The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s annual Energy Forum, presented by Bennett Jones, put a spotlight on British Columbia and western Canada's position in the worldwide clean technology and energy market. I moderated a panel on the potential for export leadership—at a time when the demand for reliable, sustainable sources of responsibly produced, low-carbon intensive energy is resounding across the globe.
In 2004, Alberta's Transmission Regulation established the framework for the planning and development of Alberta’s electricity transmission infrastructure. Its intent was to attract new generation, increase competition, and serve expected increases in load. The regulation has remained largely unchanged since 2004. Meanwhile, the electricity system has experienced significant changes—in part due to the dramatic increase in the amount of intermittent renewable power generation facilities connecting to the grid.
As a frontrunner in the energy industry for the last century, Bennett Jones was proud to be the title sponsor of the GVBOT's 2023 Energy Forum. The conference provided the setting for highlighting Western Canada's significant role in the future of global clean technology and the energy sector.
In 2016, the Province of Alberta passed the Renewable Electricity Act, cementing its commitment to increasing the amount of green energy produced in Alberta, with a goal of 30 percent of Alberta's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030. Since that time, the number and size of renewables projects in Alberta, particularly utility-scale wind and solar projects, have grown rapidly. In 2022, Alberta accounted for over three-quarters of all new wind and solar capacity growth in Canada, and the Alberta Electric System Operator has projected that renewables will account for 30 percent of the Province’s generation by 2026.
The Supreme Court of Canada released its opinion regarding the constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA) and the Physical Activities Regulations on Friday, October 13. In a five to two majority opinion written by the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the IAA was largely unconstitutional. Lawyers at Bennett Jones LLP who argued the case for Alberta at the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada discussed this significant opinion and its implications for major project development in Canada as well as generally the regulation of matters related to the environment including what impact the opinion may have on new and proposed federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The concept of deploying nuclear reactors as a carbon-free source of energy is gaining momentum in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. This article explores recent promising developments in this space and discusses some of the challenges that lay ahead for those seeking to develop small modular reactors in Canada.
Marshall Eidinger discusses EV adoption and opportunities in the Moving Energy Forward podcast series, hosted by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.
Passed on May 30, 2019, the British Columbia Zero-Emission Vehicles Act requires automakers, and indirectly their dealers, to sell or lease an escalating percentage of new zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) vs. new internal combustion engine vehicles in the province, and to reach certain milestones: 10 percent ZEVs by 2025, 30 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040. Bill 39-2023, the Zero-Emission Vehicles Amendment Act, 2023, has been introduced in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. If passed, it will increase the milestones to: 26 percent ZEVs by 2026, 90 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035.
The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has issued an opinion that the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) and its Physical Activities Regulations are largely unconstitutional.
A key component to the success of any RNG project is ensuring there is a regulatory plan established at the outset.
The global energy industry took centre stage in Canada as the 24th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) was held in Calgary from September, 2023, addressing the theme of Energy Transition: The Path to Net Zero. In this special edition of Bennett Jones' quarterly M&A update, we look at deal activity in Canada's energy sector and what the key takeaways from WPC might tell us about what's to come. We also step outside of the energy world to assess new business opportunities in Alberta being created by the province's new Captive Insurance Companies Act.
As demand for Carbon Capture Utilization Storage (CCUS) technology increases, energy producers across Canada can capitalize on emerging opportunities. Bennett Jones had the privilege of being named the Official Legal Sponsor of the 24th World Petroleum Congress: a platform we leveraged to showcase our 101 years of expertise across the spectrum of the energy industry. Bennett Jones was also the Calgary Chamber Feature Member in the lead-up to the event including an insightful interview with Managing Partner Pat Maguire.
On the fourth and final day of the 2023 World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Bennett Jones' Shawn Munro and Luke Morrison spoke with conference attendees about biofuels and renewable natural gas from both regulatory and commercial perspectives. They also discussed how sustainable aviation fuel is critical for the decarbonization of the aviation industry.
