On the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on climate change, COP27, Nergica asked the experts invited to its second Transition Solutions Symposium what the greatest challenges to the energy transition are. Join them, November 15, to discuss concrete solutions to be rapidly implemented in a bid to accelerate the transition.

TSS : What are the biggest challenges to the energy transition?

Yvan Cliche

Yvan Cliche’s answer :Fellow, Senior Energy Researcher, Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM)

One of the biggest challenges to the energy transition is the capacity to garner and sustain continuous public support and commitment for this vast transformation, with a sound balance between energy security and cost. The energy transition will likely be chaotic, unpredictable, highly variable from country to country, and partly driven by crises. It will take bold and pragmatic decision-making, as well as a broad and inclusive coalition of people, to make this transition a clear benefit for all.

Stuart Galloway

Stuart Galloway’s answer:Executive Vice President / Western Canada, Société de financement et d’accompagnement en performance énergétique (SOFIAC)

I believe there are many challenges facing the energy transition, not the least of which is ourselves. We are spending far too much time analyzing and studying our consumption and how we might technically do better without considering how best to finance such an undertaking. When we do consider the cost of such a transition, most projects are quickly abandoned or we simply go after the low-hanging fruit, as that is all our budgets allow for. We need to look at the long term, building/portfolio solutions and consider the full life cost of facilities and it needs to be considered as a business decision at C-suite level. Only when we consider the whole asset life picture can we properly undertake a transition.

Brandy Giannetta

Brandy Giannetta’s answer:Vice-President, Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Canadian Renewable Energy Association

“Getting solar panels on every rooftop in Canada. In order to decarbonize and electrify our economy, Canada must double or triple its current electricity generation capacity. At least 2/3 of that new electricity must come from wind and solar. We need to empower consumers to double down on solar installations while we also work to expand our utility-scale wind and solar generation capability. There is no time to waste – we must accelerate the expansion of our grid while simultaneously decarbonizing existing generation.”

Chaines de valeurs

Sara M. Alvarado’s answer:Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Finance

“Understanding value chains: as we transition from oil and gas exploration and development, production, processing/refining, transportation (pipelines, shipping/rail), storage, distribution (gas stations, industry), users (cars, trucks, industrial), to energy generation, storage, transmission, distribution (EV charging infrastructure), electric cars, vans and trucks, it is important to understand the value chains within the context of supply/demand to make the transition as smooth and stable as possible.”

Mark Chapeskie’s answer:Vice President of Program Development, Electricity Human Resources Canada

“One of the greatest challenges we face in the energy transition is finding and upskilling enough people to do the hard work of transitioning the economy knowing that many of these resources require five years of training and work to be fully proficient in their respective roles – and we have to do this in a labour market that is incredibly tight across industries largely due to retirements.