2016 Canadian Energy Industry
Updates and Insights
February 2, 2016 | Ottawa
The first of seven events hosted by the Energy Council of Canada was a great success.
Held in Ottawa on February 2, 2016, Canadian Energy Industry: Updates and Insights attracted an audience of over 180 which included Members of Parliament, senior elected officials, a large contingent from the diplomatic community including 15 Ambassadors/High Commissioners, and strong representation from the Energy Council’s membership. This year’s event focused on energy supply issues, from generation and production, through transmission and pipelines and distribution, energy storage and HR developments and issues.
Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, opened with comments on the government’s interim review principles for major resource projects, which she characterized as key to securing public confidence and to laying the groundwork for a stronger and more resilient energy sector.
To read Ms. Rudd's speech, please click here.
Energy Supply: Oil and Gas, Chaired by Mark Sherman, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Irving Oil
Panelists outlined the recent impacts of oil price declines, regulatory uncertainty, and continued market access limitations. With the lowest active rig count since the 1980s, impacts on employment and capital expenditure have been severe. The drop in oil and gas-related investment in turn has significant and not-fully appreciated implications for the national economy. Despite such turmoil – and the unlikelihood of short-term price relief – panelist expressed confidence in the sustained importance of oil and gas resources, and in the sector’s ability to find its place in a low-carbon economy. The importance of transparency and greater public trust were acknowledged. Specific opportunities, such as expanded access to and use of natural gas, were outlined. An attendee from the diplomatic community noted that foreign support for projects such as LNG export facilities hinges on timely major-project review, with panelists endorsing the need for a demonstration that Canada can still get major resource projects built.
To view Oil and Gas Panel Presentation, click here.
Energy Supply: Electricity, Chaired by Colin Clark, Chief Technical Officer, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group
Panelists noted Canada’s enviable position by virtue of its 80 per cent emissions-free electricity system. Specific clean-energy advancements were noted, including the large-scale investment in refurbishment of nuclear baseload capacity in Ontario. That said, panelists agreed that the outcomes of COP21 will drive further and significant change, with deep de-carbonization being dependent on deep electrification in areas such as transportation. Increased use of renewables and energy storage will be key to this transition, and represent an opportunity to add to the bounty of Canada’s resources. Leveraging Canadian expertise in areas such as grid integration of multiple generation sources represents further opportunity. Improved east-west grid interconnectivity is likely to be required to support ongoing emissions reductions and increased electricity supply. Finally, the importance of securing sufficient human resources was underscored, in light of both the needs driven by infrastructure renewal and other projects, and the demographic challenge of a pending retirement bubble.
To view Electricity Panel Presentation, please click here.
Two presentations by leaders from the Canadian energy community closed out the program.
Outcomes from COP21: Implications for Canadian Industry, Fiona Jones, General Manager Sustainability, Suncor Energy, Inc.
Fiona Jones noted a promising change in tone and approach in both the lead-up to and during COP21. A de-escalation of the rhetoric has led to a more inclusive and open dialogue in Alberta between government, industry and environmental activists. Pre-COP21, these discussions resulted in a more practical and politically acceptable package of policies to achieve nationally determined targets. COP21, she said, has clarified a path forward for the industry and governments. Ms. Jones further suggested that there may now be renewed potential for broad engagement towards the development of a national energy strategy.
Keynote Address: Insights, thoughts and reflections on "Canada at an energy crossroad" - Mike Cleland, 2015 Canadian Energy Person of the Year
Michael Cleland closed the proceedings with a review of potentially transformative forces impacting the energy sector, beginning with the possibility of declining energy demand. He spoke of the disconnect between current energy and climate aspirations; to the growing challenge of earning public confidence in energy projects, ato the concurrent likelihood of slower and more costly regulatory reviews; and to a potentially significant cumulative impact on energy demand from many incremental technological changes underway. With all this in the backdrop, Cleland urged an open and honest discussion in Canada that properly accounts for both energy and climate realities.
To view Michael Cleland notes for this session, please click here.
To read the full report, please click here.
2015 Canadian Energy Industry
Updates and Insights
February 17, 2015 | Ottawa
This first-time event provided updates and insights on the latest developments, trends, and issues in Canada’s energy sector.
- Energy Supply: Oil, Gas and Electricity
- Energy Transportation, Transmission, Distribution
- Energy End-Use and Supplying Energy Commodities to Industry
- Partnerships, HR Opportunities, Critical Skills.
Each of the four sessions was led by a Session Chair, selected from the Energy Council’s members. The eighteen panelists were executives from Canada’s energy industry associations, most of which are affiliate members of the Energy Council.
The Honourable Kevin Lynch, Vice Chair, Bank of Montreal Financial Group presented his insights and thoughts in the closing presentation entitled Trends, Troughs and Peaks: How Should Canada Adapt to the Transforming World of Energy? (Presentation slides are available here)
Attendees for this Ottawa event included: representatives from the embassies of 30 countries; executives from energy companies, officials from federal and provincial departments, and representatives of think tanks and universities.
The highlights from the sessions and closing presentation will be summarized in an Energy Council event report.
Full report available here.