Current Affairs

Current Affairs is Electricity’s Canada monthly newsletter featuring advocacy efforts, member success stories and news regarding the industry.

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Issue 38 - April 2022

International Energy Agency Releases Annual Electricity Market Report

In January, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual Electricity Market Report. Electricity growth grew by 6% worldwide caused mainly by increasing extreme weather conditions including a cold winter and strong economic growth. The demand for electricity drove up prices of coal and natural gas in Asia and Europe. As a result, emissions went up in 2021 after a two-year downward trend. The IEA is predicting that the growth in renewables will largely meet the increased demand for energy around the world but will not replace the reliance on coal and natural gas.

In Canada, overall demand increased by 3% due to extreme weather events and economic growth. The continued phase out of coal across the country is contributing to the sector’s overall greenhouse gas decline. The IEA noted that the coalition established between Canada and the United States, Powering Past Coal Alliance, now has 48 national governments on board. The report gives a nod to Canada’s growth in hydropower with the development of Muskrat Falls, the Keeyask Project, the Romaine Project and the construction at Peace River’s Site C Dam set to be operational in 2025.

CEA’s Vice President of Government Relations Michael Powell responded to the release of the IEA report noting, “The IEA rightfully gives credit for how our clean, reliable and affordable grid positions us to decarbonization the economy. But we have a lot of work to do to meet the needs of tomorrow.”

Other stories

  • CEA’s National Residential Customer Survey 2021
  • Episode 051: Serge Abergel and Hydro-Québec’s role in greening the grid in northeastern North America
  • Behind the Meter Study
  • CEA Presents: DataBytes
  • Building on Canada’s electrical advantage
  • The Climate Adaptation Challenge
  • Supply Chain Committee Q1 Meeting
  • CEA Welcomes Two New Corporate Partners
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Issue 37 - April 2022

Canada’s Electricity Sector Innovates for a Net Zero Future

The Canadian Electricity Association’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) celebrates Canadian innovation and cutting-edge technology in the electricity sector.

This year, we focused exclusively on a unique group of projects that align with the Government of Canada’s emissions reduction targets. Our commitment to achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2050 cannot materialize without the electricity sector’s dedication to generate, transmit, and distribute clean power. “The Net Zero Edition” highlights and celebrates 15 innovative projects and initiatives from our members across Canada that will help shape our collective energy future and meet our collective climate goals.

During these unprecedented times, members of the Canadian Electricity Association have continued to keep the lights on and provide us the power to persevere through the new challenges we are currently facing. And in doing so, utilities have demonstrated ingenuity, creativity and transformed how we think about the electricity sector today, creating economic, social and environmental benefits for all Canadians.

Other stories

  • Knowledge Centre Launch
  • Episode 050: Bryce Conrad and Hydro Ottawa, a Sustainable Electricity Company
  • Episode 049: Project developer Dan Balaban and the future role of renewables
  • Ontario Mutual Assistance Group (OnMAG) first successful Mutual Assistance for utilities across Ontario after windstorm
  • CEA Power Marketers Council (PMC) Meeting
  • CEA & CGA Security Committees Meeting
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Issue 36 - December 2021

Return to In-Person “Powering Partnerships Summit” a Huge Success

CEA celebrated a strong return to in-person events with three days of meetings including our Policy Summit and Annual Awards Dinner November 23-25. While ensuring necessary COVID precautions were followed including limiting numbers, mandatory vaccination and masking, CEA was pleased to bring together over 150 CEA members, Corporate Partners, energy stakeholders and CEA Staff for a full day of discussions focused on the very near future: 2030. The event featured keynote speakers Dr. Michael Webber from the Webber Energy Group and Susannah Pierce from Shell Canada as well as two panels focused on the future of the sector in 2030. CEA presented the 2021 EV Awards with Plug’n Drive at the dinner reception as well as the Sustainable Electricity Designation which was awarded to Hydro Ottawa.

CEA also formally acknowledged the Occupational Health and Safety Awards, the Sustainable Electricity Awards, the Lifesaver Award winners and the first ever Reliability and Resilience Award.

Other stories

  • CEA Attends COP26
  • Tune in for new Flux Capacitor Episodes
  • The Speech from the Throne
  • Examining Prime Minister Trudeau’s clean, net-zero electrical grid goal for Canada
  • The CEA Conversation Series
  • Transmission Investments Can Pave the Way to a Carbon-Neutral Future in Canada
  • Ontario’s five largest electricity utilities unite to warn of scams this holiday season
  • Lessons learned from a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art distribution automation system upgrade project at California State University Fresno
  • GridEx Tabletop Exercise
  • CEA Welcomes a New Corporate Partner
  • CEA would like to extend a massive thank you to the sponsors of our annual Powering Partnerships Summit 2021
  • DataBytes
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Issue 35 - November 2021

Cabinet of the 44th Parliament

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his post-election cabinet on October 26, 2021. The cabinet has grown incrementally to 39 members—one short of matching the record—and saw substantial changes.

