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We are building broad and enduring support for actions that will transition Canada’s energy system at a scope, scale and speed commensurate with the scientific consensus on climate breakdown.

Fast-tracking Canada’s energy transition

Canadians overwhelmingly support a quick transition to efficient, zero-emissions energy. But while we want this future, we’re less certain about the choices and trade-offs—and we don’t always agree on where to focus our efforts.

Clean Power Pathways is a three-year collaboration project that will deliver choices for pathways to diversify our energy mix and meet energy and climate goals.

Perhaps the most dangerous misconception about the climate crisis is that we have to lower our emissions. Because that is far from enough. Our emissions have to stop if we are to stay below 1.5/2 C warming.

Greta Thunberg

Growing a shared vision of our energy future

We’re asking people to share their vision for our energy future. We’re collecting ideas and values through extensive engagement with governments, industry and citizens like you. Your ideas will help shape scenarios and policy solutions.

Research, policy and engagement

To drive down carbon pollution from Canada’s energy system, we need to accelerate renewable energy and electrify as much as possible. With our research partners from the universities of Victoria and Regina, we’re connecting modelling research, policy solutions and engagement at national and municipal levels to explore the most effective approaches to meet our climate goals through clean power.

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Advancing Clean Power Policy Solutions through Modelling, Research and Engagement

David Suzuki Foundation

David Suzuki Foundation logo

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Canada's Electricity System Decarbonization Pathways: A multi-model multi-jurisdiction approach

Dr. Madeleine McPherson, University of Victoria

University of Victoria logo

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Municipal Energy Futures Project: A case study of Regina, Saskatchewan

Dr. Brett Dolter, University of Regina

University of Regina logo

Zeroing in on emissions

The Zeroing in on Emissions: Charting Canada’s Clean Power Pathways study identifies ten strategies and approaches that experts agree will be essential to fast-track Canada’s decarbonization efforts. This review of decarbonization studies and models is a litmus test for effective climate plans that can reduce emissions to near zero by 2050.

 

Ten strategies and actions essential to any clean power climate plan

Canada’s energy transition

Scientists warn that we must act now to cut carbon pollution.

Canada is warming at twice the global average rate — higher in the North — emphasizing the urgent need to examine the opportunities to meet our emissions targets and commitments under the Paris Agreement. To avoid more than 1.5 C of temperature rise, the IPPC reports that CO2 emissions must reach zero by 2050.

Canadians overwhelmingly support a quick transition to energy systems that don’t pollute the air, environment and climate. We want to shift to renewable energy to power our vehicles, homes, businesses and communities.

Accelerating renewable energy and using clean electricity instead of fossil fuels are central to Canada’s efforts to become carbon-neutral by mid-century. Clean energy can be produced with zero operational emissions, close to where it is needed. If done right, it will have the support and involvement of local communities. Clean energy provides a wide array of services, quietly, cleanly and efficiently.

Clean electricity needed

Dialling down the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation until they reach zero means replacing fossil fuel power generation with clean electricity sources like wind and solar. As carbon pollution is removed from grids, clean electricity will replace fossil fuels to power a growing share of our economy.

Accelerate clean power

Much of Canada’s power is already from non-emitting sources like hydro, wind and solar, and we have enormous untapped clean energy resources to draw on. But we aren’t maximizing our clean energy potential to meet climate goals because we’re not yet on the pathway to get there.

Photo: Green Energy Futures via Flickr

Electrify just about everything

Electricity powered by renewable sources is Canada’s cleanest energy source, but as of 2016, it only powered about 20 per cent of our energy needs. Using clean electricity instead of fossil fuels to power our communities and industry will play a major role in cutting climate pollution.

Photo: Green Energy Futures via Flickr

Upgrade the grid to support clean power

We need to invest in energy storage, smart grids and better transmission and distribution systems to accelerate clean power. Canada can leverage its hydro resources to store clean power to make it available when needed.

Photo: Patricia Lightburn

Bring in more renewable energy

Build a higher-capacity energy transmission system that better connects regions to wind, solar, run-of-river and other renewable energy sources. And, consider distributed renewable energy with rooftop solar photovoltaics and energy storage systems for businesses and homes.

Photo: Green Energy Futures via Flickr

Science and Learning Centre