2020 - 2021 RESEARCH PLAN




Canada's oil, natural gas, electricity, and renewable energy supply sectors have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many companies may be on the brink of insolvency. What should be done to support their short- medium-term needs to ensure a recovery in those sectors and specific company types? This study will produce a state of the industry from an economic and financial perspective and consider different approaches to recovery.  Does recovery mean a one size fits all approach and a one size fits all four energy systems?  Support for the energy sectors may be as varied as the size of the companies and what they do within the overall supply sector.  Maybe it means international trade support? Incentives? Tax relief? Changes to the regulatory framework?  Maybe it means to let the market determine how the recovery should take place and that there should be no government intervention? Does this longer-term active intervention in support of Canada's oil, gas, electricity, and renewable energy sectors support economic growth?

This study will produce an economic and financial status of the oil, natural gas, electricity, and renewable energy industries and consider different approaches to recovery.  CERI will assess different support pathways from zero to significant government assistance to determine the costs and benefits of different approaches.  The study will consider how support for Canada's economy, either through direct support to citizens or indirect support through energy sector companies impacts on GDP and job creation. Finally, this study will assess the GHG emissions of various pathways to illuminate how different recovery pathways address Canada's GHG emissions reduction goals.

Studies published September 2020:  Part 1 - COVID-19 Impacts
                                                                Part 2 - Canadian Crude Oil and Natural Gas

Study published October 2020: Part 3 - Canadian Renewable Energy

Study Published November 2020:  Part 4 – November 2020 – Electricity



Plastics are globally used for industrial and domestic purposes. As of 2017, about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic materials have been produced. They remain very useful to our society today, but it is the environmental pollution and degradation from their end-use disposal that is a challenge to the ecosystems today. Specifically, the single-use plastic wastes pollute both land and water environments. Yet, the demand for plastic products continues to grow with the economy, development, and world population.

To address the challenges of plastic waste proliferation, a circular economy for plastics has been proposed as a viable pathway to limit or eliminate the waste disposal problem by collecting, separating, recycling, and reusing plastic products. Alternatively, where recycling might face technical or economic limitations, repurposing of plastic wastes into other useful means such as energy or materials provide another route to circularity.

Study Published: April 2021



Increased frequency and intensity of storm events are impacting the reliability and cost of Canada's electricity system.  Are those impacts mainly focused on transmission and distribution networks?  What are the investments required to enhance the reliability of systems under the increased threats from weather disruptions?  Reliance on our electricity grid means a higher economic cost if those grids are disrupted.  This study will consider the operational requirements for system reliability and the technical and economic solutions to ensure Canada's electricity grids remain dependable.  It will consider procedural changes, grid design adjustments, redundancies, and new investments in smart technologies.  Overall, maintaining the historical reliability of these electricity systems will require additional investment.  What are the retail price and economic implications of ensuring that reliability?

Anticipated Publication Date: June 2021



This project will assess different scenarios for changes in natural gas markets and associated economic impacts on the Canadian economy.  Natural gas supply has fundamentally changed in North America.  Canadian gas producers across B.C., AB, SK, and N.L., along with governments and other stakeholders, will be provided with a set of scenarios to indicate potential pathways for natural gas supply and demand.  The era of low-cost natural gas means that new production needs to be linked to new markets.  It also means winners and losers in the development of accessing these markets.  LNG is one aspect, as are changes in continental demand from industry, electricity systems and transportation, commercial and residential sectors.  Regulations and policies affecting the use of natural gas will be evaluated, as will the competitiveness of natural gas-fired electricity generation in comparison to other generating options.  The major question is will natural gas demand increase or decrease continentally, and how that changing market will be divided between U.S. and Canadian suppliers.

Study Published: June 2021



Sustainable finance and reputational risk for investments in the oil and gas sector have generated considerable interest in the need to provide foundational work on the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESGs).  This study will consider environmental performance data that could be used in these ESG frameworks.  Data gaps exist in terms of the quality and consistency of the environmental information on oil and gas activities in Canada.  As part of the project, CERI will evaluate the methods used to represent this information in some of the frameworks to demonstrate how the same data can change using different methods.

 Anticipated Publication Date: June 2021


Ongoing Research:

Maintenance of CERI Models and Programs

Ongoing maintenance and upgrading of CERI computer models and programs

Maintenance of CERI Databases

Ongoing maintenance and upgrading of CERI databases

Natural Gas Commodity Report

Research and updating of CERI’s quarterly report, the results of which are used in other ongoing projects

Oil Commodity Report

Research and updating of CERI’s quarterly report, the results of which are used in other ongoing projects

Electricity Commodity Report

Research and updating of CERI’s quarterly report, the results of which are used in other ongoing projects

Geopolitics of Energy

Geopolitics of Energy (GOE) is the monthly journal on geopolitical developments affecting global energy markets.  It provides analysis, information, perspectives, and fresh ideas on the political and economic factors affecting energy and their impact on national energy policies, the international environment, and prices.



2020-2021 Research Plan