OTTAWA – The federal government wants to phase out the rest of Canada’s coal-fired power plants by 2030 as part of its clean-energy strategy. Here’s a look at some of the numbers involved:
— Close to three-quarters of the greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s electricity sector, more than eight per cent of Canada’s total emissions, come from coal-burning plants.
— There are 35 coal power units across Canada: in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
— The government says that in 2014, coal plants were 10 of the top 17 sources of sulphur dioxide in Canada, 10 of the 14 top sources of nitrogen oxide and three of the top five sources of mercury.
— It says accelerating the phase-out of traditional coal-fired units that do not use carbon capture and storage will cut emissions by more than five megatonnes in 2030.
— Coal produces about 11 per cent of the country’s electricity, compared with 59.3 per cent generated from water power and 16 per cent from nuclear plants.
— A Pembina Institute study estimates that, in 2014, pollution from coal power resulted in more than 20,000 asthma episodes and hundreds of emergency room visits and hospitalizations, costing the health-care system more than $800 million.