How fast can the Energy Transition take place? How do we know the global economy has begun to make that transition? Is it possible to achieve an "energy turnaround" by 2100? These are some of the questions at the heart of an ambitious new Resource Works project.
While the Energy Transition is driven by new technologies, the pace of the transition will be influenced by consumer choices and government policies. Understanding the Energy Transition is key to making good choices and enacting sound policy, especially now that Canada is committed to decarbonization goals under the Paris Climate Accord. Get it right, and the Canadian and provincial economies can be stronger and more competitive in the low-carbon future. Get it wrong, and Canada can damage both its economy and its climate mitigation efforts.
Energy writer Markham Hislop takes Resource Works on a seven-part journey of understanding:
1. Energy transition - what does it look like? [PUBLISHED]
- How my energy transition model works: how I track "accelerators" and "constraints" to adoption, then compare them to the 50-year diffusion rule of thumb.
- Top constraints: high capital cost/price, low value to consumers, culture/marketing
- Top accelerators: high value, lower cost
2. Public policy - can govts speed up the energy transition?
Canada's commitments under Paris Climate Accord
BC climate plan
Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan
3. Power generation - what does the new power generation model look like?
Smart grids enable new power generation models
Evolution away from coal, which will hang around for decades yet
Renewables and natural gas become partners
Storage just getting started
5. Buildings and homes - energy efficiency
Is energy efficiency the low hanging fruit?
Net zero homes
Energy efficient commercial buildings
6. Industry - decarbonizing how we make stuff
Replacing fossil fuels with electricity
"Decarbonizing roadmaps" for industry
7. The future of fossil fuels
- Coal is top of the international hit list, but Asia keeps building coal power plants
- Oil is going to be around longer than most people think
- Natural gas has become a bridge fuel, production will grow for decades