There is a lot of noise around using artificial intelligence (AI) in the energy industry. Bennett Jones' Sébastien Gittens helped make sense of it on Day Three of the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. He spoke with conference attendees about how AI is being used right now and what energy companies should consider when onboarding it.
On Day Two of the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Kevin Myson and Jessica Kennedy spoke about what matters the most in hydrogen production in Canada and why carbon capture, storage and utilization plays such an important part.
Day One of the 24th World Petroleum Congress kicked off in Calgary today as 5,000 delegates from more than 100 countries have come together to help define realistic, workable paths to a net zero future. Bennett Jones is the Official Legal Sponsor of WPC 2023 and the firm is hosting Meet the Expert and Knowledge Connect sessions with our energy partners throughout the week. Today, Pat Maguire and Martin Ignasiak spoke about the role of Canada as a global energy supplier, how to make Canada more competitive and why more and more people are realizing that the energy question is not a simple one.
As a frontrunner in the energy industry for the last century, Bennett Jones is proud to be the Official Legal Sponsor of the 24th World Petroleum Congress. The conference provides a unique opportunity to work together to develop realistic and workable paths to a net-zero future.
A recent report—jointly published by the International Energy Agency and the European Patent Office—earlier this year, highlights the growing number of patent filings in the hydrogen sector.
The Honourable Jason Kenney served as the 18th Premier of Alberta, where he led the development and diversification of the province's energy sector, built partnerships with Indigenous communities and created new opportunities for businesses to grow and attract investment. As the start of the World Petroleum Congress 2023 nears in Calgary, Jason shares his insights on the Canadian oil & gas industry and this year's theme of the energy transition and the path to net zero.
On August 4, 2023, the Federal Government released proposed legislation for the Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit (Clean Tech ITC), as proposed by the 2022 Fall Economic Statement (the 2022 FES) and as modified by Budget 2023. The proposed legislation largely conforms to what was previously announced, as we previously discussed following the original announcement of the Clean Tech ITC in the 2022 FES.
In an unprecedented move, the Alberta Minister of Affordability and Utilities issued a surprise announcement on August 3, 2023, that the Alberta Utilities Commission was directed to pause approvals in respect of new renewable electricity generation projects until at least February 29, 2024, to facilitate a review of the policies and procedures for the development of renewable electricity generation.
We are excited to be attending the LNG 2023 conference where global players in the LNG industry will come together to discuss and showcase the latest industry developments and opportunities in LNG.
Demand for helium has grown rapidly in recent years, which has spurred increased exploration and development activities in Canada. Helium is listed on the Government of Canada's critical minerals list, which identifies 31 minerals and metals considered "essential for the sustainable economic success of Canada and its trading partners."
The 2023 Canadian Hydrogen Convention (CHC) recently took place in Edmonton, Alberta, bringing together over 8,000 industry leaders, stakeholders, and government officials from across Canada and around the world. CHC 2023 sent a loud and clear message that Canada is ready for large-scale, low-carbon hydrogen production and that the entire hydrogen value chain is ripe for investment.
Federal and provincial policies are creating a new landscape for zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) manufacturers, importers and suppliers, charging companies and investors to Canada. Opportunities and considerations include: a proposed national sales mandate for ZEVs; purchase incentives that vary by province; new frameworks for ZEV charging infrastructure; and a new compliance credit system.
Approximately 24 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. Legislation and regulations are being used to address these emissions by bringing in mandatory requirements. In addition to legislative and regulatory requirements, battery electric and other zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) are increasingly becoming a part of climate change strategy through initiatives offered to public and private sector entities to convert their carbon fuel fleets to ZEV fleets.
Keely Cameron and Nathan Green write in CBA National on the opportunity for Canada to use ESG reporting to differentiate Canadian resources and provide greater global energy security through comprehensive, verifiable and measurable reporting. They describe why it is clear from the supply constraints imposed on the world that there is, and will continue to be, an important role for Canadian oil and gas in the years to come.
