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What are others saying about the path to net-zero?

January 17, 2023

Though there is broad consensus that as a province and nation we must become a net-zero carbon society, there are diverging views on how to get there. The Society of United Professionals believes that the Independent Electricity System Operator has put together the most credible model to date for what a reliable and sustainable net-zero electricity system would look like. But at this stage, when there is still debate to be had on the attributes of the net-zero electricity system, it’s worth examining what other stakeholders have to say, too.

As you look through the other models below, it is important to read with an open but critical mind. Ask yourself some questions to help you assess the merits of each one, including:

  • Who is this stakeholder, what motivates them, and how might that bias the model they present?
  • What assumptions is the model based upon?
  • Is the model using scientific or subjective reasoning to include or exclude certain options for generating electricity?
  • Does the model propose to maintain any carbon-emitting forms of energy?
  • How does the model account for intermittent sources of electricity that can’t be relied upon to produce power whenever and wherever it is needed?
  • Is the amount of imported electricity reasonable given the exporting jurisdiction’s own needs?
  • Does the model rely on technology that is not yet available, and if so, how likely is it that the new technology evolves and scales quickly enough to do what the model requires of it?

Here are four relatively recent models for getting to net-zero that have been released by other stakeholders:

  1. The Atmospheric Fund: Scenarios for a Net-Zero Electricity System in Ontario
  2. Enbridge Gas: Pathways to Net Zero Emissions for Ontario 
  3. Canadian Climate Institute: The Big Switch: Powering Canada’s Net Zero Future
  4. David Suzuki Foundation: Shifting Power: Zero Emissions Electricity Across Canada by 2035

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