Formed around five strategic pillars, EPIC has developed a
blueprint it believes will help Canada establish itself as a global
energy leader in a world where the demand for and importance of
energy is continuously growing.
"EPIC has led the conversation on a Canadian energy strategy for
the last two and a half years. We have seen it grow from an idea
shared by a small few to a national conversation," said Doug
Black, president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada.
"Canadians are coming to realize that a national approach to energy
can benefit everyone regardless of what province they live in and
that today is the opportunity to use our energy to our utmost
advantage," he added.
In its paper presented to provincial and
federal governments, EPIC outlines 39 recommendations across five
pillars that the group feels are key to Canada's global energy
leadership: regulatory reform, innovation, energy literacy and
conservation, market diversification and carbon
Early in EPIC's discussions, Canada's regulatory system was
identified as a potential obstacle in maximizing the value of the
country's energy resources. Canada has a strong regulatory system
but one that has been riddled with duplication and redundancy,
leading to unnecessary delays in the process and uncertain
timelines that can dissuade companies from investing in Canadian
energy projects. Streamlining the process and ensuring a more set
regulatory timeline are important recommendations made by EPIC to
help the regulatory system operate more effectively.
Key among recent developments in the energy sector has been the
debate surrounding market diversification. With the overwhelming
amount of Canadian energy being exported to the United States,
evidence that Canadian energy resources may be worth more overseas
has resulted in a greater push for increased exports to Europe and
Asia. To allow greater exports overseas, EPIC supports the need to
develop appropriate infrastructure to find the best and most
profitable global markets for Canadian energy products. Given our
geographic location, overseas exports are necessary to diversifying
Canada's energy trading partners.
"It's vitally important that Canada finds the best possible
markets for its energy exports," said Gerry Protti, one of EPIC's
Board members, "But policies on production and regulation of the
resource are still only a part of the puzzle. EPIC strongly
supports building Canadians' understanding of energy and empowering
them to become part of Canada's energy leadership as well."
Energy Literacy and Conservation
Understanding that by using less energy, Canada extends its
resources and can increase the resource value, EPIC has suggested
the development of a shared national vision on energy conservation
and literacy supported by all levels of government. EPIC further
supports a recommendation from the environmental organization,
Pollution Probe, to develop a Canadian Centre for Energy Learning
to further Canadian's understanding and respect for the country's
greatest source of wealth and prosperity.
Becoming a global energy leader is not just about how many
barrels of oil can be produced or how many megavolts of power are
created. In order to establish true leadership, Canada must
continually push the envelope and find new ways to advance the
energy industry and improve both economic and environmental
performance. In its recommendations, EPIC has made increased
investment in innovation- both from private industry and from
government- a top priority.
"Canada has played a lead role in
developing many new energy technologies and extraction techniques
that have changed the face of the industry. Now is the time to
further encourage Canadian ingenuity and encourage companies and
the government to work together to discover new avenues of
scientific research that will create the energy industry of
tomorrow." Gerry Protti, EPIC Board member
EPIC's recommendations to foster innovation centre around the
idea of creating "innovation clusters" - collaborations of a broad
spectrum of industry players, including producers, academics,
suppliers, service providers and non-governmental organizations.
The clusters would focus on enabling technology development that
would, in turn, inspire new ideas from other members of the cluster
in related areas - creating a holistic improvement across a given
Carbon management is an incredibly complex issue and finding the
best solution requires more time and study. EPIC has recommended
that a joint committee of all Energy and Environment Ministers
undertake a dedicated review of carbon management alternatives to
make a recommendation to governments.
The complete development of a Canadian energy strategy is a
monumentally complex task and, although EPIC has taken the first
difficult steps to establish a framework, more work is needed. At
July's Council of Federation, provincial Premiers committed to
advance work on an energy strategy. Over the next several weeks,
EPIC will be meeting with various political representatives across
Canada to brief them on the Framework.
"No one said building a strategy would be easy. If it was, it
would already be done," said Black, "There are hurdles to overcome
but we urge governments to continue to push the agenda so Canada
does not lose this opportunity to be a global energy leader and
other countries claim the benefits that should be ours."
EPIC's final report has been released to all federal and
provincial leaders as well as all energy ministries. For more
information on EPIC or to download a copy of the report, visit www.canadasenergy.ca/.