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Toronto, ON – Pollution Probe and QUEST are pleased to announce the release of the new report, Canada’s Energy Transformation – Evolution or Revolution? A discussion paper for policymakers, utilities, regulators and key stakeholders on managing risk and creating opportunities as we build low-emission energy systems. The report was made possible thanks to the support of Natural Resources Canada.
Energy markets in Canada are as varied as the country’s landscape. Transcending these differences is a powerful trend that is creating fissures in energy markets across the globe. This new energy paradigm has its sights set on the balance between centralized and decentralized energy systems, assumptions about future energy consumption, and low-carbon or zero carbon fuels. With no guarantee of a seamless transition into this future, uncertainties are creating risks for energy systems, policy-makers, regulators and consumers.
Through a literature review and a series of targeted interviews with energy sector stakeholders from across Canada and abroad, this Discussion Paper has classified the uniqueness of each jurisdiction while exploring the various commonalities between stakeholder experience to produce a detailed examination of the factors that advance or inhibit the achievements of a lower emissions strategy, and the rebalancing of energy systems.
“Moving to a lower emissions energy system in an effective and equitable way will require both innovative technologies as well as new business and regulatory practices. By providing a space for dialogue on this important issue, this work will help Canadian jurisdictions start to more effectively move to a lower emissions energy system” says Richard Carlson, Director of Energy at Pollution Probe.
More than 40 energy experts in governments, utilities and regulatory bodies agreed that there were great benefits coming from innovations, but they also saw dangers. This Discussion Paper addresses some of the immediate risks we face, but it is only an introduction to the work that is required.
We learned that there are gaps in knowledge about the pace of change and the implications of transforming to the energy systems of tomorrow. These are not only gaps in knowledge of research that exists, but also significant room for learning both within and between organizations in the smart energy sector.
“This Discussion Paper is the first step in documenting the energy transition taking place in Canada and our vision for supporting its evolution,” says Tonja Leach, Executive Director at QUEST. “The next step in this research will be to develop a smart energy policy roadmap that will balance the need for fast-paced innovation with prudent regulation”.
About Pollution Probe
Pollution Probe is a national, not-for-profit, charitable organization which is improving the health and well-being of Canadians by advancing policy that achieves positive, tangible environmental change. It is a leader in building successful partnerships with industry and government to develop practical solutions for shared environmental challenges.
QUEST is a national non-government organization that works to accelerate the adoption of efficient and integrated community-scale energy systems in Canada by informing, inspiring, and connecting decision-makers. QUEST undertakes research, communicates best practices, convenes government, utility, private-sector and community leaders, and works directly with local authorities to implement on-the-ground solutions. QUEST grounds all its activities in the “Smart Energy Community”—a concept that encapsulates the ideal end state of the organization’s work.
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