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Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre

Policy Briefs

In 2008, the City of Medicine Hat, Alberta, launched a large-scale energy conservation program called HAT Smart, an initiative targeted at reducing residential per capita energy consumption. This policy brief aims to evaluate the actual energy savings and net economic benefits – both in electricity and natural gas – achieved by the program. This analysis also offers an opportunity to learn from this program and situate the results of HAT Smart within a growing body of research studying similar programs offered in other jurisdictions.

This Policy Brief offers an economic perspective to the ongoing policy discussions around the global adjustment. The global adjustment is a monthly fee paid by Ontario consumers to cover the fixed cost to build and maintain generation assets in the province, and to deliver Ontario’s conservation programs.

This report provides an overview of recommended best practice principles for corporate governance arrangements of Crown corporations, government-owned enterprises with mixed commercial and public policy objectives.

In May 2011, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that costs associated with the Muskrat Falls project would be exempt from regulatory review and approval by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB). This report examines the purpose and role of regulatory agencies in the electricity sector and assesses the effect of exempting the Muskrat Falls project from PUB oversight.

This Policy Brief provides a historical and comparative perspective on the development of Ontario’s electricity rates from 1970 to 2015, the modern era of electricity in the province, which includes the addition of commercial-scale nuclear generation, efforts to deregulate and restructure the wholesale power market, as well as recent initiatives to decarbonize generation and reduce consumption.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change (PA) is a legally binding but ambiguous international treaty that gives governments full discretion over domestic policies. The treaty is programmed to grow stronger over time and requires countries to revise domestic policy plans regularly, adopting more stringent emission reduction targets.

This report documents the results from a new survey of 384 directors of LDCs in Ontario that profiles directors’ professional careers and views about organizational financial priorities, diversification, and mergers and acquisitions. 

This policy brief provides a description of key attributes and functioning of capacity markets, and discusses some important caveats and key messages in considering the implementation of a capacity market in Ontario.

This report brings an economic perspective to the analysis of electricity generation costs and prices in Ontario.

This report provides preliminary results from a new program of research that investigates the impact of the current regulatory and political approvals processes for major hydrocarbon infrastructure projects on the investment environment for project developers.

This policy brief assesses whether Ontario's 2009 Green Energy and Green Economy Act had a measurable impact on the duration of regulatory approval processes for wind energy projects.

Recent legislation requires the Ontario Energy Board to establish a new process for the interests of consumers to be represented in its proceedings. 

New regulations announced by the federal government require the National Energy Board to consider the quantity of direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions when evaluating pipeline projects. Technical Appendix

In December 2015, the Prime Minister, accompanied by a group of Provincial Premiers, confirmed Canada's commitment to reducing annual GHG emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels, by 2030.

Policy makers agree that the rapid build-up of GHGs in the atmosphere is responsible for the climate change the world is experiencing.

With the election of new governments in Alberta and Ottawa, there is a sense that reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) is back on the policy agenda.

The analysis of industry economic trends over time is an essential input into private and public sector planning. An accurate understanding of historic changes within and among industry sectors enables decision-makers to create better forecasts of the future, facilitating capital investment, employment and expenditure decisions.

Since 2000, Canada’s economy has become increasingly dependent on the energy sector for growth.While several studies have examined the relationship between Canadian GDP and oil prices, few investigate the implications for provincial economies.

It is well known that energy industries are major contributors to Canada’s economy, and today Canada is one of the world’s leading energy economies. This fact is quickly illustrated by headline statistics: Canada is the world’s 3rd largest exporter of electricity, 5th largest exporter of natural gas, 7th largest exporter of crude oil, and 8th largest exporter of refined petroleum products.

In the last three decades, Canada has achieved a leading position in the global oil and gas industry. But will it last? New research by Assistant Professor Adam Fremeth, Associate Professor Guy Holburn, Energy Centre research intern Pradeep Venkatesh, and André Wilkie, Associate at The Boston Consulting Group, addresses the opportunities, as well as economic risk, that Canada faces.

Many projects in extractive and infrastructure industries such as electricity, oil, gas, mining, and pipelines are situated on lands used by Aboriginal peoples. New research by Energy Centre Research Director Margaret Loudermilk, Associate Professor Guy Holburn, and André Wilkie, Associate at The Boston Consulting Group, addresses the legislation and landmark court cases surrounding this issue.

The energy sector plays a critical role in Canada's economy at both the national and provincial levels. This report provides a review of the current state of Canadian energy policy research in academic literature.

Since 2003, provincial governments in Canada have encouraged substantial private investment in renewable energy sources, notably in wind power which can provide environmental benefits at lower cost than other forms of renewable energy. This policy brief reports results from a unique national survey of firms active in the wind energy industry in Canada.

Electricity policy has become vastly more complex in the last decade due to new technology developments in power generation and smart metering, and also due to the increasing political priority placed on environmental stewardship. There is an urgent need for more informed debate on policy options in the electricity sector.