Energy sector transformation key to a low-carbon future: report

The Conference Board of Canada outlines what the transition might look like.

March 21, 2017   by PLANT STAFF

OTTAWA — Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will affect all sectors of the economy, government action and households, says a report from the Conference Board of Canada.

The Ottawa-based research firm says that brings with it a commitment to improve the way energy is produced, transported and consumed.

“Despite a new direction on the environment from US President Donald Trump, Canadians seem increasingly ready to accept and vote for low-carbon change,” said Glen Hodgson, Conference Board senior fellow. “Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy should aim for steady, progressive change over time building on a strategy including a strong energy sector.”

Shaping the Canadian Low-Carbon Economy offers four cornerstones for the ongoing transformation of the Canadian economy: energy consumption, energy efficiency, energy production, and engaging firms in the low-carbon business opportunity.

Here are some highlights:

• A shift in energy production will continue as Canada moves toward a low-carbon future.

• The low-carbon transition will require changes in energy consumption and efficiency, which will present opportunity for Canadian businesses.

• A new low-carbon infrastructure could include: further decarbonizing electricity production; vehicle electrical recharging stations and systems; and the expansion and electrification of public transit/rail.

Other shifts include: geothermal or district heating and cooling, additional renewable low-carbon electricity, and building on opportunities to strengthen power grid integration.

The report highlights the need for consumers and businesses to modify their energy consumption by increasing the use of lower-carbon sources of energy for heat, transportation and infrastructure. Canada is currently more than 80% reliant on renewable electricity.

Businesses have a central role to play in developing and adopting low-carbon best practices. The report recommends minimizing GHG emissions in their operations and to be selective when choosing suppliers and buyers with similar objectives.

Another opportunity will be to engage in the clean technology value chain for innovative low-carbon goods and services.

Click here for more information about the report.

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