Earlier this month, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, launched the Canada Electricity Advisory Council.
The Electricity Council will be made up of an independent body of 19 experts who will provide the federal government with advice on actions needed to reach Canada’s 2035 and 2050 net-zero emissions goals as they pertain the electricity. The council also fulfils Minister Wilkinson’s mandate commitment to “establish a Pan-Canadian Grid Council … in support of Canada’s efforts to achieve a 100-per cent net-zero electricity system by 2035.”
In a press release, Wilkinson said “Canada’s clean grid is already a competitive advantage — it helped us land the Volkswagen deal. And to ensure that we can continue to attract investment and create more good, middle-class jobs, we need to keep increasing the supply of reliable, clean and affordable power right across Canada.”
Wilkinson added that the Electricity Council will help Canada build the grid needed by “providing independent, expert advice on how to both grow and decarbonize Canada’s electricity systems — in collaboration with the provinces and territories and with Indigenous partners.”
The Electricity Council will provide the Minister of Natural Resources with advice that may shape significant electricity sector investments announced in Budget 2023.
These investments include a 15 per cent 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 program.
Philippe Dunsky, President of Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors has been named the chair of the Electricity Council. Dunsky has over 30 years of experience advising business, government, utilities and non-profits across North America on clean energy. He serves on a number of boards, including as Co-Chair of Efficiency Canada and a Director of the Greater Montreal Climate Fund.
Dunsky argues that clean electricity is set to play the central role in Canada’s and the world’s transition to a clean energy future. “I look forward to working with Council members to define the big moves needed to ensure that necessary infrastructure can be built in ways that are timely, affordable and sustainable.”
“This will not be an easy lift, yet it’s a generational challenge — and opportunity — I’m convinced we must seize.”
Along with working to cut emissions reductions, the council will also be required to address the rapid growth of electricity generation needed to reach a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.
The Council 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.
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.
- Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO, IESO
- Darlene Whalen, Former Chair and CEO, NL Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities
- Wendy Franks, Executive VP, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Hydrogen BU, Northland Power
- Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation
- Jason Dion, Senior Research Director, Canadian Climate Institute
- John Gaudet, Former CEO, Maritime Electric
- Gerry Forrest, Principal at Forkast Energy and Regulatory Consulting, former Chair of MB Public Utilities Commission
- Greg Robart, CEO, Smart Grid Innovation Network
- Tim Eckel, VP, Energy Transition and Asset Management, SaskPower
- Grant Sullivan, President, Nihtat Energy Ltd.
- Stephen MacDonald, CEO, EfficiencyOne
- Emily Whetung MacInnes, Chief Emeritus, Curve Lake First Nation
- Bob Elton, Former President and CEO of BC Hydro
- Kerry O’Reilly Wilks, Executive VP, Legal, Commercial and External Affairs, TransAlta
- Chief Sharleen Gale, Chief Councillor Fort Nelson First Nation and Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition
- Pete Bothwell, VP, Customer Experience and Initiatives, ATCO
- Judith Ferguson, Executive VP, Regulatory, Legal and Government Relations, Nova Scotia Power
- Stéphanie Trudeau, Executive Vice President Quebec at Énergir
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