Momentum in the global hydrogen market continued to pick up at the recently completed COP27 climate summit in Egypt. Deals and partnerships were announced throughout the conference by governments and private companies—particularly between Europe and Africa.
A Leap Toward Net-Zero Power In Saskatchewan: SaskPower Approves 700 MW of New Renewables ProcurementNovember 24, 2022
SaskPower, the Crown corporation responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Saskatchewan, announced on November 7, 2022, that it will add up to 700 megawatts of renewable generation by 2027 with a wind/solar mix of 400 MW of new wind generation capacity and 300 MW of new solar generation capacity in south-central Saskatchewan.
Radha Curpen writes for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on some of the ways companies are embedding ESG principles into their core business strategy.
Canadian Investment Tax Credits for Clean Technologies and Clean Hydrogen Announced in 2022 Fall Economic StatementNovember 15, 2022
One of the defining aspects of the Government of Canada's 2022 Fall Economic Statement that was announced on November 3, 2022, is its response to the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States. The IRA, signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, 2022, offers enormous financial incentives to the clean energy industry in the transition to a net-zero economy.
On October 25, 2022, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announced it is investing $970 million towards Canada’s first small modular reactor (SMR). The agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) supports the development and construction of a 300-megawatt SMR next to OPG’s existing 3,500-megawatt Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.
The Energy Disruptors: Unite 2022 conference took place in Calgary recently, bringing together trailblazing "disruptors", ranging from industry leaders to institutional investors to award winning journalists and bestselling authors. With a goal of shifting perspectives to see global energy challenges as opportunities, EDU offers a conduit for global energy, mobility and climate solutions by "leaning in" on difficult conversations and boldly exploring complex topics.
Canadian Municipalities Increasingly Support Climate Change Litigation Against Oil and Gas CompaniesAugust 10, 2022
Canadian municipalities are passing motions to explore options for recovering climate change-related costs from oil and gas companies.
Jason Roth, Geoffrey Stenger and Victoria Tulk write in Alberta Solar Review on key considerations for solar project developers when entering into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
As Alberta continues to diversify its economy, the province has seen significant growth and investment in recent years in the development of renewable projects. Renewable natural gas is one such area gaining increased attention in Alberta. In this blog, we provide an overview of the initial-stage regulatory considerations for RNG projects in Alberta.
The federal Canadian Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations (OCSR) and the Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR), under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, respectively, have recently come into force. Both the OCSR and the CFR represent important legislative components which underpin Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction aspirations, as set forth in Canada's 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan.
Achieving Net Zero by 2050: The MMV Plan as a Fundamental Component to Carbon Sequestration OperationsJune 23, 2022
The Government of Canada adopted the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in 2021 that sets an ambitious emissions reduction target of 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels and net-zero by 2050, followed by the introduction of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan on March 29, 2022 for achieving those legislative requirements. In that regard, the net-zero transition exposes all sectors of the economy to disruption, and along with the upstream oil and gas sector, are facing increased scrutiny of their commercial operations, including environmental, social and governance objectives.
Michael Whitt comments in the Globe and Mail on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for global sharing of intellectual property to jump-start the renewable energy transition. Guterres made his remarks at the release of the World Meteorological Organization's State of the Global Climate 2021 Report.
Alberta Court of Appeal Releases Reference Opinion on Constitutionality of the Federal Impact Assessment ActMay 11, 2022
The Province of Alberta referred two constitutional questions to the Alberta Court of Appeal: a) whether the federal Impact Assessment Act (IAA), part of Bill C-69, is unconstitutional in whole; and b) whether certain regulations made under the IAA are unconstitutional in whole or in part. The case was argued before the Alberta Court of Appeal in February of 2021.The Court released its opinion on May 10.