Most departments that CEA interacts with will be working with new Ministers. There was a substantial shakeup in cabinet officials that oversee climate files, with Steven Guilbeault moving to Environment and Climate Change Canada and Jonathan Wilkinson moving to Natural Resources Canada. While most cabinets will have some time to get up to speed on their new files, these two are expected to attend COP 26 which begins next week. CEA expects to be involved with these departments as a Clean Electricity Standard is developed and the Government’s 2035 Net-Zero Electricity Grid commitment is explained.

The House of Commons will return on November 22nd for the Speech from the Throne and speaker selection. In the interim, the Government will announce Parliamentary Secretaries who support Ministers in the House of Commons and Committees. House of Commons committees, including selection of Chairs, will begin in the first weeks after Parliament’s return.

The government will now get back to work as the caretaker convention is lifted. We expect several engagements and consultations to begin in the near term. How these are prioritized will become clearer when mandate letters are released.

For more information please contact Michael Powell.

Other stories

  • Electricity Alliance Canada
  • The Flux Capacitor Episode 046
  • CEA Joins the Canadian Transportation Alliance
  • CEA Presents: DataBytes
  • CEA Prepares for the 2021 Powering Partnership Summit
  • Putting Utility Customers at the Center of Decarbonization Efforts
  • The Transmission Consultative Committee on Outage Statistics
  • October Supply Chain Committee Meeting
  • Opportunity for Members to Participate in the Low Carbon Business Action (LCBA) Canada
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Issue 34 - October 2021

2021 Canadian Federal Election

On September 20th, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were re-elected, once again having to navigate a minority Parliament. No party was able to make significant gains, despite looking like they had made inroads at some points. As in 2019, the Parliament could be quite stable, offering an opportunity for the Liberals to advance their various priorities, including on climate change and post-pandemic recovery.

The overall election results are a virtual mirror to those of 2019. As before, the Liberals will only need the support of one opposition party to pass any legislation, and all opposition caucuses must vote together to defeat them. On the surface, the NDP will likely be the most obvious partner for the Liberals on most issues.

A re-elected Liberal government will provide some certainty as to what our sector should expect going forward. Of note, the Liberal platform included a commitment to introduce a Clean Electricity Standard (CES) and to have a net-zero electricity grid by 2035. A CES had been in the works for some time—CEA was expecting a discussion paper on its construction to be released prior to the election. The 2035 electricity grid commitment is new but is unsurprising inasmuch as it was also a commitment from the Biden administration.

Defining these commitments will be a major area of focus for CEA. We will emphasize the need for an approach from government that will facilitate the investments needed to build this capacity while ensuring the grid remains reliable and affordable.

Other stories

  • CEA Prepares for the 2021 Powering Partnership Summit
  • The Flux Capacitor Episode 045
  • ‘That can keep you up at night’: Lessons for Canada from Europe’s power crisis
  • CEA Presents: DataBytes
  • Data Ownership vs. Data Privacy: A Word of Caution
  • Proactive businesses turning to Specialized Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) companies are yielding exemplary recovery rates
  • Legal Committee Explores Regulatory Reform and Innovation
  • CEA’s Generation Consultative Committee on Outage Statistics Annual Meeting
  • Canada’s net-zero electricity supply, green hydrogen among topics to be discussed at the Canadian Waterpower Week
  • CEA welcomes a new Corporate Partner
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Issue 33 - September 2021

We Are Having a Federal Election

After months of speculation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Governor-General Mary Simon in August to call an election for September 20th.

The Liberals game plan seems to be using their COVID-19 response, particularly the success of the vaccination campaign, to coast to a majority government. Actual campaigns upend this, with the Liberals and Conservatives now neck and neck.

For the electricity sector, there are a number of things to watch as the campaign continues. In particular, we are watching how climate policy is discussed. Even though it has not been a dominant theme thus far, it will inevitably become a more prominent issue as election day approaches. It is the clearest distinction between the Conservatives and Liberals with marked differences between 2030 GHG targets and carbon taxation policies. In either case, it is clear that market and technological forces will be encouraging change no matter what.

Electrification will drive much of Canada’s decarbonization efforts, and the Federal government has projected that Canada will need 2-3 times as much clean power by 2050 to meet current net zero goals. Building this capacity—while also making sure that the system stays affordable and reliable—will require clear, sustained, and focused direction from whoever forms government.

Other stories

  • CEA Calls for Support for Clean, Reliable, and Affordable Electricity in 2022 Pre-Budget Consultations
  • The Flux Capacitor Episode 042
  • The Flux Capacitor Episode 043
  • The Flux Capacitor Episode 044
  • Canada-US Electricity Microsite
  • CEA Releases Updated E-Billing Report
  • CEA Powering Partnerships Summit
  • Modernizing the Grid: Adapting to the Use of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)
  • Extending Canada’s Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance Classes: In Time and Scope
  • CEA Presents: DataBytes
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