On 5 May, Canada’s minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, launched the Canada Electricity Advisory Council, an independent body of 19 experts to provide the government with advice on the actions needed to achieve the country’s 2035 and 2050 net-zero emissions goals as they pertain to electricity. The new Council’s members represent a diverse range of commercial, policy, technical and governance experience and expertise, and will be chaired by Philippe Dunsky.
The Council has been set up to provide advice to the minister of Natural Resources that could help shape the significant electricity sector investments announced in the 2023 Budget. These investments include a 15 % tax credit for non-emitting electricity generation, $20 billion in low-cost financing from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and targeted funding where needed, including via NRCan's Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways programme.
The Council will also provide advice to the minister of Natural Resources to accelerate investment, and promote sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity systems. The Council's work will cover both the reduction of emissions in the electricity sector needed to achieve net-zero by 2035 and the rapid growth of electricity generation needed to power a net-zero-emissions economy in 2050, and it will work in conjunction with other bodies advising the government of Canada on climate and energy-related matters, such as the Net-Zero Advisory Body.
Recognising the jurisdictional role of provinces and territories in decision-making for the electricity sector, the Electricity Council will draw on work done at the provincial and territorial level, as well as by utilities and Indigenous partners.
At the conclusion of its one-year term, the Electricity Council will prepare and deliver a report outlining its analysis and recommendations to the minister.