David Macaulay, Luke Morrison, Sharon Singh and Dayo Ogunyemi write in the Daily Oil Bulletin and JWN Energy on small modular reactors (SMR) gaining traction due to their size, design and the potential to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The 2022 Canadian Federal Budget, released on April 7, 2022, sets the fundamental groundwork of the Government of Canada's goals for national economic development. Following Canada's announcement of its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan on March 29, 2022, for achieving a net-zero economy by 2050, the Budget establishes a refundable investment tax credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) beginning in 2022. The Budget did not provide specific proposed legislation for the CCUS Tax Credit. As a result, there could be differences between the form of future proposed legislation and the Budget and such differences could be material.
The Government of Canada (through Environment and Climate Change Canada) launched a consultation through the publication of a discussion paper, "A Clean Electricity Standard in support of a net-zero electricity sector: discussion paper," to solicit comments on a clean electricity standard under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The consultation is in support of the stated goals of the federal government to transition to a net-zero electricity supply by 2035 and to achieve economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.
On March 29, 2022, the Government of Canada released the first of a series of emissions reduction plans, entitled "2030 Emissions Reduction Plan – Canada's Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy" under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. The Act, which establishes in law Canada's 2030 emissions reduction target of 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels and net-zero by 2050, requires Canada to set emissions reduction targets at five-year intervals and to publish credible plans to meet such targets. Accordingly, the ERP lays out a high level sector-by-sector approach for Canada to reach its climate targets.
On December 16, 2021, the Prime Minister released the much-anticipated mandate letters outlining executive priorities and providing direction to cabinet ministers for the upcoming term. While customized for each of the 38 cabinet ministers, the letters contain some common priorities. These letters touched on many issues, including economic recovery and creating a more diverse and inclusive Canada. Two priorities emerged that are likely consistent with the strategic direction of companies in natural resources and other emissions-intensive industries: (i) accelerating efforts to address climate change and (ii) advancing Indigenous reconciliation.
Energy innovation and transformation is front and centre at all levels of government and industry as society collectively tackles climate issues. Interest in the development and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) continues to gain traction due to their size, design and the potential to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SMRs are nuclear fission reactors that can produce significant amounts of low-carbon electricity despite being considerably smaller in scope and footprint than conventional nuclear reactors.
On February 14, 2022, the federal government announced the launch of the Output-Based Pricing System Proceeds Fund (the OBPS Proceeds Fund), which will aggregate the proceeds received by virtue of the federal Output-Based Pricing System (the OBPS). The OBPS Proceeds Fund aims to support industrial initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and deploy clean technology and green energy by re-investing the proceeds of the federal OBPS back into the jurisdictions from which they originate, into projects that reduce carbon pollution.
Geothermal Resource Development: Alberta Energy Issues Guidance for Obtaining Geothermal Resource LeasesFebruary 16, 2022
On January 25, 2022, Alberta Energy issued Mineral Rights Information Bulletin 2022-02 (Bulletin) setting out guidance for acquiring deep geothermal resource leases for stand-alone geothermal operations in Alberta. The Bulletin advises that Alberta Energy will consider geothermal leases on a first-in, first-out basis. Accordingly, proponents that are considering applying for geothermal leases where there may be more than one application for the same location or where applications may request overlapping rights, should consider the timing of their application to Alberta Energy in light of Alberta Energy's guidance for its consideration of geothermal lease applications.
On November 5, 2021, the Government of Alberta released its Hydrogen Roadmap (the H2 Roadmap), which presents the government's policy framework for encouraging a domestic market for clean hydrogen and capitalizing on an anticipated multi-billion dollar global hydrogen economy. As discussed in our prior posts on the New Energy Economy, Alberta's move follows similar strategies released earlier by the governments of British Columbia and Canada, as well as strategies released in Germany and the EU, Japan and South Korea and Australia.
The Government of Saskatchewan has recently implemented a number of regulatory changes to assist energy projects. These changes further expand and refine the Ministry of Energy and Resources 2019 Petroleum Innovation Incentive Program (PIIP or SPII) and the 2020 Oil Infrastructure Investment Program (OIIP). Additionally, the programs now go beyond oil and gas to include carbon dioxide projects and helium projects.
