Tuesday, June 4th at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, Toronto
More than 250 hundred business leaders, entrepreneurs and policy makers gathered at the fifth annual National Energy Roundtable for discussions on Innovation and disruption: the energy sector in transition.
As Canada’s energy needs expand, we have a collective challenge – to develop our infrastructure and energy mix in a way that provides affordable electricity, transportation and heating whilst decarbonizing. Canada has the potential to become a global leader in transforming energy systems. However, carbon emissions continue to rise and consensus on what the country’s energy future should look like has been elusive.
One thing is certain: as energy needs change and expand, technological innovation and disruption is becoming the norm. An estimated $350 billion in power, utility and transport investments are required over the next twenty years to replace aging infrastructure and develop the next generation of energy systems.
Delegates joined the leaders who are shaping Canada’s energy future at the National Energy Roundtable conference for discussion on how this transition is taking place. Topics included:
Conference delegates closed the day at a reception on the 51st floor terrace of The One Eighty atop the Manulife Centre on Bloor Street for food, drink and sunset views of the Toronto skyline.
|MC||Jason Langrish, President, The Energy Roundtable|
|8:00 am||Registration opens. Breakfast served|
|8:35 am||Accelerating energy transition. The conflicting nature between a continued increase in demand for energy and the global anticipation of a carbon constrained future requires that stakeholders in the energy sector revise their strategies for long-term growth and development. Natural gas is expanding to replace coal and diesel, as it serves as a reliable partner for renewable energy sources and for electrifying industrial processes and freight transport. As provinces push clean energy policies, they are also investigating how they can adapt heating, power generation, utility grids and business models for emerging resources. Nearly every province is taking regulatory or legislative action on grid modernization or utility business model reform, including on questions of advanced metering infrastructure, storage deployment, data access and revenue reforms. The panel will explore how regulatory approaches and business strategies are evolving as we seek to balance affordable energy security and sustainability.
Discussion led by: Thomas Timmins, Partner, Gowling WLG
|9:20 am||Fireside chat on innovation and its role in the evolution of the electricity system: Terry Young, Vice President, Policy, Engagement and Innovation, Independent Electric System Operator (IESO). Discussion led by Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation|
|9:45 am||Energy Ministers discussion with the Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Ontario and Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Quebec. Discussion led by Tom Clark, Chair, Global Public Affairs|
|10:30 am||Networking break|
|11:00 am||National electrification strategy. Electricity provides a tremendous potential competitive advantage in a world focused on carbon reduction. Canada has abundant capacity to create and distribute electricity, but its electricity story is one of feast coexisting with famine: a patchwork of systems improvised over time with disparate outcomes. Provinces have each attempted to be self-sufficient and there is little interprovincial trade to take advantage of strengths and weaknesses, and no national strategy in this area of provincial jurisdiction. A unified national grid andelectrification strategy that addresses transport, heating and cooling processes in buildings and the electrification of Canada’s industrial and manufacturing processes should be a priority. The panel will examine how a pan-Canadian electricity strategy is the basis for turning what is at times a vulnerability into a national competitive advantage.
Discussion led by: Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation
|11:40 am||Where is the smart money going? Evolving business models, portfolio rationalization and growth opportunities are driving competition in the North American power and utilities industry. Buyers are pursuing deals to bolt on growth opportunities and enhance their business models, while sellers are attracted to deals to shore up balance sheets, rationalize portfolios and monetize investments at attractive valuations.Within the sector, many component parts need investment ranging from upgrading legacy systems to building new capabilities. Investment in renewable, clean energy is increasing. Furthermore, new transmission lines are needed to connect areas rich in renewable energy resources to major load sites. There is also the infrastructure aspect behind the power, such as a natural gas fuel supply delivered through pipelines or liquefied natural gas terminals. The panel will examine future trends in financing and M&A in the power and utilities sector.
Session chair: Tom Rand, Managing Partner, ArcTern Ventures
|12:20 pm||Luncheon. Fireside keynote discussion (at 1:00 pm) with Ken Hartwick, President & CEO, Ontario Power Generation. Discussion led by Tom Clark, Chair, Global Public Affairs|
|1:25 pm||The role of nuclear in the energy mix. Energy demand is growing at a faster pace than ever before. Overlaid with climate change and recent UN reports that highlights the urgent and immediate need for deep decarbonization, what are the real solutions? Clean energy is a given but how do we get there? Is it renewables? Hydro? Nuclear? Hydrogen? Electrification of transportation? “Yes” is the answer. We need diversity in energy supply to meet our carbon reduction goals, while balancing the market demands of economic growth and human desire for quality of life. This panel will examine “the energy mix” from hydrogen to nuclear and how we can get there together.
Session chair: Mark Lesinski, CEO, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL)
|2:05 pm||DERs and grid optimization. Historically, we’ve had a pretty one-sided relationship with energy. We use energy from the grid, we pay the bill, and the cycle continues. We live in an age of disruption where theevolution and integration of high tech solutions is creating rapidly growing markets for new products. As renewable energy and storage technologies become cheaper, increasing numbers of utility customers are installing them at their homes and businesses to cut power costs and meet environmental goals. When applied to the energy sector, Blockchain can further enable DERs that allow people trade energy among themselves, seamlessly connecting producers with investors who are willing to pay upfront for the right to consume energy. Panelists will discuss the technical advances, business models and policy frameworks needed to contribute to a lasting transformation of the energy sector.
Discussion led by: Jane Allen, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Innovation, Hydro One
|2:45 pm||Networking break|
|3:00 pm||Energy storage: The Holy Grail for sustainable energy systems? As energy systems decarbonize, many see the current boom in natural gas generation as a “bridge” to a low-carbon future — providing dispatchable power to balance out intermittent renewables on their systems. Advancements in battery technology, however, could make that bridge shorter than anticipated. California recently approved four battery projects that will mark the first time that multiple major power plants will be replaced with battery storage. While smaller in scale, the recent growth in utility-size batteries has been outpaced by behind-the-meter installations, which grew more than 300% in 2018 alone. As batteries become cheaper they hold promise not just as stationary sources of power, but mobile ones as well. Electric vehicles could provide an important source of power demand growth for generators and utilities, as well as opportunities to use the vehicles’ batteries to meet grid needs. The panel will examine the advances that are crucial if we are to meet our ambition for energy storage.
Discussion led by: Kathleen Kauth, Director, Transactive Energy, Peak Power Inc.
|3:40 pm||Data is the new oil. Digital technologies are making energy systems more transparent and intelligent, triggering new business models and regulatory frameworks. Data collection and exchange are growing exponentially and competition for customers is shifting to the online channel where the Internet of Things promises new product and management options. Utilities now have competition from Tesla, Google and telecom companies. The pace of this change is partly due to rapid digitization and intelligent machines in our homes and buildings means there is more two-way flow of information. If energy systems are digitalizing, the evidence of this is even more apparent in how quickly our homes are going through rapid digitalization, playing out in the form of the connected home and removing the need for utility services. The panel will examine the convergence of data from electrification, transport and telecoms and discuss what it means for infrastructure planning, integrity and cyber security considerations.
Discussion led by: Tonja Leach, Executive Director, QUEST
|Close by Jason Langrish, President, The Energy Roundtable
Cocktail reception at The One Eighty
Programme is subject to change