Report Released - Decarbonization and Ontario’s Electricity System: Assessing the Impacts of Phasing Out Natural Gas Generation by 2030
October 7, 2021
With its low-emissions electricity system, Ontario’s economy is primed for decarbonization, even though it will be necessary to rely on existing gas generators for a number of years to support wide-scale emissions reductions.
In response to discussion from communities and other stakeholders, the IESO today released a study that determined phasing out gas generation by 2030 would result in blackouts, raise electricity costs and hinder electrification, but could be considered given more time and planning.
Ontario’s electricity system is moving toward adopting more non-emitting forms of supply as well as supporting electrification in other sectors. The IESO is committed to looking at how the system can succeed on both fronts.As a next step, in response to a request from the Minister of Energy, the IESO will be evaluating a moratorium on procuring new natural gas generating stations and developing an achievable pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector.
While the study highlights the complexity of change within the electricity system, it also reveals broader possibilities. Only three per cent of all emissions in the province come from the electricity sector, compared to 38 per cent from transportation. By switching to electric vehicles, for example, Ontario car owners could reduce their emissions by as much as 97 per cent.
There is also potential in Ontario to accelerate the adoption of non-emitting forms of supply. The IESO has been working to integrate clean new technologies, whether they are connected to the grid or within a local distribution network, as it prepares the system to meet future energy needs.