September 5, 2012 / By Jim Burpee

Electricity: Powering Your Life and the Canadian Economy

Your favourite childhood memories feature Saturday cartoons and homemade cookies. Your mornings start with a buzzing alarm clock and a coffee maker. You type on a computer at work. A nightlight helps your son sleep.

Though we don’t think about it every day, these things are only possible with electricity. It’s a part of almost everything we do, from turning on the lights at home to powering a manufacturing plant that employs thousands. Give it some thought. Has there ever been a power source that has had a greater impact on the economy and our quality of life?

Electricity is central to our lives at home, at work, and to our prosperity as a country. With some of the lowest prices on the globe, our electricity system has given Canadian companies a competitive advantage on the world stage. That means jobs and money going into our economy.

We all rely on electricity that is affordable, reliable and sustainable. And the decisions being made today will determine whether electricity stays that way for our kids.

Here are some of the issues the Canadian electricity industry is facing:

  • Infrastructure needs investment: Some of the country’s generating stations are over one hundred years old. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that by 2030, nearly $350 billion in investment will be required to meet Canada’s electricity demand.
  • Sustainability requires planning: Investment in the next generation of Canada’s electricity infrastructure is good for the environment, good for the economy and good for our communities. It means replacing older, less efficient equipment with newer technologies. It means efficiently connecting renewable generation to the grid. It means more choices for customers. Sustainability is the cornerstone of plans for the future; it requires a coordinated strategy for investment.
  • The electricity grid – where do we go from here? As Canada considers the best way forward on a national energy strategy, we need to have a frank conversation about how to renew the electricity system that powers our economy. While a national grid is not feasible, opportunities for regional markets exist that could be supported by a pan-Canadian approach to energy planning.

The Canadian Electricity Association encourages governments to continue exploring ways forward on a Canadian energy strategy; ways that are sensitive to jurisdiction but also recognize that our electricity system is the backbone for economic growth and prosperity across the country.

To read more about electricity within the context of a Canadian energy strategy, click here.