Canada Power Report Q2 2016
BMI View: Over the coming decade, the main shifts within Canada's power sector will be driven by thepolitical goal of reducing the country's dependency on coal-fired power and boost the role of natural gasand renewable energy in the power mix - with low growth in power consumption reducing procurementopportunities outside of government-mandated schemes. Contributing to the well supplied status of theCandian power market, hydropower will remain the dominant technology in the power mix through to 2025,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 inpower consumption growth amid warm weather and weaker economic activity, have prompted us todowngrade 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 existingregulations - 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 856MWSundance 7 gas-fired power plant in Alberta from 2018 to 2020 or as late as 2022, due to slowingdemand and uncertainty over provincial environmental policies.
In November 2015, the newly elected government of Alberta and Saskatchewan's main power generatorSaskPower both unveiled plans to reduce their reliance on coal-fired power generation and boost the roleof renewables and natural gas in their provinces' power mix. In the case of Alberta, the government plansto completely phase-out coal fired power generation by 2030 (as opposed to shutting down 12 out of 18of the province's existing coal power fleet, as per current federal regulations). This development creates adownside risk to our forecast for decreasing coal-fired power generation in the country over the comingdecade, which is currently based on existing regulations for the sector.
In December 2015, Canada's government announced an agreement with utility Bruce Power overpostponing the refurbishment of the Bruce nuclear power plant. The refurbishment of unit six will start in2020 instead of 2016, while the life of other units will be extended prior to refurbishment. We havechanged our forecast for nuclear capacity and generation in 2016 and beyond accordingly.
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