Diversify and Manage Power with Policy Coherence

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 09/01/2016

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Globally expert panels and reviews have advised their government leaders to diversify their energy portfolio for meeting clean energy targets and for national energy security.   Electricity is the only energy form that can support modern society requirements in telecommunications; transportation; manufacturing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; health technologies; and defense.  If society moves towards an electricity-based energy-infrastructure, then government can manage diversification and energy security by managing electrical generation to include various forms for base load and peak demand as needed and according to available natural resources.

To achieve this goal, improvements in efficiency and power-delivery is required to fully meet the needs of some of these sectors.  For example, electric vehicles currently entering the marketplace are predominantly for the consumer market and not heavy equipment.  Another example is the cost per heating unit encourages the use of fossil fuels and natural gas for heating instead of electricity.  Research targeting these improvements could be initiated by targeted government funds available to all R&D organizations.

Another impediment is conflicting government policies.  For example, programs are proposed to promote purchasing electric vehicles, but the cost of electricity is increasing rapidly (especially in Ontario).  Similarly, education belt-tightening leads to reduced funding for bus transportation resulting in more cars making individual trips to the school—this is contrary to goals of reducing fossil fuel emissions.  While energy and education are provincial jurisdiction, the federal government could provide direction, incentives and oversight to help ensure Canada meets national and international commitments.

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