Report Published: "Canada Power Report Q2 2016"

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Mon Mar 28 2016

Over the coming decade, t he main shifts within Canada's power sector will be driven by the political goal of reducing the country's dependency on coal-fired power and boost the role of natural gas and renewable energy in the power mix - with low growth in power consumption reducing procurement opportunities outside of government-mandated schemes. Contributing to the well supplied status of the Candian power market, h ydropower will remain the dominant technology in the power mix through to 202 5 , due to a vast pipeline of large-scale projects planned and under construction.

Latest Updates And Structural Trends

Stronger emphasis on green energy policies at a provincial and national level, as well as a slowdown in power consumption growth amid warm weather and weaker economic activity, have prompted us to downgrade our forecasts for coal and natural gas-fired power generation in Canada over the next 10-years. We expect coal-fired power to fall at a faster rate than we previously forecast - in line with existing regulations - while natural gas power will grow less steeply amid smaller power needs. As a case in point, in October 2015 TransAlta Corporation announced it will postpone the opening of its 856MW Sundance 7 gas-fired power plant in Alberta from 2018 to 2020 or as late as 2022, due to slowing demand and uncertainty over provincial environmental policies.

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In November 2015, the newly elected government of Alberta and Saskatchewan's main power generator SaskPower both unveiled plans to reduce their reliance on coal-fired power generation and boost the role of renewables and natural gas in their provinces' power mix. In the case of Alberta, the government plans to completely phase-out coal fired power generation by 2030 (as opposed to shutting down 12 out of 18 of the province's existing coal power fleet, as per current federal regulations). This development creates a downside risk to our forecast for decreasing coal-fired power generation in the country over the coming decade, which is currently based on existing regulations for the sector.

In December 2015, Canada's government announced an agreement with utility Bruce Power over postponing the refurbishment of the Bruce nuclear power plant. The refurbishment of unit six will start in 2020 instead of 2016, while the life of other units will be extended prior to refurbishment. We have changed our forecast for nuclear capacity and generation in 2016 and beyond accordingly.

In February 2016, the decision on whether to build a nuclear waste storage facility in Kincardine, Ontario, was delayed indefinitely by the federal minister for the environment and climate change Catherine McKenna. The minister based this decision on the need for additional information to be gathered, and has given Ontario Power Generation, the utility responsible for the project, until April 18 2016 to submit more information.

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