Natural Gas Phase-Out Study

Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to completely phase-out coal-fired electricity generation. Today, Ontario’s electricity system is roughly 90 per cent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions free. That said, Ontario homeowners, businesses and organizations across many sectors, including municipalities, are actively pursuing new opportunities to further reduce GHG emissions.

In response, the IESO undertook a study in 2021 to examine the possibility of phasing-out natural gas generation by 2030. This study looks at what would be required, the associated costs and what impact it would have on the future of Ontario’s electricity system.

While this study demonstrates the complexity of change that would be required to completely phase-out natural gas, it also reveals possibilities. Emerging technologies like battery storage, distributed energy sources and demand response programs are rapidly developing to meet Ontario’s long-term energy needs.

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Decarbonization and Ontario’s Electricity Sector: Assessing the impacts of phasing out natural gas generation by 2030

Included in this report:

  • An overview of Ontario’s diverse electricity supply mix and the role natural gas plays within it.
  • A New Supply Mix Scenario that evaluates what would be required to phase out natural gas generation by 2030.
  • Insight into what the future of Ontario’s electricity system could look like with emerging technologies and increased electrification of other sectors.

Read the full report.

Report Highlights:

  • Completely phasing out natural gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts and the system changes that would be required would increase residential electricity bills by 60 per cent.
  • Ontario’s electricity grid is only responsible for roughly three per cent of the province’s total GHG emissions and is well positioned to support the electrification of other sectors.
  • Ontario’s electricity system is constantly evolving and the IESO is actively integrating emerging technologies that have the potential to meet Ontario’s long-term needs.

Minister Issues Letter to IESO Regarding the Future of Natural Gas Generation

The Ministry of Energy has asked the IESO to evaluate a moratorium on procurements of new natural gas generating stations in Ontario and develop a pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector.