For one thing, it means we must produce all our own power. Unlike many other jurisdictions, we can’t ask our provincial or territorial neighbours to provide us with electricity if we run short. Likewise, if we have more power than we need at any given time, we have no way of selling it to our neighbours.
It becomes a balancing act when planning for the future. We must build enough, but not too much.
It’s because we are an isolated grid that we must have reliable back-up electricity, or ‘dispatchable’ electricity as it is known. If we have a shortage of renewable power for any reason, we need something that we can count on, to keep the lights on and businesses operating. At -40, electricity is not a luxury; it is a necessity.