WaterPower Canada joins alliance to help meet country’s net-zero emissions targets

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Six associations representing the leading suppliers of electricity to consumers and markets in Canada announce the creation of Electricity Alliance Canada (EAC), a coalition promoting the power of electrification to lead the way to a sustainable energy future.

The founding members are the Canadian Electricity Association, Canadian Nuclear Association, Canadian Renewable Energy Association, Electricity Human Resources Canada, Marine Renewables Canada and WaterPower Canada.

Electricity Alliance Canada’s mandate is to enable, promote and advocate for the increased use of electricity throughout the Canadian economy to help achieve Canada’s net-zero emissions target. Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050. The new commitment to achieving a 100% net-zero emissions electricity sector by 2035 will be critical to this success, according to a press release.

Already, more than 80% of the country’s power supply comes from non-emitting hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar and marine renewable generation. The remaining coal-fired power plants are being phased out by 2030.

But more non-emitting electricity will be needed to support the electrification of transportation and buildings, production of hydrogen, and decarbonization of industrial processes and resource extraction. Numerous studies envision Canada’s demand for electricity doubling or tripling during the move to net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.

The supporters say Canada must prioritize using its abundant, established and emerging, non-emitting electricity resources to accelerate climate progress and decarbonize the country. Comprehensive strategies and collaboration among governments will be required to facilitate the increased use of electricity to power transportation, buildings and industry at the scale and speed required to ensure Canada’s net-zero targets can be achieved.

Canada must rapidly deploy existing technologies, train the workforce for the required skilled jobs, advance nascent technologies, and connect all the components in a more integrated manner across the national grid.

With the right policies and support, electricity can be Canada’s leading climate solution. As a new coalition, Electricity Alliance Canada aims to make it happen.

Representatives of the six founding associations released this joint statement: “Electricity will power Canada’s energy transition and create many new well-paying jobs. We are pleased to announce this enhanced collaboration to advance discussion and implement strategies that promote greater electrification in a way that is sustainable, reliable and affordable. Electricity Alliance Canada looks forward to working with governments and energy users to capture the full potential of electricity to contribute to Canada’s net-zero target.”

Founded in 1891, CEA is the national forum and voice of the evolving electricity business in Canada. CEA members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada.

Since 1960, CNA has been the national voice of the Canadian nuclear industry. CNA promotes the industry nationally and internationally, works with governments on policies affecting the sector and works to increase awareness and understanding of the value nuclear technology brings to the environment, economy and daily lives of Canadians.

CanREA is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. The association works to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement.

EHRC is Canada’s source for human resource and labor market information, with the tools to guide business planning and skills development for the Canadian electricity industry. Its mission is to strengthen the ability of industry to meet current and future needs for a workforce that is safety-focused, highly-skilled, diverse and productive.

Marine Renewables Canada, established in 2004, is the country’s tidal, offshore wind, wave and river current energy association representing technology and project developers, utilities, researchers, and the energy and marine supply chain.

Founded in 1998, WaterPower Canada is the national, not-for-profit trade association dedicated to representing the waterpower industry. Its members span the breadth of the sector and include hydropower producers, manufacturers, developers, engineering firms and other organizations.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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