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Newsletter April 24, 2023


2023 – Where to from here?

Jacob Irving, President & CEO, Energy Council of Canada

The war in Ukraine initiated multiple trends in the global energy sector in 2022. Russia’s effort to counter western support for Ukraine by restricting energy supplies to Europe has not been as effective as feared. A mild winter and consuming countries’ mitigation measures blunted part of the impact. However, last year reminded people everywhere that energy supply remains dominated by oil and gas. Russia’s actions pushed some consuming countries to find alternative hydrocarbon sources and find them quickly. Some fear the net effect will be to stall or roll back progress on GHG emission reductions.

The Economist magazine, in a February article (War and subsidies have turbocharged the green transition, 13 February 2023), noted that the immediate reactions in several energy consuming markets have fed this pessimism. Some governments extended the life of coal-fired generating plants and re-commissioned others that had been shuttered. A number of coal producing countries lifted production caps. India and China increased production by 11% and 8% respectively. This helped meet world demand, which increased by 1.2% over the previous year and reached a record 8 billion tonnes. Countries have also arranged long-term commitments to purchase LNG, which – if used to displace coal generation – will advance the emissions reduction agenda. But there have been other actions that sustain and move forward the energy transition.

Improved energy efficiency and increased investment in low-carbon and zero-carbon sources also grew last year. The Economist says that in 2022 the energy necessary to produce 1 unit of GDP in the world declined by 2%. The consultancy, McKinsey, reports that Europe used 6-8% less electricity in 2022 than in 2021. Increased consumer interest in electric vehicles and heat pumps was particularly strong. Perhaps the most surprising and significant indicator was that global investment in 2022 in solar and wind projects (USD 490 billion) surpassed investment in new and existing oil and gas wells.

In Canada, we have seen the discussion of alternative energy and mitigation technologies move out of industry conversations and into the public forum. Carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) is a term that has now become familiar to Canadians. Our considerable hydrocarbon resources could be viewed in a new light, if CCUS becomes a widespread, viable means of eliminating carbon emissions from production and use. Hydrogen has been in the news thanks to the interest of Germany in Canada’s potential as a supplier. Indeed, Canada’s potential – should hydrogen become an economical and convenient alternative fuel – is considerable. We have the means to produce the fuel in virtually all regions of the country. Canada’s reputation as a leader in small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) is growing. The ECC has met foreign delegations with a particular interest in Canadian SMR technology research and development.

The conflict in Europe has unleashed developments in the short term and the long term. The possibility of accelerating the transition of energy systems to low emission sources – as suggested by The Economist – is perhaps one of the least anticipated outcomes.


Jocelyn Zuliani, Energy Storage Lead, Hatch Ltd.

Jocelyn Zuliani, Energy Storage Lead, Hatch Ltd.

Summerside Sunbank Solar and Storage Project

Hatch is currently working with PEI-based Aspin Kemp and Associates (AKA) to provide detailed engineering and technical support for the Summerside Sunbank Solar and Storage microgrid project. The project is a 26 MW solar PV power plant co-located with a 10 MW/20 MWh battery energy storage system. The project will aim to provide up to 25 percent of the electricity needs for the City of Summerside.  (Summerside’s $69M solar farm taking shape | CBC News)

Hatch is working closely with AKA to ensure the battery energy storage system design meets the highest safety standard and aligns with the usage plan and local climate requirements, including installation near the coast and local temperature conditions.

Hatch contributes its expertise in hybrid power plants, including both solar plus storage and wind plus storage systems. These hybrid systems play an essential role in achieving a more sustainable electricity grid by co-locating battery energy storage with intermittent renewable generation and allowing for a more reliable and dispatchable generation source. The battery energy storage system will be used to manage short-term intermittency and peak-shaving by storing solar power throughout the day to reduce costly electricity import during peak hours.

The City of Summerside has set an aspirational target of achieving net-zero operation for its grid, with the goal of being 100 percent renewable energy powered. The Sunbank Solar and Storage project will be a key step toward achieving this objective by providing reliable emission-free generation to the local grid.

Battery energy storage systems will play a key role in the ongoing energy transition, both as stand-alone facilities and co-located with renewable generation. Energy storage systems provide not only renewable firming and peak-shaving support but can also provide valuable services to the electricity grid by acting as a transmission asset, providing operating reserve and backup, providing firm capacity, and providing ancillary services to manage power quality.

Lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro lead the energy storage industry today. But emerging storage technologies, such as hydrogen storage, other electrochemical batteries, and compressed gas storage are expected to contribute to the growing needs of the grid. These emerging technologies target lower cost, longer duration storage for the grid.


ECC President to speak at Enlit Africa energy conference

16 – 18 May 2023 Cape Town, South Africa

As part of Energy Council of Canada’s international outreach program (NAIO) President Jacob Irving has accepted an invitation to speak on the main stage at the Enlit Africa conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The event brings together energy industry representatives, government regulators and policy makers, utilities, the finance community, service and supply companies, and many others who have an interest in energy in Africa. 