Bennett Jones acted for ATCO Ltd. in its acquisition of the Empress Solar Project, a 39 MW photovoltaic solar facility under development in Alberta. This marks another step in ATCO's commitment to contribute to the decarbonization of the electricity grid while enabling customers to reduce the carbon intensity of their energy.
Duncan McPherson comments in Hydrogen Economist on British Columbia’s comprehensive hydrogen strategy. He explains that, "many regulatory changes are needed to lay the foundation for a successful hydrogen industry in the province. The two most important changes are regulations to allow carbon capture and storage to open the door for blue hydrogen production in the province, and regulations to provide water rights to green hydrogen projects since electrolysers need a lot of water.”
On July 6, 2021, the Government of British Columbia released its Hydrogen Strategy outlining 63 actions to be undertaken over the short-term (2020-25), medium-term (2025-30) and long-term (2030-50) to make B.C. a leader in local hydrogen adoption and global hydrogen business.
On May 12, 2021, the Government of Alberta issued a statement to announce that it will now be granting carbon sequestration rights through a competitive process. Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) is a method where a large volume of carbon dioxide is captured, transported, and injected into the ground to be permanently stored.
Bennett Jones is acting for ATCO Ltd. in a potential world-scale hydrogen project in Alberta. ATCO is collaborating with Suncor Energy Inc. on early stage design and engineering for a potential clean hydrogen project near Fort Saskatchewan.
On May 7, 2021, Bill 34, The Fuel Tax Amendment Act, 2021 passed the third reading in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. Bill 34 amends Saskatchewan's The Fuel Tax Act, 2020 and The Financial Administration Act, 1993 to introduce a new road use charge for electric vehicles (EVs). While similar charges have been introduced in certain U.S. states, this is the first tax of its kind in Canada and is intended to offset the impacts on the provincial fuel tax associated with EVs.
In the first in a series of podcasts exploring the new energy economy, emerging trends and technologies transforming the energy industry, Vivek Warrier hosts a discussion with three special guests: the honorable Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Provincial Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation, Bob Myles, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development of the ATCO Group, and Kenryo Mizutani, Senior Researcher in the Vancouver office of the Japan Oil and Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).
It is an exciting time in the Canadian energy industry, but also a pivotal one. We need to maximize the value of our current energy resources, and continue to develop new lower-carbon sources that customers want to buy, to help drive growth and to make our economy more resilient and diversified.
Following its recent announcement of A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, an accelerated climate plan for Canada, the Government of Canada released the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada: Seizing the Opportunities for Hydrogen on December 16, 2020. The Strategy seeks to galvanize Canadian production, use, and export of clean hydrogen as an important element in reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, while maintaining Canada's role as a leading global energy player.
David Dodge is featured in A Strategic Reboot for Canada to Get Going of Veritas Investment Research Fact-Finding Video Conferences.
Bennett Jones was proud to present The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's Energy Forum. Global trends such as technological acceleration, geopolitical shifts, deglobalization and financial distress are presenting new challenges and opportunities that are changing our energy landscape.
Alberta's Industrial Heartland is well-positioned to play a foundational role in developing Canada's hydrogen economy.
With the newly announced Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP), the Alberta government intends to attract $30 billion in new investments by 2030.
Following the release of Alberta's Recovery Plan, which included plans to diversify Alberta's economy and develop a new energy strategy, the Alberta government has made a series of announcements on plans to develop strategies and regulations to assist in the diversification of the province's energy industry. After its announcement on October 7, 2020, to develop a geothermal strategy, the Honourable Sonya Savage, the Minister of Energy, introduced Bill 36, Geothermal Resource Development Act, on October 20. When enacted, Alberta will be the second province in Canada after British Columbia to have geothermal-specific legislation.
The Government of Alberta is laying out its plans to diversify and grow the province’s energy industry. The goal is to position the sector for responsible energy development in a post-pandemic world. Major announcements have been made and there are more to come in the fall of 2020 and early 2021. This is the first in Bennett Jones' New Energy Economy Series on the future of Canada's energy industry. We will look at key developments at the provincial and federal levels and what they mean for businesses and investors.