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Canadian Electricity Association (CEA)

Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) logo

Overview

CEA is the national voice for sustainable electricity for its members and the customers they serve. Our association represents the full value chain of electricity in Canada, with members who generate, transmit and distribute electricity in every province and territory from coast to coast to coast.

As the only pan-Canadian electricity association bringing together all aspects of the electricity business, CEA speaks in a strong and integrated voice with the objective of creating a sustainable future that is good for business, good for communities and good for Canada.

CEA’s membership consists of 40 utilities from coast-to-coast-to-coast that generate, transmit and distribute electricity to all Canadians. Our sector keeps Canadians connected. It employs approximately ninety-eight thousand Canadians, from lineworkers, to helicopter pilots and control room specialists. This industry represents a community of very diverse skillsets.

Financially the electricity sector contributes $34 billion dollars to Canada’s GDP while producing six hundred fifty terawatts of electricity every year.

The electricity sector has been, and will continue to be, essential to Canada’s ability to meet its climate change targets. Our sector is proud to be the leading sector in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in Canada. Since 2005, the electricity sector has reduced its GHG emissions by over 46%. Over 82% of the electricity generated in Canada is non-GHG emitting, and the sector is on track to be even lower-emitting by 2030.

Utility companies, including electricity generation, transmission and distribution are in a key position to facilitate carbon reductions while maintaining the reliability and resiliency of the grid. As more intermittent renewable generation (such as wind and solar) is brought online, the ability to match supply with demand will be even more important, and there are opportunities to use Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to help manage that.

Canada has a wealth of clean and low-carbon electricity generation options, including nuclear power. As Canada moves toward reaching Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050, large investments in electricity generation, transmission and distribution will be needed. Nuclear power in the form of SMRs could play a major role in providing carbon-free electricity and heat for industrial applications in various parts of the country.

A vibrant, low carbon economy will need sustainable, reliable electricity, and CEA sees SMRs as a necessary part of powering Canada’s economy. CEA supports Canada’s SMR Action Plan and the Statement of Principles.

Principle #3 in the Statement of Principles states the commitment to “Seek out opportunities to integrate SMRs with other clean energy sources, storage technologies and applications to accelerate Canada’s low-carbon future.” This is also linked to Recommendation #9, “Ensure Clean Energy Programing is open to Nuclear Energy”. CEA represents the full value chain of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, and members who generate with wind, solar, hydro, coal, natural gas, biomass, tidal and nuclear. Canada is a large and diverse country with a diverse resource base. Making the most of that resource base will require different generation types and methods of delivering the electricity to the customer. SMRs have unique attributes that, when allowed to integrate in ways that reflect local and regional realities, will help to maximize GHG reductions, encourage safe operation, support the electrification and decarbonization of other sectors and provide affordable and reliable power to grid-connected and remote communities.

CEA will support the SMR Action Plan by working with our members and policymakers to share information and educate on how best to integrate different types of electricity generation, including nuclear power. CEA supports safe, reliable, affordable and low-emissions electricity, which will include electricity generated by SMRs.

Principle #5 states the commitment to “Strengthen diversity and representation in the nuclear industry through greater inclusion of women, minority communities and youth, and exploring meaningful and long-term economic partnership opportunities with Indigenous, rural, remote and northern communities”. CEA has signed on to gender diversity initiatives, including the “Equal by 30” initiative. As well, CEA’s Board has committed to the “National Principles for engagement of Indigenous Peoples”, which are intended to further complement and support the existing relationships between Indigenous Peoples and CEA Members.

CEA will continue to work with its members to support the National Principles for engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Equal by 30, and promoting SMRs as a vehicle for further reconciliation with indigenous peoples and a more diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the communities our companies serve.

ACTIONS

POLICY, LEGISLATION & REGULATION
Educate and encourage policies that promote the beneficial integration of SMRs into electricity grids
STATUS: UPCOMING
CEA01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 9, 33

ACTION

CEA will support the SMR Action Plan by working with our members and policymakers to share information and educate on how best to integrate different types of electricity generation, including nuclear power produced by SMRs.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Information from the sector will help to guide policymakers to ensure SMRs are integrated into electricity grids in ways that promote resilience, maximize carbon reductions, and keep costs to Canadians low.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Support and promote initiatives that progress diversity in the future SMR workforce
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
CEA02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39

ACTION

CEA has signed on to gender diversity initiatives, including the “Equal by 30” initiative. As well, CEA’s Board has committed to the “National Principles for engagement of Indigenous Peoples”, which are intended to further complement and support the existing relationships between Indigenous Peoples and CEA Members.

CEA will continue to work with its members to support the National Principles for engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Equal by 30.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Through continued support for diversity and inclusion initiatives, CEA will raise awareness of beneficial tools and practices for increasing D&I within our membership with regards to SMRs.