It became clear in the discussion that the industry experts agreed with the top priority recommendation of developing a decision tree for future direction in energy pathways in BC. They agreed that the most effective pathway toward GHG reduction in BC will require a variety of technical and market solutions and that different infrastructure systems within the energy sector need to be integrated.
From the First Nations perspective, Cole Sayers commented that traded solutions as well as a call for independent power production are needed and of interest to First Nations communities.
One of the opportunities discussed was to create a consortium of stakeholders in the energy sector (representative of the Helix-5). However, in the BC and Canadian context, there is no such institutional infrastructure that links research from the labs up to the policy makers to enable those actions.
The participants agreed that the CORE Cleantech Cluster plays an essential role in supporting the objectives and helping the province to achieve its emission goals. In relation to the energy sector, the experts see the following CORE Cluster recommendations of particular relevance:
- Engagement opportunities with First Nations, including capacity building.
- Supporting research and commercialization of distributed energy projects including electricity, renewable gas and carbon capture.
- Bringing stakeholders from research to industry to government with different perspectives together to exchange their insights and solutions. This will be critical for filling the gaps we outlined and addressing the fundamental changes.
Special thanks to our guest speakers Mark Warren, Director in FortisBC, Madeleine McPherson, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at University of Victoria, and Cole Sayers, BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiatives Coordinator from New Relationship Trust.