VICTORIA—Evan Pivnick, clean energy program manager at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s new vision paper, Powering Canada Forward:
“Clean power will be the backbone of the 21st century economy. Today’s new paper lays out the federal government’s vision for reaching a 100% clean power grid by 2035. The paper precedes the forthcoming Clean Electricity Regulations that will provide the regulatory support for this transition.
“Canada is starting from a position of strength, with an already 84% non-emitting electricity grid. But with power demand set to double out to a net-zero 2050, retaining and growing this clean advantage will take deliberate action—both federally and provincially.
“The evidence is clear: to achieve economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050, the electricity grid must reach net-zero well in advance to help drive down emissions in other sectors. This is a big part of why other jurisdictions—including all other G7 countries—have also set 2035 clean electricity goals.
“What’s more, in a world that is increasingly valuing low-carbon goods and products, clean power is Canada’s secret sauce. Many big global companies, like Volkswagen, have cited clean electricity as a reason for choosing a Canadian home for manufacturing facilities. The new vision paper is about using, and expanding, Canada’s head start—and the billions of foreign investment that potentially hang in the balance.
“The action builds on the federal government investments made in Budget 2023, including an investment tax credit for clean electricity, which incentivizes investment in clean power generation, grid-scale storage, and interprovincial transmission. The new vision paper also suggests that the federal government is seeking views on how to design incentives to provinces in a way that is consistent with achieving a net-zero grid by 2035.
“Indeed, electricity is primarily a provincial responsibility. And many are already recognizing the importance of clean power to their economies. Ontario has moved to embrace more renewables. And B.C., Manitoba, and Quebec have all articulated electricity visions that put clean electricity at the core. However, others are moving down the wrong path—the Alberta government recently placed a moratorium on renewable energy development.
“By slowing Canada’s path to clean power, provinces that oppose the regulation are denying families, businesses, and their economies the secure and affordable energy that the rest of the world is building at record pace.
“The federal government has set out the vision. Now provinces must step up.”
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