Electricity Canada’s Sixth Annual State of the Canadian Electricity Report

March 26, 2024

Electricity Canada’s sixth annual State of the Canadian electricity industry examines what’s slowing down building a cleaner, bigger, more reliable grid.

A new report by Electricity Canada says that building a bigger, cleaner, more reliable grid is not progressing as fast as it needs to if we want to meet our net zero targets by mid-century. And, in some cases, it’s not progressing at all.

Getting To Yes, Electricity Canada’s sixth annual State to the Canadian electricity industry report discusses what the electricity industry is facing in terms of regulation and legislation – the obstacles that are slowing down building, and the solutions that could help overcome them.

Last year, the federal government pledged $1 in every $8 in new spending would go to clean electricity projects. It’s a commitment to building infrastructure unheard of since the Second World War. And yet, projects are being delayed, held up in approvals or halted temporarily, like the recent six-month pause on renewable projects in Alberta. Some projects have even been delayed indefinitely, like the Atlantic Loop in the Maritimes. This year’s RBC Climate Action Institute report charts massive growth for electricity, particularly with the rise of electric vehicles and home heating. And yet, their “word of the year” for the electricity sector in 2024 is moratorium.

“The chronic delays we are experiencing with electricity projects is not a problem of funding. It’s not a problem of technology. It’s not even a problem of principle. What we have is a people problem. We have one level of government giving direction, another level of government reacting, and multiple regulators offering their own interpretations on what can and can’t be done. Nothing moves forward as a result. But there are lots of ways to move forward—we just need the imagination to visualize them, and the conviction to offer the political capital to make it happen.”

Francis Bradley, President and CEO, Electricity Canada

Electricity Canada’s report proposes several solutions that could help get things moving including:

  • Implementing the “one project, one assessment framework” that was promised in last year’s budget
  • Expanding Investment Tax Credits to include investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure
  • Making changes to the Federal Impact Assessment Act so that the “triggering” process is based on the potential for significant impacts to areas of federal jurisdiction rather a particular size
  • Moving forward on the announced Clean Electricity Strategy

To achieve any of these goals we will require a huge level of collaboration from all levels of government – Federal, Provincial and Indigenous – as well as regulators. If we want this to succeed, we will need all levels of government on the same page.


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