Clean electricity powered by the sun, wind and our rivers

Taking action

The Government of Canada will work with the provinces and territories to:

  • Phase out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, including through equivalency agreements.
  • Set performance standards for natural gas-fired electricity generation.
  • Invest in clean energy.
  • Invest in transmission lines between and within provinces and territories.
  • Invest in energy storage and “smart grid” technologies to build a modern electricity system.
  • Work in partnership with northern, remote and Indigenous communities to reduce their reliance on diesel.

Across the country we power our homes, businesses, hospitals and schools with electricity. It heats some of our buildings in winter, cools our buildings in the summer, and lights our streets at night. Every day we use electricity to charge the cellphones and computers we use.

In Canada we are very lucky. We produce 80 percent of our electricity from non-emitting sources like hydro, nuclear, wind and solar. And we have set a goal of reaching 90 percent non-emitting electricity by 2030. This will not only make Canada healthier, but will drive our clean energy sector and create good jobs.

To accomplish this, the Government of Canada, in collaboration with provinces, territories and Indigenous Peoples, is taking bold action.

Canada will phase out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030. This will have a positive impact on the health of Canadians. Air pollution is a major cause of respiratory illness and when we phase out the burning of coal it will result in fewer emergency room visits, and reduce the number of premature deaths each year.

As we phase out coal-fired electricity we are also making investments in clean energy research and innovation, and we are establishing a Canada Infrastructure Bank, which is expected to help finance renewable energy and electricity system projects.

Positive change is already happening. Wind capacity in Canada grew 15 times over the past decade, and will continue to grow. Wind turbines can be found sprouting from the plains of the prairies through to the Atlantic coast. Solar power is also growing rapidly.

In 2015, Canada was among the top ten countries in the world for added solar capacity. Canada is also building new innovative energy sources like geothermal and tidal energy. Nova Scotia is leading the way with its Cape Sharp Tidal project, the first tidal in-stream turbine in North America.

As we ratchet up our production of clean power we need to build it into our current electricity systems effectively. That is why we will work with provincial and territorial governments to expand energy storage and support “smart-grid” technology, which uses sensors and automation to modernize the flow of electricity through the grid, making electricity systems more reliable.

Some provinces have more clean energy than others, especially those with significant sources of hydroelectricity. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to invest in transmission lines to link provinces and territories that have abundant clean electricity to those that don’t.

Finally, many northern, remote and Indigenous communities in Canada are not connected to electricity grids, and instead rely on expensive and polluting diesel generation to heat and light their homes and buildings. We will work with these communities to invest in renewable energy projects, connect them to the grid, and help them reduce their reliance on diesel and create local economic opportunities. In fact, according to data compiled by the Indigenous Renewable Energy research project, there are more than 300 Indigenous clean-energy projects in more than 190 communities across Canada. This will continue to grow.

The clean energy sector has the potential to be a major source of jobs and leave a legacy of clean and healthy communities for future generations.

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