Canadian leaders have made draft clean electricity regulations designed to help Canada achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035.
Already, Canada’s electricity grid is powered by more than 84% from non-emitting sources like hydro, nuclear, and wind. The draft regulations would decarbonize the remaining part of the electricity grid, cutting more than 340 megatons of greenhouse gas pollution between 2024 and 2050.
The new regulations come as Canada and other countries are all moving toward cleaner power and emerging technologies, as well as electric vehicles. Of note, Volkswagen is building one of the largest battery factories in the world, thanks to Canada’s affordable clean energy.
The draft regulations were announced by Honourable Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change, in collaboration with the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of energy and natural resources.
“Canada’s electricity systems will be the backbone of Canada’s net-zero economy, and that is why we are working with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and others to build them by 2035 – a timeline informed by both climate ambition and Canada’s commitment to its G7 partners,” the two said in a statement. “Indeed, being able to provide non-emitting power to industry is increasingly the ‘price of entry’ for marketing products internationally – as we saw with the announcement of the General Motors and South Korean POSCO Future M electric vehicle battery component plant in Bécancour, Quebec.”
The draft regulations also project that Canadians will spend about 12% less on energy by 2050 as more clean electricity is used. Other tax incentives, including more than $40 billion in new tax credits and other major federal investments will help drive even more economic opportunities. Plus, the Canadian government is helping with home retrofit programs, zero-emission vehicle purchase incentives, and more to create even more savings for Canadians using clean energy.
“If we are serious about tackling the climate crisis, and we want to take full advantage of the opportunities in a clean economy, then it’s time we roll up our sleeves together and build the clean electricity grid of the 21st century,” Guilbeault said. “A net-zero grid will serve as the basis for climate actions across the economy, like helping Canadians switch to electric transportation and heating, or the development of new and cleaner industries. The benefits, in terms of good jobs and clean air in our communities, are enormous. Our Government is committed to working closely with all provinces, territories, and partners on delivering the benefits of a clean grid in a way that ensures reliability and affordability to all Canadians.”
The draft regulations, “Powering Canada Forward: Building a Clean, Affordable, and Reliable Electricity System for Every Region of Canada,” highlights how Canada has already achieved such a high percentage of clean energy, underscores the importance of a clean electricity system, and outlines how the government will continue to incentivize and support the production of clean and non-emitting electricity.
Canada plans to release a Clean Energy Strategy in 2024 focused on establishing a grid to supply needed electricity in a manner that is affordable, reliable, and non-emitting. The draft regulations will be open to a 75-day public comment period beginning August 19, 2023.