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Bright ideas 2024

Driving Canada's energy transition

Powering Canada's future hinges on accurately predicting and effectively meeting the growing demand for electricity. To meet our 2050 decarbonization goals, we must innovate how energy is managed and adapt to an era of constant transformation.

The good news—we’re already making moves.

But the question remains: can our political, regulatory, and market systems effectively achieve the targets set for 2050? And can we ensure the energy transition is fair and equitable for all?

Our annual Bright ideas series continues with Driving Canada's energy transition: Six key priorities for leaders. This latest series explores the focus required to accelerate the transition, examining the challenges, and presenting the opportunities leaders can take to manage:

  • System and process optimization
  • Talent
  • Strategic direction
  • Growth
  • Supply chains
  • Regulation, risk, and security

Reimagining the energy grid: The path to a sustainable, net-zero future

A modernized grid is essential for transitioning to a clean energy future. And as energy demands become more unpredictable, enhancing the grid's robustness, intelligence, and adaptability is vital for avoiding further uncertainties.
For a smooth energy transition, our leaders must transform how grid systems operate. A grid that balances supply and demand based on local requirements with more decentralized control, will make for a more efficient shift to a greater reliance on renewable energy.

What needs to happen to achieve this future? We need:

  • • A more robust grid that can handle increased and variable loads and is hardened against weather, global warming, and security threats like cyberattacks
  • • To transition to more decentralized grid operations to improve adaptability and reduce reliance on central control
  • • An enhanced integration of energy efficiency and optimization for greater connectivity with other grids to help avoid overbuilding our infrastructure

The future of energy management demands innovative solutions and resilient infrastructures. Are you ready to lead the transition?

Meeting demand: Talent strategies for the Power, Utilities, and Renewables sector

Canada's energy industry is facing a significant talent shortage.
In the race to meet rising energy demands and decarbonization goals, Canada is making significant investments in infrastructure. While this presents tremendous opportunities for the Power, Utilities, and Renewables (PU&R) sector, one of its biggest challenges is finding the right people with the right skills to drive these projects when skilled workers are in scarce supply yet high demand.

What can leaders in Canada's PU&R sector do to attract top talent and expand their talent pools?

  • • Rethink strategies to attract and retain skilled talent
  • • Redefine workplace flexibility
  • • Embrace the power of emerging technologies

The talent race is heating up—it's time to lead the way for the sake of the energy transition.

The rise of collective action: Unlocking value in the Power, Utilities, and Renewables sector

Meeting Canada's decarbonization and electrification targets requires a unified effort throughout the Power, Utilities, and Renewables (PU&R) sector. With many uncertainties at play, it's clear that no single company can deliver the energy transition in isolation; instead, it requires the collaborative effort of players throughout the sector and beyond to develop effective, scalable, and sustainable solutions.

We're seeing a shift toward more innovative collaboration and information-sharing models, paving the way for a more integrated approach to working toward net-zero. But as our leaders learn to navigate the evolving energy transition, new strategies for working together will be needed to effectively implemented in support of reaching Canada’s 2050 decarbonization goals.
What should our leaders address first?

  • • System planning: Utilities must come together to develop innovative, system-wide energy plans to guide resource allocation
  • • Infrastructure development: Building the infrastructure for our future energy system will require unprecedented public-private partnerships, innovative business models, and extensive ecosystem engagement
  • • Technology innovation: As real progress requires the seamless sharing of information and resources, the PU&R sector must adopt open innovation models to accelerate technological advancements

Collaboration sparks success. It's time for energy companies to work together to power a net-zero future for Canada.

Growing energy-efficient electric infrastructure: A massive undertaking and opportunity

Amid the global and national focus on climate action plans, Canada is preparing for significant growth in advanced technologies to help drive its decarbonization journey. This transformative phase not only positions Canada as a leader in responding to the global climate crisis, but also as an innovator in sustainable energy practices.

As we transition from vision to execution, leaders must consider:

  • • Adapting to evolving needs and expectations: Electric and gas utilities, regulatory bodies, energy commissions, system operators, governments, consumers, and industry stakeholders must work together. Their unified efforts are vital to enhancing energy affordability, reliability, and sustainability.
  • • Incorporating new roles for old and emerging players: A decarbonized economy requires an inclusive approach. As we move away from reliance on conventional methods, emerging technologies and companies must bring distributed energy resources into play.

The vision for a sustainable energy system is clear—it's time to transition from conceptualization to action.

Mitigating supply chain disruptions in preparation for increased electricity demand

Canada's Power, Utilities, and Renewables (PU&R) sector is actively preparing to boost its electricity generation capacity to help meet national decarbonization targets. With significant investments from governments and the private sector, and the modernization of existing infrastructure, the energy sector must adopt more robust supply chain strategies to ensure all operations are sustainable, efficient, and adaptable.

How can leaders structure supply chains to support industry growth?

  • • Plan ahead, drive visibility, and reimagine supply chains for enhanced scalability
  • • Expand automation and robotics to improve operational efficiency and precision
  • • Remap skills and workforce planning to address resource scarcity

Together, we can optimize today’s supply chains and pave the way for infrastructure that’s ready for tomorrow.

Compliance and regulatory risk: Building an energy transition road map

Though the transition presents numerous opportunities for Canada's Power, Utilities, and Renewables (PU&R) leaders, it also intensifies existing challenges, increasing the complexity and risks in an already demanding environment.

This shift requires organizations to rethink their approaches to managing risk and compliance, moving away from outdated approaches. As regulations rapidly evolve to keep pace with technological, social, and geopolitical shifts, we must adopt more robust, technology-driven approaches to compliance.

How can Canada's leaders effectively embrace innovative compliance strategies?

  • • Implement an integrated corporate compliance framework to unify and strengthen efforts across departments.
  • • Develop a robust enterprise technology compliance strategy that aligns with evolving regulations and technologies.
  • • Foster effective training, change management, and organizational awareness programs to ensure that all team members are equipped and responsive.
  • • Establish comprehensive measures to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities at the enterprise level and safeguard critical infrastructure.

We have the power to transform the PU&R sector for a sustainable future. Ready to switch on a cleaner future for Canada?

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