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. The purpose of the first discussion paper, Atlantic Canada’s Electricity Future – Discussion Series Part 1: Electricity Supply, is to help Atlantic Canadians better understand how federal regulatory changes will impact the supply of electricity in Atlantic Canada. This paper uses publicly available federal data through the Canada Energy Regulator’s Energy Futures 2021 report.

Utilities across the region have developed their own electricity forecasts and resource planning studies and are taking steps to meet the challenges posed by these federal regulatory changes. These efforts include planning to produce and purchase more clean electricity to enable the phase-out of coal assets and meet increasing demand, while ensuring our electricity supply remains reliable.

This transition will ultimately require significant new investments and could lead to cost increases without federal support. For example, the federal government stated that the phase-out of coal-generated electricity alone will cost Nova Scotia and New Brunswick $1.221 billion and $561 million respectively.

Select findings from this discussion paper, absent additional investment in new sources of lower-emitting electricity, include:

  • Nova Scotia’s electricity capacity is forecasted to drop over half between 2029-2035 driven by the phase-out of coal-generated electricity (Forecast 2);
  • New Brunswick’s electricity capacity is forecasted to drop by roughly half between 2029-2035 driven by the elimination of oil-generated electricity (Forecast 2);
  • Prince Edward Island is forecasted to remain reliant on electricity imports despite increases in renewal electricity capacity and generation; and,
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is forecasted to continue being a net exporter of clean electricity around the region.

After reading this discussion paper, it is clear these regulations and policies will have significant impacts on the supply of electricity in the region.

Moving forward, the federal government must work collaboratively with Atlantic provincial governments and utilities to source more accurate electricity data to better understand how federal policies will impact the region, and to better prepare for the transition to net-zero emissions. Governments and utilities must then take fast action to plan, produce and trade more clean electricity, while ensuring new regulations are agile enough to keep up with new and emerging technologies to help deliver the most cost-effective solutions for Atlantic Canadians.

Read Atlantic Canada’s Electricity Future – Discussion Series Part 1: Electricity Supply here.

Are you concerned about Atlantic Canada’s electricity supply? 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