Electrical Grid Capacity Concerns in Canada

The Canadian government is currently making attempts to persuade consumers to switch from gas to electric vehicles, and from fossil fuel heating to electric heat pumps. However, this has many consumers concerned as to whether the electric grid can handle this massive shift in electricity usage. They are also concerned as to whether this will raise energy bills.

By 2035, the Canadian government aims to get Canada’s grid to net zero through new regulations. However, Canada’s grid capacity would need to be doubled or even tripled by 2050 to reach this goal. If they don’t meet this requirement, then Canadians could face risks such as power outages and reliability issues. The director of policy research at Efficiency Canada mentioned that a way to reduce the burden on the electric grid would be for homes to switch to more efficient heat pumps. As newer vehicle models come out with bidirectional charging, consumers are expected to be both drawing from the grid and feeding into it. During peak hours, consumers can choose to use the EV electricity they have stored up to power their homes or sell the electricity to the grid.

Currently, the Canadian government has problems with following through on the regulations needed to meet their net-zero goal. The federal government is still backed by a commitment of more than $40 billion over the next decade. However, there is a misalignment between federal electricity policy and incentives and the policies that individual provinces have decided upon. Alberta and Saskatchewan have stated that they would not be implementing the regulations. The federal government has offered a $4.5 billion loan to Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia to provide greater access to renewable energy, but the provinces haven’t made an agreement yet. Energy regulators and policy makers must work together to come up with an effective solution.

Due to the strive to switch from fossil-fuels to electric and cleaner energy sources, Canada must ensure that its electric grid has the capacity to handle this switch. It is important that consumers use other sources of renewable energy such as wind energy and solar panels to support the switch to electric vehicles and heat pumps. The Anorra Wind Turbine is one option for dwelling owners to diversify their clean energy solutions while also striving to reduce the strain and their dependence on the electric grid.