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New proposed design for Clean Electricity Regulations adds much-requested flexibility, but changes must not compromise its purpose

VICTORIA — Evan Pivnick, clean energy program manager at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the new discussion paper on the federal government’s Clean Electricity Regulations:

“The new direction the federal government is proposing for the Clean Electricity Regulation in today’s discussion paper makes significant changes to how the policy would be designed, offering additional flexibility for provinces, industry, and utilities. 

“It suggests an annual cap on emissions, as opposed to the previously proposed emission intensity limit, and would allow emissions to be pooled between units owned by the same entity. These changes reflect the federal government’s commendable efforts to work constructively with stakeholders and find creative solutions that accommodate Canada’s diverse electricity systems. 

“Flexibility is key in ensuring an effective and durable regulation. But flexibility should be balanced with the necessary stringency, and more details on the new proposal are needed to determine if the former compromises the latter.  

“To be effective, the regulations must help establish a clear path to decarbonization for the electricity sector. Industry requires certainty in order to make necessary investments in new clean power generation. To that end, it’s also vital that the regulations discourage any further investment in new, unabated gas-fired power, so as to not lock in future emissions and risk creating stranded assets. While natural gas will continue to play a role on our grid, it must increasingly become a resource of last resort.

“Already, the proposed Clean Electricity Regulations have had an impact by encouraging provinces to consider energy pathways that align with net-zero electricity sector emissions by 2035. Indeed, a number of provinces explicitly cite the 2035 target or the regulations in their energy strategies. To maximize certainty, accelerate clean investments, and lock in the positive effect this proposed policy is already having, we urge the government to finalize the regulations as quickly as possible.

“After all, electricity is the cornerstone of the country’s energy transition, underpinning affordability and future economic prosperity alongside our allies and trading partners. It’s vital we move now.”


Report | A Renewables Powerhouse

Submission | Clean Electricity Regulations Canadian Gazette, Part 1

Op-ed | The practical approach to Canada’s proposed Clean Electricity Regulations

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