Canada is blessed with some of the world’s best renewable energy resources and already has a power system that is largely emission-free. Hydropower, wind and solar energy are our main sources of renewable, emission-free power. However, the significant growth in electricity demand that will be brought on by the electrification of the Canadian economy – necessary to meet our emission reduction targets – will pose significant challenges but also present large opportunities for the growth of renewable energy sources. It will also disrupt our electricity industry’s structure, its players’ business models, and individuals’ and businesses’ relationships with power.
This Spotlight sheds light on the important role renewable energy sources will play in powering Canada’s future economy, and the massive transformation our electricity sector will undergo as we transition to being carbon-free.
Key Takeaways & Calls to Action
- The demand for renewable energy on the consumer and industry side – known as the voluntary market – is just as influential as supply side changes like innovation in cleantech and public policy.
- In order to meet Canada’s target of 90% non-emitting electricity by 2030, we must decarbonize our electricity supply and electrify a significant and growing portion of our transportation, buildings and industry sectors. Achieving this deep electrification will position Canada as one of the global winners of the energy and sustainability transition.
- Utilities will need to adapt their business model as customers begin to self-produce electricity and energy companies get open access to customers.
- Millennials are inheriting the largest transfer of wealth ever seen and they are more conscious about the social and environmental impact of their investments. This has considerable implications for the future of Canada’s energy sector.