Critical Role of Wind Energy, Solar Energy and Energy Storage Highlighted in New Report from Canadian Climate Institute

Wind energy, solar energy and energy storage will be key for Canada to achieve a net-zero electricity system by 2035 and net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. 

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association supports the Canadian Climate Institute’s call for accelerated action and increased collaboration by federal and provincial governments in the transition to bigger, cleaner and smarter electricity systems.  

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) welcomes the release of the Canadian Climate Institute (CCI)’s new report, “The Big Switch,” which calls for a dramatic acceleration in the deployment of wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage.  

“Wind and solar energy are now the most cost-competitive forms of new electricity generation in Canada, and Canada has massive, untapped wind and solar energy resources,” said Robert Hornung, CanREA’s President and CEO. “It’s clear that getting to net-zero will require us to dramatically accelerate the deployment of these technologies.”  

The CCI report suggests that 63% to 96% of all new capacity additions to electricity systems in Canada, between now and 2030, will need to come from wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage.  

“We need to install somewhere between four and eight times more new wind and solar energy by 2030 than we did in the preceding decade,” said Hornung. “There is no time to waste. The time for action is now.” 

Informed by studies published in 2021 and 2022 on Canadian pathways to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, “The Big Switch” concludes that Canada will need to produce between 1.6 and 2.1 times as much electricity in 2050 as it does today.  

It projects that wind and solar energy will be the dominant source of new generation in Canada, as the share of wind and solar energy in Canada’s electricity supply will need to increase from 6% today to somewhere between 31% and 75% of total generation in the much bigger electricity system of 2050.  

“We are pleased that many of the Canadian Climate Institute’s policy recommendations are consistent with the recommendations CanREA made in its 2050 Vision last year,” said Hornung.  

“The Big Switch” makes it clear that acting now to deploy “safe bets,” like wind and solar energy, in our efforts to address climate change, will reduce overall costs, unlock clean growth opportunities and provide opportunities to support Indigenous self-determination and reconciliation. 

“We need to deploy wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage at an unprecedented scale and speed if Canada is to meet its commitment to a net-zero electricity system by 2035 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the economy by 2050,” Hornung said. 

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