Your browser is no longer supported

To get the best experience with www.aeso.ca, we suggest using a newer version of Internet Explorer/Edge, or using another supported browser such as Google Chrome.

ETS users may continue to log in using Internet Explorer 9 using the upper right hand link marked ETS Login.

    Net-Zero Emissions Pathways

    Recent materials posted

    Introduction

    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.

    AESO Net-Zero Report

    On June 27, 2022, the AESO published a detailed analysis of the opportunities and challenges involved in eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta’s power system. The AESO Net-Zero Emissions Pathways report is the first in-depth analysis of the potential implications of a net-zero future to focus specifically on electricity in Alberta.

    The report reviews potential supply and demand combinations that may enable Alberta to reach a net-zero electricity system by 2035 while also considering potential implications to reliability, the market, and supply and transmission costs. In a net-zero system, carbon emissions are significantly reduced with any remaining emissions offset by reductions of carbon in the atmosphere coming from elsewhere.

    Download the Net-Zero Report and access the data through an interactive dashboard on the Power BI Public website.

    View the dashboard larger

    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

    The AESO is committed to providing timely analysis and insights regarding the net-zero transformation. The AESO expects to follow this analysis with the following activities during the 2022 to 2024 period and will inform stakeholders as they progress:

    1. Continue to monitor and participate in the development conversation around policy initiatives such as the Clean Electricity Standard (CES) and Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER)
    2. Develop a reliability requirements roadmap for future reliability services needed to support the future resource transformation based on operational impact assessments that utilize high renewables scenarios to identify potential operational and reliability challenges and potential mitigation measures
    3. Through the Market Evolution Roadmap, identify other market initiatives to support long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the energy-only market structure based on output from carbon policy analysis and assessments.
    4. Engage with Distribution Facility Operators (DFOs) to better understand the impacts and potential costs of carbon policy analysis and assessments to the distribution system
    5. Incorporate carbon policy analysis and assessments into the 2023 Long-term Outlook (LTO), which will inform subsequent iteration of the Long-term Planning (LTP) report and continue to provide further details of future transmission development activities to support a transformed resource mix

     Consultation schedule

    • 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)
      • Post written stakeholder feedback received. (February)
      • 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. (March)
      • Stakeholder session to present and seek feedback on preliminary modelling results. (March)
    • Engagement Session<br>March 28, 2022

      Purpose

      The purpose of the virtual session is to engage stakeholders in a discussion of the AESO’s draft preliminary modelling results around the net-zero emissions pathways, provide clarification and share next steps and timing. Specific session objectives include: 

      • Share our learnings from the initial round of net-zero emissions pathways stakeholder feedback
      • Present the preliminary net-zero emissions pathways modelling results
      • Provide clarification around current assumptions and framework
      • Seek another round of stakeholder written feedback before the AESO finalizes it’s modelling and analysis
    • Planned Activities<br>Q2 2022

      Targets

      • Post written stakeholder feedback received. (April)
      • Stakeholder feedback gathered will be reviewed and considered as the AESO finalizes its modelling and analysis. Based on this review, the AESO will provide a summary directional update. (May)
      • Publish final written report and determine next steps. (June)
    • Information Session<br>June 29, 2022

      Purpose

      The purpose of the virtual session is to present the AESO’s final modelling results around the Net-Zero Emissions Pathways report, provide clarification and share next steps. Specific session objectives include:

      • Present the final Net-Zero Emissions Pathways modelling results
      • Provide clarification around current assumptions and framework
      • Highlight insights and signposts provided within the report
      • Provide a forum to address stakeholder questions
      • Share proposed next steps
    • Information Session | June 29, 2022

      The AESO hosted a stakeholder information session on June 29, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

      Purpose

      The purpose of the virtual session is to present the AESO’s final modelling results around the Net-Zero Emissions Pathways report, provide clarification and share next steps. Specific session objectives include:

      • Present the final Net-Zero Emissions Pathways modelling results
      • Provide clarification around current assumptions and framework
      • Highlight insights and signposts provided within the report
      • Provide a forum to address stakeholder questions
      • Share proposed next steps

      AESO Net-Zero Report

      If you have further questions on the final modelling results around the AESO's Net-Zero Emissions Pathways report, please contact us at forecast@aeso.ca.

      Information session materials

    • Engagement Session | March 28, 2022

      The AESO hosted a virtual stakeholder engagement session on March 28, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

      Purpose

      The purpose of the virtual session is to engage stakeholders in a discussion of the AESO’s draft preliminary modelling results around the net-zero emissions pathways, provide clarification and share next steps and timing. Specific session objectives include: 

      • Share our learnings from the initial round of net-zero emissions pathways stakeholder feedback
      • Present the preliminary net-zero emissions pathways modelling results
      • Provide clarification around current assumptions and framework
      • Seek another round of stakeholder written feedback before the AESO finalizes it’s modelling and analysis

      Stakeholder comments

      We value stakeholder feedback, and we thank you for sharing your perspectives with us. View all stakeholder comments received on the engagement session and the scope and development of the net-zero emissions pathways analysis in the materials section below.

      Engagement session materials

    • Analysis Scope & Inputs | Dec 2021 - Jan 2022

      The comment period for the written consultation ran from Dec. 16, 2021 to 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.

      Stakeholder comments

      We value stakeholder feedback, and we thank you for sharing your perspectives with us. View all stakeholder comments received on the Net-Zero Emissions Inputs in the materials section below.

      Analysis scope and inputs materials

       

    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.