In Canada, as in many countries around the world, governments are developing policies aimed at achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy by 2050, including a clean electricity system. As the first jurisdiction in North America to completely phase-out coal-fired electricity generation, Ontario is well positioned for this transition.

Today, Ontario’s electricity system is already more than 90 per cent emissions-free, with most of its electricity coming from low-emitting resources, like hydro and nuclear.

Bridging the work of today with the needs of a decarbonized world will be challenging and complex. A collaborative approach across all sectors of the economy will be necessary to decarbonize Ontario’s electricity system while maintaining reliability and affordability.

Ontario's Electricity System Transformation infographic driven by economic growth, decarbonization and consumer preference.

The IESO’s Role in Decarbonization

As Ontario’s electricity system operator and planner, the IESO has a particular vantage point and responsibilities in assessing the adequacy of our resources and the reliability of our supply mix. The IESO’s plans include:

  • Adapting Save on Energy incentives to better align with the needs of the system and its customers.
  • Using the Grid Innovation Fund to develop a better understanding of new technologies that can be leveraged to accelerate the adoption of energy solutions with low greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Incorporating demand scenarios into its forecasting and planning that reflect the ongoing shift to electrification and its potential impact on GHG emissions across Ontario.

Pathways to Decarbonization Report

The Pathways to Decarbonization report explores possibilities for a moratorium on natural gas-fired generation in Ontario’s electricity system, and a timeframe for decarbonizing Ontario’s electricity supply mix. The IESO brings the expertise and experience of the system operator to this study, with the results intended to contribute future-looking insights that can inform policy and strategy development.

The Pathways to Decarbonization report was informed by the Annual Planning Outlook and the Conservation and Demand Management Framework and its mid-term review. 

Visit the Pathways to Decarbonization page to read the full report

Visit the Annual Planning Outlook page for a long-term view of Ontario's electricity system

Visit the Conservation and Demand Management Framework page to discover how energy efficiency helps cost-effectively meet the electricity system's needs

Visit the Natural Gas Phase-Out Study page to examine the possibility of phasing out natural gas generation by 2030