Clean Energy


Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) today released a discussion paper, “A Clean Electricity Standard in support of a net-zero electricity sector” (the Discussion Paper), as part of its first steps in developing and consulting on a Clean Electricity Standard (CES) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. This bulletin summarizes key details of the Discussion Paper and provides important information on ECCC’s consultation on developing a CES.   Purpose. The Discussion Paper indicates that its purpose is to support the government’s intention to introduce regulations to achieve a net-zero electricity system by 2035 and invite comments regarding the scope and design of the CES. The Discussion Paper notes that Canada’s electricity system is currently 82% non-emitting but remains Canada’s 4th largest source of emissions, accounting for 8.4% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019.   Proposed CES Regulations. The Discussion Paper notes that carbon pricing will be insufficient to ensure that the electricity sector achieves net-zero emissions by 2035 or likely even by 2050. Therefore, a nation-wide CES regulation will complement carbon pricing by requiring the phase-out of all conventional fossil fuel electricity generation and incentivizing fuel switching in other sectors. The scope and design of the CES regulations will also need to provide enough compliance flexibility to allow for the use of natural gas for emergency events, back-up power to complement renewables, and supplying power during seasonal peaks of demand. The proposed CES regulations may, among other things: apply to all sources of emitting electricity generation that sell to the grid; transition the electricity sector to net-zero by 2035 while providing increased supply of electricity to support electrification and the role of available technologies in the provision of clean power to Canadians; be stringent enough to achieve its objectives while including compliance flexibility, such as robust GHG offsets, and allow for the…

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy (the Ministry) this week announced its intention to develop a new voluntary clean energy credit registry (CEC) registry. The Ministry has directed Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to research and report on the design of a provincial CEC registry by July 4, 2022. The Ministry also indicated that it intends to consider the IESO report and stakeholder feedback before implementing the CEC registry by January 2023.   The Ministry stated that the CEC Registry will assist businesses operating in Ontario to meet corporate environmental and sustainability goals. The voluntary CECs would represent 1 MWh of clean electricity generated from one or multiple non-emitting sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, hydroelectric and nuclear. Purchasers will be allowed to purchase and retire the voluntary CECs to meet corporate and individual goals and demonstrate that their electricity is generated from non-emitting sources.  Revenue from the sale of CECs could (i) be returned to Ontario ratepayers to lower the cost of electricity and/or (ii) support future clean energy generation projects. The proposed CEC registry is intended to assist businesses to reduce emissions and meet the climate targets of the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, Ontario’s climate and environment plan.   The CEC registry would match similar voluntary registries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and New England For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.

Canada and Alberta are accelerating their phase down of all coal-fired electricity generation assets and the ripple effect is evident in the actions of leading energy corporations. Yesterday, ATCO, a Calgary-based energy company, announced new ESG targets for 2030 and a commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. This follows actions to reduce its operational GHG emissions by 90 per cent between 2019 and 2020, in part, through the sale of its Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation assets.   ATCO indicates that the company will accelerate the deployment and use of clean hydrogen, energy storage, renewable electricity, and energy efficiency technologies to achieve its net zero commitment by 2050. In addition, it will work with government to support enabling policy and regulation and identify barriers for a cost-effective decarbonization of the economy.   ATCO’s ESG targets include: reducing net operational GHG emissions to earnings intensity by 30 per cent; reducing customer GHG emissions by 2 million tonnes through participation in renewable energy, clean fuels, energy efficiency, and energy infrastructure projects; owning, developing, or managing over 1,000 MW of renewable energy; and deriving 20 per cent of revenues from transitional product categories (such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen).  These changes precede what is anticipated to be mandatory climate-related financial disclosures being announced and imposed by the Canadian Securities Administrators (see our earlier bulletin on proposed climate-related disclosure requirements here). We expect other energy corporations to also make bold announcements in the coming months.  For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.