Advancing Clean Energy in Remote Communities

As Canada looks to transition to a clean energy system, reducing diesel use in remote communities presents a significant challenge. Despite financial assistance from the federal government, the business case for clean energy projects in remote communities continues to be less than ideal. Without government support for capital costs, renewable energy projects at present are failing to attract private investment. To address this problem, this research project seeks to identify financial (e.g.

Deep retrofit strategies for long-term care facilities and multi-unit residential buildings

Deep retrofits are a holistic approach to increasing a building’s capacity to be resilient to and adapt to climate events, such as: heat waves, flooding, air pollution, and earthquakes. Deep retrofits also help to lower a building’s energy use and operational and embodied carbon emissions. Operational carbon emissions are the greenhouse gas emissions associated with daily operation of the building, while embodied carbon emissions are associated with the materials and processes used in construction of the building.

A Clean Energy Plan for CleanBC: Informing the development of BC’s clean energy future

CleanBC is British Columbia’s recent climate strategy outlining how the province plans to transition from fossil fuels to a clean and renewable energy system. The plan contains targets that are meant to set a pathway towards a more sustainable future; however, Pembina Institute recently recommended that the government develop a clean energy plan to back up the CleanBC strategy by outlining more specifically how clean energy is going to be used to achieve the province’s clean energy targets (Riehl, Tam Wu & Kniewasser, 2019).

An evaluation of alternatives to diesel fuel for use in Canada’s class 8 heavy-duty vehicles.

Canada has committed to combatting climate change. To do this, Canada must find ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the country’s most polluting sectors. Transportation accounts for roughly a quarter of the country’s total GHG emissions, and though electric vehicles have been identified as a promising strategy for passenger vehicles, a viable alternative to diesel for Canada’s trucking industry is unclear. This research will identify the most promising alternatives to diesel for implementation in Canada based on their ability to reduce GHG emissions at the lowest cost.

Inclusive and Accessible Energy Governance: Recommendations for the National Energy Board Modernization

A series of high-profile pipeline proposals and controversial changes to federal environmental legislative have created a “crisis of confidence” in the National Energy Board (NEB). As a result, the federal government has initiated a review and modernization of the NEB in conjunction with a broader review of federal environmental legislation. The purpose of this project is to support the Pembina Institute’s ongoing engagement in the NEB modernization process by undertaking policy research and developing recommendations to facilitate inclusive and accessible regulatory processes.

Remote Indigenous renewable energy projects: Establishing partnerships and fair power purchase agreements

Nearly all remote Indigenous communities in Canada rely on diesel power plants for electricity. In a few cases, renewable energy projects have already offset diesel power but developing such projects in northern Canada is difficult. Not only do remoteness and harsh winter conditions make development expensive but various policies regarding the cost of electricity create complex economic barriers. Of primary concern is reaching fair power purchase agreements between Indigenous communities and publicly owned utilities.

Leveraging Smart Growth via Ontario’s Climate Commitments

A strategic opportunity exists to integrate, strengthen and reform land use, transportation and municipal energy planning policies to address climate change goals in Ontario. The kinds of policies that reduce urban sprawl go hand in hand with climate policy, and vice versa. The project with the Pembina Institute, an organization committed to sustainable energy solutions, will analyze existing government initiatives and relevant government policies to determine opportunities for Green House Gas (GHG) reductions through policy modifications or additions.