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Power Sharing: Developing Inter-Provincial Electricity Trade

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Carr

    (former CEO, Ontario Power Authority)

Abstract

Canada needs a “Made-in-Canada” approach to electricity transmission that better exploits the benefits of east-west power trading. In this study, the author explains how to overcome the impediments to electricity trading that currently exist at provincial borders. To ensure continued access to US markets, most Canadian provinces have complied with US electricity trading rules. But when transplanted in Canada these rules limit provinces with competitive electricity markets, where electricity customers may choose among suppliers (Alberta and Ontario), in sharing the benefits of trade with their neighbouring monopoly utilities (such as in British Columbia, Manitoba, or Quebec). Some provinces rely mostly on hydroelectric generation, while others rely more on fossil or nuclear-fuelled generation. Carr says Canada would benefit from more electricity trading on an east-west axis because the sharing of different forms of electricity generation – and time-zone diversity – would allow better use of each province’s generation capacity. Carr makes several specific recommendations for provincial action. He also recommends the federal government support provincial initiatives in the event of NAFTA challenges.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Carr, 2010. "Power Sharing: Developing Inter-Provincial Electricity Trade," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 306, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:306
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cdhowe.org/power-sharing-developing-inter-provincial-electricity-trade/4430
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William B.P. Robson & Colin Busby, 2010. "Freeing up Food: The Ongoing Cost, and Potential Reform, of Supply Management," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 128, April.
    2. David Johnson, 2007. "School Grades: Identifying Alberta’s Best Public Schools," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 104, September.
    3. Lawrence L. Herman, 2010. "Trend Spotting: NAFTA Disputes After Fifteen Years," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 133, July.
    4. John Richards, 2010. "Reducing Lone-Parent Poverty: A Canadian Success Story," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 305, June.
    5. Angelo Melino & Michael Parkin, 2010. "Greater Transparency Needed," e-briefs 102, C.D. Howe Institute.
    6. Pierre Siklos, 2010. "Taking Monetary Aggregates Seriously," e-briefs 94, C.D. Howe Institute.
    7. Robert Knox, 2010. "Who Can Work Where: Reducing Barriers to Labour Mobility in Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 131, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Siklos & Andrew Spence, 2010. "Faceoff: Should the Bank of Canada Release its Projections of the Interest Rate Path? – The Cases For and Against," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 134, October.
    2. Clyde Goodlet, 2010. "Too Big to Fail: A Misguided Policy in Times of Financial Turmoil," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 311, October.
    3. Dave Sawyer & Carolyn Fischer, 2010. "Better Together? The Implications of Linking Canada-US Greenhouse Gas Policies," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 307, August.
    4. Antweiler, Werner, 2016. "Cross-border trade in electricity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 42-51.
    5. Benjamin Dachis, 2010. "Picking up Savings: The Benefits of Competition in Municipal Waste Services," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 308, September.
    6. Stuart Landon & Constance Smith, 2010. "Energy Prices and Alberta Government Revenue Volatility," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 313, November.
    7. Philippe Bergevin & David Laidler, 2010. "Putting Money Back into Monetary Policy: A Monetary Anchor for Price and Financial Stability," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 312, October.
    8. Don Drummond & Evan Capeluck & Matthew Calver, 2015. "The Key Challenge for Canadian Public Policy: Generating Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth," CSLS Research Reports 2015-11, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    9. David C. Allan & Philippe Bergevin, 2010. "The Canadian ABS Market: Where Do We Go From Here?," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 315, November.
    10. Bob Baldwin & Brian FitzGerald, 2010. "Seeking Certainty in Uncertain Times: A Review of Recent Government-Sponsored Studies on the Regulation of Canadian Pension Plans," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 310, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth and Innovation; Canada; electricity; inter-provincial trade; NAFTA;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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