Research Brief

Electrification Best Practices in Canada

October, 2016


  • Fuel switching to low-carbon electricity (i.e., electrification) is a key action for achieving Canada’s climate mitigation targets.
  • Canadian provinces and territories are at various stages with respect to climate change mitigation planning in general, and electrification efforts in particular.
  • “Scaling-up” leading provincial electrification policies to a national level would reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 34 Mt CO2e in 2030—closing 15% of the gap to Canada’s 2030 emissions target of 30% below 2005 levels.

Clean Energy Canada was interested in understanding the potential impact of national electrification efforts. In particular, what outcomes may be expected if leading provincial practices are applied across the country? This project seeks to answer this question using CIMS, a technologically-detailed energy-economy model of Canada. To start, Clean Energy Canada identified seven leading electrification policies that have been implemented or are proposed by provinces in Canada. Navius then estimated the greenhouse gas impact of these policies if they were applied nationally across all of Canada.

This figure shows the greenhouse gas abatement achievable by scaling up leading provincial electrification policies to a national level.

This study was commissioned and funded by Clean Energy Canada. You can view their briefing report here.

To learn more about this research, please contact Noel Melton.

Other Publications

Journal Articles

Melton, N., J. Axsen & S. Goldberg. 2017. Evaluating plug-in electric vehicle policies in the context of long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals: Comparing 10 Canadian provinces using the PEV policy report card. Energy Policy, 107, 381-393.

Bataille, C. & N. Melton. 2017. Energy efficiency and economic growth: A retrospective CGE analysis for Canada from 2002 to 2012Energy Economics, 64, 118-130.

Wolinetz & Axsen. 2017. How policy can build the plug-in electric vehicle market: Insights from the REspondent-based Preference And Constraints (REPAC) model. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 117: 238-250.

Melton, N., J. Axsen & D. Sperling. 2016. Moving beyond alternative fuel hype to decarbonize transportationNature Energy, 1, 16013. Learn More ➥

Bataille, C., N. Melton & M. Jaccard. 2015. Policy uncertainty and diffusion of carbon capture and storage in an optimal region. Climate Policy, 15(5): 565-582.

Jaccard, M., N. Melton & J. Nyboer. 2011. Institutions and Processes for Scaling Up Renewables: Run-of-River Hydropower in British Columbia. Energy Policy, 39(7): 4042-4050.

Peters, J., C. Bataille, N. Rivers, & M. Jaccard. 2010. Taxing Emissions, Not Income: How to Moderate the Regional Impact of Federal Environment Policy. C.D. Howe Institute, 314: Toronto, ON.