• Canadian government releases draft clean electricity regulations

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Canada’s government has released draft regulations on clean electricity generation which are aimed at ushering in a net-zero power grid by 2035.

Probably wisely, the proposed rules do not prescribe the use of any particular technology, allowing power companies to determine the best way to achieve targets at reasonable prices, yet there is at least one major uncertainty to be decided. The draft regulations allow the use of fossil fuel fired power generation for 20 years after the commissioning of the plant, as many utilities had told regulators that without such a provision they would struggle to reliably generate power beyond 2035.

What is unclear is how residual emissions will be dealt with. Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government has not yet decided how it would deal with them; some form of carbon credits may be one possibility, or alternatively some form of enforced ‘negative’ emissions power generation could be mandated, perhaps along with carbon capture and storage for other plants.

The reception to the draft rules has been mixed, with the David Suzuki Foundation saying that the loopholes would mean the 2035 net-zero target would be missed, the Canadian Climate Institute think tank stating it thought the rules were pragmatic, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers expressing their concern the rules would create investment uncertainty in the sector.