry partners to make it happen.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
“The B.C. Centre of Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) shares the federal government's vision for Canada's electricity sector. We recognize that mitigating investment risks, fostering collaboration and accelerating the commercial scaling of clean energy storage and grid integration solutions are vital to achieving a net-zero economy. CICE is committed to leading non-dilutive investments in disruptive areas of innovation where the lack of traditional revenue metrics is a barrier to scale. This approach provides a faster and easier way for clean energy innovators to scale their impact and become global players in sectors ranging from mining and manufacturing to energy storage and recycling.”
Executive Director, B.C. Centre of Innovation and Clean Energy
“British Columbia is leading the charge for a clean, low-carbon economy that benefits all, and we are pursuing our 2030 climate goals with unwavering dedication. Canada’s vision for transforming the electricity sector adds support to our province's work to shift to low-emission power sources and our journey toward a future of clean, dependable, and sustainable power.”
The Honourable Josie Osborne
Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation
Mid Island-Pacific Rim
Minister Wilkinson announced Powering Canada Forward at the headquarters of Invinity Energy Systems plc, a global leader in utility-grade energy storage and battery innovation. Invinity is the recipient of funding from the British Columbia Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE), a Natural Resources Canada–funded organization supporting the commercial development and scaling of made-in-B.C. clean energy solutions.
Minister Wilkinson was joined for the announcement by the Honourable Brenda Bailey, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, and by Indigenous partners, environmental organizations, clean tech companies, labour representatives, industry and business leaders, and youth climate advocates.
Natural Resources Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
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