Energy Solutions for Manitoba is the a groundbreaking study to examine in detail how a Canadian province can replace its fossil fuels with low-carbon electricity.

  • In Manitoba, all fossil fuels are imported and account for roughly 60% of annual climate pollution. In 2019 this caused 13 million tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) of climate pollution.
  • In its 2018 Electric Load Forecast to the Manitoba Public Utilities Board, Manitoba Hydro indicated the current amount of electricity available must more than double to switch all buildings and road vehicles to electricity. Specifically, Manitoba would need an additional 8,500 megawatts (MW) of peak load and 28,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy. 
  • Energy Solutions for Manitoba examined nine energy options and selected five based on their cost effectiveness and ability to provide large amounts of peak load and energy between now and 2050:

Energy Action

% Peak Load Goal

% Energy Goal

Return exported electricity



Deep retrofits on buildings



More wind farms



More solar farms



Energy Storage







  • The surplus amounts are needed to cover domestic peak load and energy growth between now and 2050.
  • Additional hydro dams are not recommended at this time because they are too expensive, our electrical grid is far too risk-exposed to drought already, and Indigenous communities should be the ones to decide what can and cannot happen on their traditional territories.
  • A detailed economic analysis of our plan is undergoing peer review and will be released publicly later this year. Some early highlights include:
    • The recommended energy actions will be net positive for Manitoba households and businesses, Manitoba Hydro, the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba’s GDP.
    • Job creation compared to the status quo will increase by tens of thousands of person-years of employment
    • Returning electricity exports will increase Manitoba Hydro’s revenues while also saving Manitobans’ money because of low export prices
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE financing will cover the cost of retrofits at no upfront expense to property owners. Buildings will become much more efficient, be converted to geothermal heat pumps and wherever feasible also install rooftop solar panels under the retrofit program. 
    • Additional wind and solar farms can be developed by third-party investors under a Power Purchase Agreement with Manitoba Hydro. This approach has already worked successfully for Manitoba’s two existing wind farms and for the new solar energy farm built by Fisher River Cree Nation. 
    • Energy storage capacity must be increased given the large amount of additional electricity involved and the intermittent nature of some recommended new energy sources (solar and wind in particular). Electric vehicles are a significant potential storage source, as are commercial-scale facilities such as Tesla’s growing number of “Big Battery” projects around the world.
  • Staff at Manitoba Hydro were provided with a draft copy of Energy Solutions for Manitoba, and their comments were incorporated into the document. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of the study by Manitoba Hydro.
  • We also shared this report with all three political parties with seats at the Manitoba Legislature and with numerous subject matter experts. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for all of  the thoughtful expertise provided.