The Canadian High Commissioner in South Africa, through the Trade Commissioner Service at Global Affairs Canada, asked ECC to consider participating in the event.

Mr. Irving will introduce the delegates to Canada’s unique strengths as an energy producer and source of world class technology and expertise as a part of the presentation of ECC’s Canada’s Energy Story. ECC will also sponsor a Women in Energy breakfast at the event.

Global Energy Show & Exhibition: 13 – 15 June 2023 in Calgary

The Global Energy Show will open its doors on June 13, 2023 at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park in Calgary. As North America’s Leading Energy Event, energy professionals from over 110 countries will convene under one roof to collaborate and discuss all energy verticals. Being the largest B2B energy event in Canada, the exhibition and conferences will showcase representation from sectors including: oil sands, hydrogen, wind, solar, gas and LNG, electrification, CCUS and nuclear.

Key features of this year’s event include:

Massive exhibition across five halls and outdoor zone featuring 600+ exhibitors, four new theatres and six international pavilions

• Leading strategic conference delivering a timely agenda addressing global energy issues

• Thorough technical conference, with CPD accreditation, presenting the latest technologies and innovations in energy

• Network-driven awards gala celebrating innovators in eight categories inclusive of the energy value chain

To register and find more information, use the links below.

Calgary is site of the 24th World Petroleum Congress starting 17th September

From 17 to 21 September this year, Calgary will host the 24th annual World Petroleum Congress. Its theme is Energy Transformation: The Path to Net Zero.

The 24th edition of the World Petroleum Congress will prove to be an important bridge between the traditional energy sector and a more carbon neutral industry over the next twenty-five years. Delegates’ conversations will help define realistic, workable paths to a net zero future.

World population is still increasing, and billions of people need to be brought out of energy poverty, requiring more energy in the future than today. Our challenge is to involve all stakeholders so that our energy transformation is responsible by addressing good governance, society’s needs, climate, and the environment. The objective is ambitious. We want a reliable, economically viable, sustainable energy future, and a better world for all. This will be the Net Zero approach addressed at the Congress.



ECC Helps Connect Potential Equipment Donors to Ukraine Officials 

In early 2023 ECC President Jacob Irving was able to help connect Ukrainian officials with MEG Energy.  A representative of the Regional Oil Sands Operating Alliance contacted ECC originally to say that MEG Energy could possibly donate electrical equipment to Ukraine to help restore damaged and destroyed infrastructure. ECC was able to use its relationships with Natural Resources Canada and Global Affairs Canada to facilitate an information exchange. The first order of business was to determine the suitability of the equipment with Ukraine’s existing infrastructure.

The initiative follows from a December discussion between Ukrainian officials and ECC staff to explore what could be done to assist in restoring infrastructure in the country.


2023 Canada Energy Update

On 27 January ECC held its second annual Canada Energy Update. As in 2022, the event was online. Ten speakers from industry associations, the energy research community, and aboriginal energy participated, as well as a representative from the ECC-sponsored Young Energy Professionals Network. The presenters reviewed the past year and spoke about the important challenges the sector faces in the months and years to come

The attendance at this year’s event exceeded ECC’s expectations. More than 600 participants registered and more than 400 participated throughout the morning.

If you missed the event or would like to review presentations that particularly interested you, videos of all presenters can be found on ECC’s YouTube channel.

ECC Invites Members and Partners to consider bidding on solar project in Türkiye

In late February, Global Affairs Canada asked the Energy Council of Canada to canvass its members and partners to find potential suppliers for a solar project in Türkiye. We selected contacts that might be capable of supplying the necessary equipment and those that might be able to further expand the search through their contacts.

Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commission Office in Ankara has received a request from a Turkish developer building about 50 MW of solar over 3 projects. They are looking for names of companies that manufacture these products and can export them to Türkiye. We sent an e-blast to 68 addresses. The project developers were looking for these components:

Solar Panel 545 Wp (estimated need of 18,360 pieces)
Inverter – 100 kWe (estimated need of 75 pieces)
DC Cable
DC Connector
AC Cable
AC Panel
Cable Carrier System

If you have questions about the request, please direct them to David McGrath ( Chief Consultant ECC.

ECC President speaks at Canadian Turkish Business Council webinar

In January ECC president Jacob Irving joined a panel discussion in the webinar Canada and Türkiye: Innovation and complementary renewable energy leaders, presented by the Turkish-Canada Business Council.

You can find the video of that webinar below.

Inside Education salutes ECC’s contribution to Canmore youth summit.

On 17 March ECC President Jacob Irving hosted a panel discussion on the Future of Energy at Inside Education’s Generate & Navigate | Youth Energy, Water & Climate Leadership Summit in Canmore, Alberta, presented by Inside Education. is Alberta’s largest environmental and natural resource education charity. Its mandate is to support K-12 schoolteachers across Alberta and inspire their students to work towards a balanced, sustainable future for our environment, economy, and society.

The organizers thanked the panelists for their contribution to a successful conference.

