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RBC fears power scarcity forward in Canada — and as early as 2026 in Ontario

Canada’s greatest business financial institution says the nation will wrestle to fulfill hovering electrical energy demand in coming years until governments make powerful selections.

Power consumption is anticipated to surge 50 per cent within the subsequent decade however the nation’s capability to fulfill that demand is constrained by its dedication to a web zero grid by 2035, Royal Financial institution of Canada mentioned in a report Tuesday. Ontario, the nation’s financial engine, may face energy shortages as early as 2026, the financial institution warned.

Main infrastructure upgrades are wanted to ship power between provinces, and to retailer energy to make sure a dependable provide, RBC mentioned, and it’s removed from clear the place that electrical energy will come from.

In the meantime, Canada faces world competitors for crucial minerals and different supplies as international locations rush to decarbonize within the wake of a broader power disaster triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Canada shouldn’t simply sustain — it must speed up the enlargement of its electrical energy system or danger falling behind in a renewed Internet Zero grid race,” economist Colin Guldimann mentioned within the report.

RBC lays out the professionals and cons of assorted choices for assembly demand, together with trade-offs between low cost versus dependable clear power. “To remain within the race, Canada must expedite its massive push on electrical energy: between provinces, by a long time, and throughout the nation,” the financial institution mentioned.

Its different conclusions and suggestions embrace the next:

Shorter time period:

  • Current pure gasoline crops will doubtless must hold working in provinces going through main power shortages till at the very least 2035;
  • Extra deal with conservation is required;
  • New renewable photo voltaic and wind property must be constructed to “plug the gaps”;
  • After 2030 provinces must determine if they’re keen to “gamble” on costly carbon seize options to construct new gasoline crops or retire gasoline crops by the mid-2030s.

Long run:

  • Photo voltaic and wind energy at the moment are the most cost effective sources of recent electrical energy although options are wanted to offer dependable energy in instances of darkness or calm climate;
  • A number of the finest photo voltaic and wind websites are within the Prairies, the place phasing out coal energy is most difficult;
  • Hydro is Canada’s “trump card” and the nation ought to put money into hydro and nuclear improvement as a method of including baseload energy to the nationwide grid;
  • Longer-term, utilizing fewer batteries and extra hydro and nuclear energy to displace technology could also be extra inexpensive, including $4 billion to prices versus $7 billion for an all-renewables storage resolution;
  • Present subsidies favour wind, photo voltaic and carbon seize however subsidies to encourage hydro and nuclear funding additionally must be thought of;

  • Main tasks must be coordinated throughout provinces to chop prices.


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