The Atlantica Centre for Energy is developing a series of discussion papers on the future of electricity in Atlantic Canada during the transition to net zero by 2050. The purpose of the second discussion paper, Atlantic Canada’s Electricity Future – Discussion Series Part II: Electricity Demand, is to help Atlantic Canadians better understand how changing federal and provincial regulations, as well as consumer behaviors, will impact the demand for electricity in Atlantic Canada. This paper uses publicly available federal data through the Canada Energy Regulator’s Energy Futures 2021 report.

Select findings from this discussion paper on electricity demand show:

  • New Brunswick’s forecasted demand for electricity would decrease in the Evolving Policies Scenario. This unlikely result is somewhat refuted by the Net-Zero Electricity Base generation forecast, which shows and increase of nearly 3,000 GWh from 2019 to 2050.
  • Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will have greater percentage increases in electricity demand leading up to 2050 than New Brunswick in the Evolving Policies Scenario and greater generation in the Net-Zero Electricity Base Scenario.
  • Prince Edward Island continues to import in the Net-Zero Electricity Base Scenario, while imports to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are unclear and, likely, relatively insignificant.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador demand grows more than Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the Evolving Policies Scenario, but generation and exports fall significantly in the Net-Zero Electricity Base Scenario.

It is important to recognize the limitations of these federal forecasts. The Evolving Policies Scenario demand forecasts are outdated given rapidly evolving government policies, regulations, and programs. These forecasts likely underestimate future electricity demand in each of the four provinces.

However, reading this discussion paper on future electricity demand, as well as its prequel in the series, it is increasingly clear federal policies and regulations have significant impacts on both the supply and demand for electricity across Atlantic Canada.

Next, we must better understand cost to bridge the gaps between the current supply of clean electricity in Atlantic Canada with future demand. The Atlantica Centre for Energy’s next electricity discussion paper will focus on forecasting future electricity pricing across the four provinces to help residents, businesses and leaders to better prepare for this transformational change.

Read Atlantic Canada’s Electricity Future – Discussion Series Part 2: Electricity Demand here.

Are you concerned about Atlantic Canada’s future electricity demand? Do you have feedback to share on this discussion paper’s forecasts?

Please don’t hesitate to contact Jonathan Alward, Vice President at Atlantica Centre for Energy, by emailing