CanCORE outlines Canadian decarbonizaton path

Illustration/Cape Sharp Tidal turbine deployment in the Bay of Fundy (Photo: FORCE)

The Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CanCORE) has produced a document outlining its vision for the future of renewable electricity in Canada, and making recommendations to achieve the decarbonized economy.

CanCORE’s publication ‘Canada’s Advantage: A Vision for Renewable Electricity in Canada’ cites the modeling work and analysis from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) which found that economy-wide reductions of 30-50%, compared to the 2005 baseline, are achievable with current technologies, provided that implementation begins immediately.

However, reductions beyond 50% would require substantial innovation to enable large scale adoption of electrification technologies in sectors where electricity has not traditionally played a major role, such as heavy transport, oil and gas and various industries.

Put differently, for Canada to achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, it would need to make its electricity system even cleaner, eventually achieving 100% non-emitting electricity, while also expanding power generation to support the electrification of the economy, notably in transportation, industry and buildings, the report states.

In order for Canada to achieve a largely decarbonized economy and capture the substantial associated advantages, CanCORE recommends the following:

  • Aim for a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2050 – this can be achieved through implementation of policies to ensure the phase-out of practically all emitting generation sources by 2050, and ensure the sustained growth of the share of generation produced by renewable sources.
  • An electrified economy – the federal, provincial and territorial governments should commit to increasing the use of electricity in our energy system to over 50% of all energy used in Canada by 2050.
  • A renewable energy export strategy – the federal, provincial and territorial governments should prioritize the development of a renewable energy export strategy, including work on streamlining of cross-border transmission projects, and removal of any policy barriers.

CanCORE further states that an expansion of renewables in the economy would entail significant opportunities and benefits for Canada in terms of export of services and technologies associated with the industry.

The example of such opportunity CanCORE lists is that of marine renewable energy (MRE) technologies, where Canada is amongst early adopters, stating that if tidal technology achieves commercial maturity in Canada, the country’s companies will be well positioned to export this knowledge to other markets around the world.

CanCORE was launched by the Canadian Hydropower Association, Canadian Solar Industries Association, Canadian Wind Energy Association, and Marine Renewables Canada, with the aim to exploit wind, solar, hydro and marine energy opportunities in Canada.

DDPP is a global collaboration of energy research teams charting practical pathways to deeply reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their own countries.

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