CanREA’s 2050 Vision

Canada’s to-do list

An urgent call to action for electricity decision makers

CanREA’s 2050 Vision outlines 5 key tasks and 15 immediate actions required from governments, utilities, system operators, regulators, and industry members, who must collaborate to deploy these critical technologies on a massive scale, and in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Task 1: Decarbonize Canada’s electricity production by 2035:

  • Adopt a Clean Electricity Standard that puts in place GHG-emission limits that will require Canada’s electricity grid to be decarbonized by 2035. 
  • Ensure that existing natural gas-fired generation faces steadily increasing exposure to the carbon price, within federal and provincial carbon pricing frameworks, and is fully exposed to the carbon price by 2030. 
  • Consider the potential interaction between these measures and reflect this in their design.

Task 2: Modernize Canada’s electricity markets and regulatory structures to enable the lowest-cost pathway to grid decarbonization and expansion: 

  • Define and provide economic value for services that maintain grid stability and security
  • Encourage innovation and experimentation with respect to deployment of and compensation for technologies that provide these services 
  • Remove barriers to the participation of these technologies in the electricity system
  • Create the conditions to enable the largest number of service providers to compete for delivery of these services

Task 3: Build new wind, solar and energy storage in Canada, ensuring cost-effective outcomes from procurement processes for new, decarbonized electricity generation:

  • In Alberta’s deregulated market, pursue market and regulatory reforms to remove barriers to the deployment of disruptive technologies, such as energy storage and distributed energy resources.
  • In Canada’s other markets, ensure that procurement processes are designed to ensure cost-effective outcomes for ratepayers by maximizing competition and providing quality information for competitive bids.
  • In all markets, explore innovative procurement approaches that meet growing customer-driven demand and respect unique provincial electricity market structures.

Task 4: Rethink Canada’s electricity infrastructure investments and seek to minimize the cost of new transmission and distribution infrastructure needed to expand electricity production: 

  • Use existing infrastructure more efficiently by reducing peak demand to avoid/defer the need for new investment through consideration and deployment of non-wires alternatives (e.g., energy storage technologies and distributed energy resources) 
  • Where new transmission investment is required, consider such investment from a regional perspective, and not solely from a provincial perspective. 
  • Increase regional collaboration and co-operation with respect to electricity grid infrastructur and operations to reduce the costs of meeting Canada’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Task 5: Use decarbonized electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s transportation, buildings, and industry sectors:

  • Develop and implement comprehensive electrification strategies for these sectors that send a clear signal to investors that more decarbonized electricity will be required.
  • Develop hydrogen strategies to ensure that Canada is well prepared to compete in future markets that will put an increasing value on the lowest carbon intensity green hydrogen.