The Summit program is designed for junior high school and high school students aged 14 and above. On the day, 120 students and 40 teachers attended the summit. Inside Education will post a report on the conference on the Reports page of their website. The Energy Council of Canada is pleased to be able to contribute to informing and educating young Canadians about energy and the environment. It is critical for the ECC’s mission to support well-informed citizens, leaders, and future leaders.

ECC executives help deliver energy policy and regulatory masterclass in Jamaica

ECC Chair Howard Shearer and CEO Jacob Irving took part in a Policy and Regulatory Masterclass entitled The Climate Smart Approach. The event was held in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday, 30 March 2023.

The event was the first in-person meeting in the North American and International Outreach (NAIO) program to be held outside continental North America and was arranged and supported by the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica. The presentation combined introductory elements with a  focus on energy regulation, particularly in the electricity sector.

Mr. Shearer and Mr. Irving also met Jamaican cabinet ministers the Hon. Daryl Vaz, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and the Hon. Matthew Samuda, Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

Watch a recording of the discussion by clicking the button below.

YEPN presents webinar on Canadian hydrogen

The Young Energy Professionals Network presented the latest in its series of panel discussions on Thursday, 30 March 2023. Three speakers from leading players in the hydrogen field spoke about the current state of hydrogen research and development as an emission-free energy source in Canada.

Hydrogen Graphic


Volkswagen chooses Canadian site for North American battery manufacturing facility

On 13 March 2023 the automaker, Volkswagen AG, announced that it had chosen St. Thomas, Ont., as the site for its first battery factory outside Europe. The company evaluated  locations in both Canada and the United States. 

Volkswagen AG will be the first European automaker to set up major manufacturing operations in Canada. The company will be the first auto manufacturer in close to 40 years to set up new assembly operations in Ontario.

Alberta government modifies approach to abandoned wells with pilot program

Alberta has introduced a pilot program to deal with the 170,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the province. The Liability Management Incentive Program has, however, received mixed reviews. The government will provide royalty relief on current production in exchange for work on the wells of the company claiming the relief. The total cost for the government is estimated to be $100 million in foregone royalty payments.

Some are encouraged by the effort to seal the wells and restore the sites. Others, including some industry voices, however, believe that the taxpayer should not have to bear the cost of restoration of disturbances caused by private sector businesses. Indeed, some industry spokespeople say that the plan will harm the reputation of the industry. They support the principle that industry members should be responsible for any restoration that is needed.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith defended the program’s support through foregone royalty payments. She said that evolving government policy over the years has meant that businesses carried out activity that was justified in the regulatory environment in place at the time. Now that the requirements have changed, she argues, the public treasury has a portion of the responsibility.

Orphan wells pose a separate problem. They are facilities for which there is no record of ownership. The Orphan Well Association, which is primarily funded by industry and operates with delegated authority from the Alberta Energy Regulator, carries out the decommissioning and reclamation of those facilities.

Largest majority Indigenous-owned infrastructure project receives BC approval

British Columbia has approved an offshore LNG project to be jointly owned by the Haisla First Nation and Pembina Pipeline Corp. The facility will be located in the Kitimat region and will be a floating facility. The estimated investment to complete the project is $3 billion. That will produce 3 million tonnes of LNG per year, as well as 1 million tonnes of GHG a year.  The plant will be fed natural gas from Alberta through the Coastal Gaslink pipeline currently under construction. The line’s terminus is Kitimat and it will feed both the Cedar LNG plant as well as the larger Canada LNG facility.

Haisla Nation officials welcome BC Premier

Cedar LNG will rely on hydroelectricity and consequently will be able to keep GHG emissions to a minimum. However, the BC government will require the project to have a credible plan to achieve net-zero operations by 2030.

There are still more hurdles to overcome before construction can begin. Not all First Nations in the area have made decisions to support the project. The Coastal Gaslink project still faces challenges from hereditary chiefs along its route. Cedar will also need federal approval before a final investment decision is made.



Calgary geothermal company receives EU financial support for Germany project

Eavor-Lite™ prototype facility at Rocky Mountain House, AB

The European Innovation Fund awarded Eavor Technologies Inc. of Calgary $135 million in financial support for its geothermal project in Geretsried, Germany. The facility will be designed to power 20,000 homes.

Eavor has developed a unique technology to exploit geothermal energy. It tested its system at a facility built in 2019 near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta and called Eavor-Lite™ .

Eavor CEO Joh Redfern commented on the development, saying, What’s interesting about it is not just the money, which is always welcome. It’s the validation of being a small Canadian startup and getting one of these awards … It’s a new technology export industry for Alberta and for Canada based on what we do best.”

Graham Campbell

On 3 April 2023 former president of the Energy Council of Canada, Graham Campbell, passed away in Ottawa. 

Mr. Graham devoted his career to working in the energy sector. He began in the oil and gas industry and went on to work for the federal government in a number of capacities, before becoming the Executive Director of the Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre at Carleton University, and then president of the ECC.