CanREA issues a call to action for electricity sector decision-makers

Toronto, November 17, 2021 – The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) today issued an urgent call to Canada’s governments, utilities, regulators and electricity system operators, recommending five priority actions to dramatically accelerate the deployment of wind energy, solar energy and energy storage technologies in Canada.

“As Canada sets out on a transformative journey to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, we need a powerful boost from wind energy, solar energy and energy storage,” said CanREA President and CEO Robert Hornung in his opening remarks at the Electricity Transformation Canada conference today. “These technologies will play a central role in driving the rapid decarbonization and massive expansion of electricity production required to make net-zero a reality.” 

Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vision presents an illustrative, but realistic, scenario to support this net-zero target by relying on Canada’s abundant and low-cost wind and solar energy resources to supply two-thirds of the new electricity required by 2050. This requires an almost ten-fold expansion in this country’s wind and solar energy capacity in the next 29 years.

“We have no time to waste. Getting to net-zero by 2050 will require Canada to build out wind energy, solar energy and energy storage at an unprecedented scale and speed,” said Hornung. “Our industries are up to the challenge, but require clear signals from governments, increased collaboration among electricity sector decision-makers, and immediate actions to address existing barriers to this urgent deployment.”

CanREA’s 2050 Vision outlines 5 key tasks and 15 immediate actions required from governments, utilities, regulators and system operators to enable this pathway to net-zero. The key tasks on Canada’s to-do list include:

  1. Decarbonization of the electricity system by 2035,
  2. Modernization of electricity markets and regulatory structures,
  3. Diversification and expansion of procurement opportunities,
  4. Prioritization of efficient use and regional approaches to transmission infrastructure,
  5. Implementation of comprehensive strategies to support increased use of decarbonized electricity and green hydrogen.

“We need to rapidly build new capacity throughout Canada. Our industries recognize that ensuring community support and customer satisfaction, creating economic advantages for Canada and its communities, and contributing to sustainability and environmental protection are critical elements for success,” said Hornung.

“We are committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that Canada fully capitalizes on its wind, solar and energy storage potential in its pursuit of the least-cost, reliable and sustainable pathway to Canada’s net-zero objective.”

Following Hornung’s presentation, a panel made up of Dan Balaban (Chief Executive Officer, Greengate Power),  Isabelle Turcotte (Director of Federal Policy, Pembina Institute), Brendan Costigan (Director, Power & Utilities Investment Banking, National Bank of Canada), Tonja Leach (Executive Director, QUEST Canada), and Patrick Taylor (Principal Program Manager, Microsoft) presented their thoughts on CanREA’s new 2050 Vision.

The accelerated deployment of wind energy, solar energy and energy storage is supported by a diversity of stakeholders, as illustrated in CanREA’s 2050 Vision by statements from organizations like Bell Canada, Canada Green Building Council, Clean Energy Canada, Electric Mobility Canada, Indigenous Clean Energy, Marsh, National Bank of Canada, Quest Canada, Pembina Institute and Swiss Re.

For more information, consult CanREA’s 2050 Vision.

Quotes

As Canada sets out on a transformative journey to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, we need a powerful boost from wind energy, solar energy and energy storage. These technologies will play a central role in driving the rapid decarbonization and massive expansion of electricity production required to make net-zero a reality.

We have no time to waste. Getting to net-zero by 2050 will require Canada to build out wind energy, solar energy and energy storage at an unprecedented scale and speed. Our industries are up to the challenge but require clear signals from governments, increased collaboration among electricity sector decision-makers and immediate actions to address existing barriers to this urgent deployment.

We need to rapidly build new capacity throughout Canada. Our industries recognize that ensuring community support and customer satisfaction, creating economic advantages for Canada and its communities, and contributing to sustainability and environmental protection are critical elements for success.

We are committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that Canada fully capitalizes on its wind, solar and energy storage potential in its pursuit of the least-cost, reliable and sustainable pathway to Canada’s net-zero objective.

—Robert Hornung, CanREA President and CEO

Supportive statements

National Bank of Canada supports CanREA’s 2050 Vision and is keen to play an active role in Canada’s net-zero objective. Just recently, we announced our pledge to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance as part of a global initiative to accelerate efforts to address climate change. We continue our long history of partnering with our clients, financing Canadian renewable energy projects and supporting innovative solutions that will drive the significant growth in sustainable energy that Canada needs.

—Iain Watson, Managing Director, National Bank Financial

While there are many uncertainties involved in the energy transition, we have absolute clarity on the need to significantly increase and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and energy storage in Canada. In addition to the emissions reduction benefit, QUEST sees the integration of renewable energy and storage opportunities as a pathway to sustained and sustainable local economic prosperity and enhanced local energy resilience. Renewables and energy storage implementation enable local action on a global problem.

—Tonja Leach, Executive Director, QUEST

Canada must decarbonize its electricity sector by 2035 and increase electrification in order to help keep global temperature rise within 1.5C and enable a net-zero economy by 2050. The Pembina Institute supports the rapid deployment of clean energy solutions including renewables, storage, demand response, efficiency, and transmission in a manner that takes advantage of their low costs and reliability services, and enables equitable transition for impacted communities. These measures can help attract jobs, investments and businesses with sustainability goals to Canada.

—Linda Coady, Executive Director, Pembina Institute

The global energy system is transitioning from molecules to clean electrons as our primary source of energy. Our ambitious net-zero goals and the electrification of transportation create massive need for new renewables and energy storage capacity. This is an opportunity to fundamentally re-invent energy and its relationship to society. Renewables projects, like the ones developed by Greengate, represent a rare alignment of environmental, financial, and social interests, which I am confident will help lead us to a cleaner and more sustainable future for all.

—Dan Balaban, CEO, Greengate Power Corporation

About the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. Our vision is to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Bridget Wayland, Communications Director
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
613-227-5378
[email protected]

Photo

CanREA presented its new 2050 Vision at a special launch event in Toronto today, after which a panel of diverse stakeholders shared their thoughts. From L to R: Dan Balaban (Chief Executive Officer, Greengate Power), Isabelle Turcotte (Director of Federal Policy, Pembina Institute), Brendan Costigan (Director, Power & Utilities Investment Banking, National Bank of Canada), Robert Hornung (CanREA President and CEO), Michelle Chislett (CanREA Board Chair and Managing Director of Canada and US Development, Northland Power), Tonja Leach (Executive Director, QUEST Canada), and Patrick Taylor (Principal Program Manager, Microsoft).

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