Renewable Energy: Canada’s Goals Towards Carbon Neutrality

Canada, with its vast landscapes, pristine wilderness, and commitment to environmental stewardship, stands at the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change. Today, we will dive into Canada’s multifaceted journey toward renewable energy adoption, its ambitious electric vehicle (EV) goals, and the end goal of future carbon neutrality.

The Quest for Renewable Energy

Tripling Renewable Power by 2030

Canada recognizes that transitioning away from fossil fuels is not just a necessity but an urgency as fossil fuels fall out of favour. The International Energy Agency (IEA) emphasizes that global renewable power capacity must triple by 2030 to limit global warming. Here’s a closer look at Canada’s renewable energy goals:

Hydropower: A Canadian Advantage

  • Hydroelectric Power: Canada boasts an extensive network of hydroelectric power plants, including some near Niagara River along others. It aims to expand existing capacity and develop new projects, harnessing the immense potential of its rivers and waterways.
  • Solar Energy: Solar installations are on the rise, particularly in provinces with abundant sunlight. Rooftop solar panels and utility-scale solar farms contribute to the clean energy mix.
  • Wind Energy: Wind farms are rare but dot the Canadian landscape, generating electricity from the powerful coastal and prairie winds. Continued investments in wind energy will bolster the nation’s renewable portfolio.
  • Bioenergy: Canada promotes sustainable bioenergy sources, including biomass and biogas. These play a crucial role in reducing waste and utilizing organic materials for energy production.

Energy Efficiency: A Path to Savings and Sustainability

Canada aims to achieve an impressive 600 petajoules (six hundred trillion joules) of total annual energy savings by 2030 through rigorous energy efficiency measures. Here’s how:

  • Building Codes and Standards: Stricter energy codes for buildings, appliances, and industrial processes drive energy savings are planned to be in place.
  • Innovative Technologies: Smart meters, energy-efficient lighting, and advanced HVAC systems contribute to reduced consumption are already underway, with growth skyrocketing thanks to massive incentives.
  • Public Awareness: Educating citizens about energy conservation through adverts and articles is another plan the government has to encourage early adoption.

Accelerating Electric Mobility

Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Targets

Canada’s commitment to electric vehicles is unwavering. The government has set a few controversial but ambitious EV sales targets:

  • By 2026 (in 2 years!), at least 20% of new vehicles sold must be BEVs, or Battery Electric Vehicles.
  • By 2030, this target increases to 60%.
  • By 2035, Canada aims for 100% of new vehicles sold to be BEV, meaning you will no longer be able to purchase traditional gas or hybrid vehicles.

Building the EV Ecosystem

To support EV adoption and future EV domination, Canada is investing in critical infrastructure:

  • Charging Stations: The government plans to deploy 85,000 federally-funded EV chargers across the country by 2027. These chargers will be strategically located along highways, in urban centers, and at workplaces.
  • Financial Incentives: Currently, Canadians can receive up to $5,000 right now toward the cost of purchasing or leasing a BEV or PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid EV).
  • Made-in-Canada BEVs: Historic investments in EV manufacturing will create jobs, boost the economy, and reduce dependence on imported vehicles.

Grid Challenges and Solutions

As EV adoption accelerates, Canada is facing several electricity grid challenges:

  • Grid Capacity: Ministers have concluded that the electrical grid needs to double or triple its capacity by 2050 to meet net-zero emission goals. EVs and electrified home heating systems contribute to increased demand.
  • Battery Storage: Investing in large-scale battery storage facilities will ensure grid stability during peak demand.
  • Smart Grids: Canada is planning on implementing smart grid technologies to enhance flexibility and resilience in the future, as it will be needed as Canada approaches its energy and EV goals.

Environmental Impact and Global Leadership

Canada’s commitment to renewable energy and EVs has far-reaching implications for our country:

  • Air Quality: Transitioning to clean energy will pose quantifiable improvements to air pollution, benefiting public health.
  • Climate Mitigation: By embracing zero-emission technologies, Canada contributes significantly to global climate goals, which they aren’t too close to meeting at the moment.
  • Economic Opportunities: The shift toward renewables and EVs creates jobs, stimulates innovation, and positions Canada as a leader in sustainable development.

Towards a Brighter Future… hopefully

Canada’s journey toward a greener future requires collaboration among government, industry, and citizens, and there is a lot of work that still has to be done to achieve this massive end-goal. There is still the other side that Canada is quite behind at the moment, and this fast-paced growth might come with energy constraints in the future and even grid outages if this massive adoption leads to energy grids failing. However, Canada is trying to plan around this, and hopefully we can have a greener, brighter future with EVs powered by sustainable energy. Maybe then we will finally meet a climate target.

About Yousef Kashif 4 Articles
The developer (and co-lead) of the Morning Show, editor of several articles, and writer of the Raider Daily Briefing. Lead Graphic Designer and Club Affairs for Raider Weekly and Raider Media.