In Canada, as in other countries around the world, governments and businesses are developing policies and strategies aimed at achieving a net-zero economy in the coming decades. A clean electricity system is an essential part of that conversation, enabling greenhouse gas emissions reductions from other economic sectors.
Ontario is in a good position. Today, Ontario’s electricity system is already 90 per cent emissions-free, with most of its electricity coming from non-emitting resources, like hydro and nuclear generation. That said, the process of fully eliminating emissions from Ontario’s power grid is a significant and complex undertaking.
The IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization report finds that Ontario could begin moving toward a decarbonized grid this decade starting with a moratorium on new natural gas generation in 2027 provided sufficient non-emitting supply is in place to meet the province’s growing electricity needs. By 2035, the system could be significantly less reliant on natural gas generation, reducing emissions by as much as 60 per cent below the IESO’s initial forecasts, with a fully decarbonized grid possible by 2050.
Bridging the work of today with the needs of a decarbonized world will require a collaborative approach across all sectors of the economy. As Ontario’s electricity system planner, the IESO is taking action to prepare the grid for decarbonization.