Canadian Manufacturing

New project to create national energy framework

Montreal, Que: Environmentalists and engineers are teaming up on a $2.5-million project to develop a sustainable energy strategy for Canada.

The Trottier Energy Futures Project will identify energy systems that could be implemented between now and 2050 to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and bolster economic and social well-being.

The David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Trottier Family Foundation have partnered on the five-year initiative.

Tom Gouldsborough, the project’s manager, says Canada’s current energy framework is outdated and divisive.

“Energy is the purview of each province or territory and there hasn’t been a lot of cohesive dialogue,” Gouldsborough says, adding it’s also created “issues for business with varying regulations in different jurisdictions in the country.”

Gouldsborough, a former Manitoba Hydro engineer, says Canada needs “a long-term game plan” if it’s going to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

He says the first step will be to build a national consensus on a sustainable energy system for Canada through consultations with industry, government, and other stakeholders.

The project will also look at how existing and new technology may fit into a national framework and what policy or regulatory changes may be necessary.

The groups announced the project at the World Energy Congress in Montreal. They also launched a website for the project and released a report outlining its goals: Setting the Stage for a Sustainable Energy Strategy.

The report notes that energy production and distribution accounted for seven per cent of the GDP in 2008 yet Canada remains one of the few industrialized economies without a comprehensive energy policy.

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