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    Net-Zero Emissions Pathways

    Recent materials posted

     

    Alberta’s power sector is undergoing significant change. This change is being driven by multiple factors within the power system and beyond. New technologies, carbon policy, broad electrification and a societal desire for cleaner forms of energy are creating substantial and rapid change across the electricity value chain, from production to consumption.

    Throughout 2022, as follow-on to the 2021 Long-term Outlook and in response to the growing societal drive towards net-zero emissions, the AESO will be undertaking critical work associated with the long-term sustainability of Alberta’s electricity system. The decarbonization of the electricity system, as well as the potential for increased electrification of other sectors of the economy, will have profound impacts on how power is produced and consumed.

    Net-zero crosses provincial and federal jurisdiction and because policy details have not yet been established, we believe it is imperative for industry, stakeholders and the AESO to work collaboratively to understand the potential pathways and implications to a net-zero grid of the future. With 2035 and 2050 being shared as possible targets, a timely and detailed analysis on the implications for Alberta’s grid is critically important.

    With the help of stakeholders, both through general engagement and through the AESO’s Industry Roundtables process, the AESO is seeking to fill this information gap by producing the first AESO Net-Zero Emissions Electricity System Pathways report, to be published in June 2022. For additional details, view the letter from Mike Law, President and CEO.

    Purpose

    Working with interested stakeholders, the purpose of this initiative is to seek to understand and to examine the potential pathways and implications to achieve a net-zero emissions electricity sector in Alberta, and to produce a written report of our analysis and findings.

    The AESO plans to review and analyze the most prominent zero and low-carbon emissions technologies, their cost and performance characteristics, impacts to the grid and implications of carbon regulation mechanisms. In addition, the AESO will assess net-zero pathways from the perspective of achieving emissions policy objectives while minimizing disruptions to the existing market framework and maintaining a reliable electric system.

    This initiative will seek to:

    • Build on previous Clean-Tech scenario work from the AESO’s 2021 Long-term Outlook (LTO) and the AESO’s 2021 Technology Forward Publication.
    • Incorporate feedback from industry stakeholders and the AESO’s Industry Roundtables.
    • Publish an overview of the most likely expected potential pathways to a net-zero electricity system in Alberta along with associated high-level implications and qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis will be conducted for select scenarios.
    • Provide insights to government and industry.

    Next steps

    Q1 2022 targeted next steps for this initiative include:

    • Seek feedback on initial input assumptions and policy considerations (January)
    • Written stakeholder feedback received will be posted. Stakeholder feedback gathered will be reviewed and considered as the AESO develops further net-zero emissions analysis. Based on this review, the AESO will provide a summary directional update. (February)
    • Stakeholder session to present and seek feedback on preliminary modeling results. (March)

    Q2 2022 targeted next steps for this initiative include:

    • Written stakeholder feedback received will be posted. Stakeholder feedback gathered will be reviewed and considered as the AESO finalizes its modeling and analysis. Based on this review, the AESO will provide a summary directional update. (April)
    • Publish final written report and determine next steps. (June)

     

    • Analysis Scope & Inputs<br>Dec. 16, 2021 – Jan. 31, 2022

      Purpose

      The purpose of this initial written consultation is to seek feedback from interested stakeholders on their perspectives as it relates to the scope and input assumptions of the proposed net-zero emissions pathways analysis.

    • Planned Activities<br>Q1 2022

      Targets

      • Seek feedback on initial input assumptions and policy considerations (January)
      • Written stakeholder feedback received will be posted. Stakeholder feedback gathered will be reviewed and considered as the AESO develops further net-zero emissions analysis. Based on this review, the AESO will provide a summary directional update. (February)
      • Stakeholder session to present and seek feedback on preliminary modeling results. (March)
    • Planned Activities<br>Q2 2022

      Targets

      • Written stakeholder feedback received will be posted. Stakeholder feedback gathered will be reviewed and considered as the AESO finalizes its modeling and analysis. Based on this review, the AESO will provide a summary directional update. (April)
      • Publish final written report and determine next steps. (June)

    For additional information on the AESO’s 2021 LTO, Industry Roundtables or Technology Forward work, please click on their page link below:

    Materials

    If you have any other questions, please contact forecast@aeso.ca and subscribe to our stakeholder newsletter for updates.