Update from Net Zero Atlantic

Atlantic Canadian policymakers, businesses, and households are confronted with many “what if” questions about the future of the region’s energy system. Energy system models can provide the structure and transparency needed to explore these questions and to enable informed and inclusive decision-making on the path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

In this context, Net Zero Atlantic (NZA) and the Energy Modelling Hub (EMH) hosted the inaugural regional Atlantic Canadian Energy System Modelling Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 12th and 13th, 2023.

With a focus on taking theory to practice, the conference featured a diverse mix of presentations, panels, and interactive sessions focused on exploring how energy system modelling can support Atlantic Canada’s transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The inaugural conference attracted well over 100 policymakers, business leaders, utility representatives, researchers, and energy system modelers from across Atlantic Canada and beyond, with a deliberate focus on:

  1. facilitating and enabling regional collaboration around energy system planning; and,
  2. integrating Atlantic Canada with the national energy system modelling community.

Day 1 of the event featured several thematic speaker sessions with a focus on critical, current energy system topics in Atlantic Canada including: interregional transmission and using energy system modelling to explore the Atlantic Loop, grid decarbonization, distributed energy resources, long-term energy storage, and more.

In Day 2, NZA and EMH facilitated a series of panels to help Conference attendees put energy system modelling insights into practice, and to define next steps for the energy system modelling community in Atlantic Canada.

“The inaugural Atlantic Canadian Energy System Modelling Conference should be viewed as a resounding success – congratulations to Net Zero Atlantic and the Energy Modelling Hub for organizing a timely and extremely relevant event. Energy system modelling can be used to determine how both supply and demand side solutions can be combined to achieve an affordable, reliable, and decarbonized electricity supply for Atlantic Canada – we need to focus on relevant and integrated regional modelling inputs, assumptions and scenarios as part of the net-zero planning process for New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.”

– Neil Jacobsen, Senior Policy Consultant, Atlantica Centre for Energy

The importance of energy system modelling is further reinforced by the recent release of Canada’s Energy Future 2023: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2050 by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). Canada’s Energy Future 2023 focuses on the challenge of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For the first time, the CER uses economic and energy models to explore net-zero scenarios to help Canadians and policy makers see what a net-zero world could look like. The scenarios cover all energy commodities and all Canadian provinces and territories.

Stay tuned!

Outcomes from the inaugural regional Atlantic Canadian Energy System Modelling Conference and presentations approved for public circulation will be posted on the Energy Modelling Hub: www.cme-emh.ca.