Yesterday saw the gathering of nearly 700 stakeholders, experts, and industry leaders take part in “the conversation of a generation” as part of the first day of the Generation Energy Conference, a project spearheaded by the Hon. Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources. The day kicked off with the minister calling on Canada’s varied energy industry “all-stars” to put aside their differences and egos and come together as a team and reimagine how Canada’s energy mix will look in the next 50-100 years.
The day’s plenary sessions and breakout groups illustrated that the federal government believes that there is only one way that Canada can meet its climate change energy reduction targets – innovation. Minister Carr and the various speakers emphasized that each segment in the energy industry will have an important part to play in meeting these goals but how the country gets there will be up to innovators and the markets. However, it was emphasized that this multi-sector approach did not mean that things would stay the same for traditional energy sources like oil and gas. Instead, there will be a concerted push for Canada’s oil and gas sector to become the cleanest and greenest in the world, using it a lever to accelerate growth in related areas.
Overall, the day focused on how to bring Canada’s abundant renewable energy in line to be the economic drivers of the future, with a renewed focus on a digitized and fully integrated power system.
Key Themes – Day One
- Innovation and Technology as pathway to a low-carbon future
- First Nations energy and inclusive prosperity
- Traditional Energy sources as a bridge to Canada’s Energy Future
Innovation and Technology as pathway to a low-carbon future
Several of the day’s plenary and breakout sessions focused on how Canada could drive innovation forward in its various energy sectors. Several key panellists called upon both the government and industry leaders to make serious investments in new and novel technologies in order for Canada to reduce its overall emissions and build the economy of the future.
Indigenous energy and inclusive prosperity
National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Minister Carr, and former National Chief Fontaine spoke on the need to bring Canada’s Indigenous Peoples to the table when it comes to energy development in Canada. It was emphasized that it was time for our country to continue addressing our shared past by building bridges through a sharing of the land and the abundant energy with it possesses.
Traditional Energy sources as a bridge to Canada’s Energy Future
Large legacy hydro assets, nuclear power, and the oil and gas sectors were all discussed at length during the day’s sessions, with these three areas being seen as key areas of strength for Canada, and a place from which to continue growing, innovating and diversifying Canada’s energy sector. Oil and gas were particularly held up as a key player on the global market, with clean Canadian natural gas being discussed as a way for the world to transition from coal power.
Looking ahead to today
Today’s session will see a continued focus on innovation and the continued push for an integrated Canadian energy economy, one that doesn’t just focus on a particular segment of the sector but, on a multi-pronged approach to tackling the pressing issue of climate change and global warming.