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2019 - 2021 RESEARCH PLAN

2019 - 2021 Research Plan

2019-2020

INDUSTRIAL COMPETITIVENESS, PRODUCTIVITY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

This project will assess the economic impacts associated with energy efficiency projects as they relate to system planning requirements for electricity and natural gas generation, transmission, and distribution systems.  Considering the energy requirements for the top 5 industries in each province, CERI will evaluate the cost, emissions and energy system impacts of energy efficiency investments.  These investments will have a variety of impacts including potentially increased labour, changes to the demand for electricity, oil and gas, and competitiveness with other countries and within Canada.  Key questions that will be explored include:

  • Energy efficiency investments compared to fuel switching
  • How efficiency investments can lead to reductions in CO2 emissions, and how that impact changes by province.
  • How efficiency investments support the lowering of production costs and costs associated with carbon pricing
  • The effect of efficiency investments on direct and indirect job creation, their linkage to the local job markets and the sustainability of these jobs
  • The effectiveness of different program delivery mechanisms: codes, incentives, marketing, and training.

Anticipated Release:  December 2019

 

RAIL TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESOURCE COMMODITIES AND PETROCHEMICALS

Concern has been expressed by stakeholders looking for economic development opportunities regarding the logistical challenges of getting products to market.  Increased reliance on rail networks for crude oil, NGLs and petrochemical products suggests that these challenges have an impact on the economic growth potential for Canada.  CERI will conduct a detailed analysis of the costs and logistical challenges of the current state of rail activities for resource commodities, petrochemical derivative products within the full rail transportation demand.  The assessment will consider options used in other jurisdictions (US, UK, Australia) that have improved the effectiveness of those system.  The analysis will consider the economic costs of rail capacity additions and the risks of new capacity versus the status quo.  The analysis will demonstrate options for how Canadian rail logistics could be changed and the impacts of those changes.

Anticipated Release:  January 2020

 

COMPETITIVENESS OF THE CANADIAN REGULATORY STRUCTURE FOR THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR

Oil and gas production and transport are major considerations when determining how to combat climate change.  It is also an important sector of the economy which brings with it concerns related to construction activities, health and safety and environmental stewardship.  This study will consider the different environmental, social and economic regulations and their individual and cumulative costs and benefits on society and the sector.   This project will review different policies implemented federally and by provincial or territorial jurisdictions.  It will consider their stated objectives and provide a valuation of those goals and a valuation of the impact on the sector.  This study will also consider similar regulations of US jurisdictions in that competitive analysis and assess how export-exposed industries might be affected and whether “carbon leakage” should be a consideration.

Anticipated Release:  January 2020

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF VALUE-ADDED USES OF OIL AND NATURAL GAS

Value-added activities for oil and natural gas, including petrochemical activities, are limited in Canada compared to other jurisdictions.  This project will assess the economic and environmental impacts of different value-added products to the Canadian economy.  The focus will be on those provincial economies where oil and gas represent greater than 10% of the economy (Alberta & Newfoundland).

Anticipated Release:  April 2020

 

AN ECONOMIC IMPACT OF DISTRIBUTION BASED ELECTRICITY GENERATION OPTIONS IN CANADA

This project will consider the issue of distributed generation as it impacts on the operation of electricity grids and investment requirements for electricity distribution systems in Canada.  Distributed options such as combined heat and power, self-generation and energy cooperatives will be reviewed to determine how these technologies will impact the cost and reliability of grid operations.  Different business models will also be considered including gross and net metering and how those models impact monopoly service providers.

Anticipated Release:  April 2020

 

THE ECONOMIC EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERENT CARBON PRICING OPTIONS TO REDUCE CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS

This project will test the assumption that pricing carbon emissions is an effective way of reducing them.  There are numerous examples of carbon pricing from a simple tax (wholesale, retail or both) to a cap and trade system.  Different governments have used different designs which include credits and redistribution of the cost impacts.  CERI intends to review the multiple designs that have been implemented globally to see if it can be demonstrated which design is the most effective in terms of reducing emissions at the lowest cost.

Anticipated Release:  May 2020

 

ECNOMIC IMPACTS OF OIL SANDS PRODUCTION IN THE CANADIAN AND US ECONOMIES

As part of an annual update, a forecast of the production of oil sands bitumen and Synthetic Crude Oil will be conducted for 2019-2039.  Production costs and supply forecasts will be developed.  The study will include an economic impact analysis, job impacts will also be forecast for Canada and the US.  This project will include a detailed assessment of well costs and a GHG emissions forecast.

Anticipated Release:  May 2020

 

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CANADIAN CONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION IN THE CANADIAN AND US ECONOMIES

As part of an annual update, a forecast of the production of conventional oil and gas production will be conducted for 2019-2039.  This will include onshore and offshore activities as well as emerging oil and gas plays.  The research will update the production costs and production forecast, economic impact analysis using CERI’s Input/Output model for Canadian and the U.S.  GHG emissions will also be forecast as will Canadian and US job impacts.  This project will include a detailed assessment of well costs.

Anticipated Release:  May 2020

 

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 Report

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

Oil Report

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

 

Electricity 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

 

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF OIL SANDS PRODUCTION IN THE CANADIAN AND US ECONOMIES

As part of an annual update, a forecast of the production of oil sands bitumen and Synthetic Crude Oil will be conducted for 2019-2039.  Production costs and supply forecasts will be developed.  The study will include an economic impact analysis, job impacts will also be forecast for Canada and the US.  This project will include a detailed assessment of well costs and a GHG emissions forecast.

 

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CANADIAN CONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION IN THE CANADIAN AND US ECONOMIES

As part of an annual update, a forecast of the production of conventional oil and gas production will be conducted for 2019-2039.  This will include onshore and offshore activities as well as emerging oil and gas plays.  The research will update the production costs and production forecast, economic impact analysis using CERI’s Input/Output model for Canadian and the U.S.  GHG emissions will also be forecast as will Canadian and US job impacts.  This project will include a detailed assessment of well costs.

 

COMPETITIVENESS OF A CIRCULAR PETROCHEMICAL MARKET IN CANADA

Once through use of petrochemical feedstocks is the normal processing pathway in Canada and other jurisdictions.  This project will consider regulations, policies and market signals needed to significantly increase the recycling and reuse of plastics.  The benefits to be considered include reduced environmental impacts and the ability of Canadian producers to demonstrate clean tech processes.  How much would such a process change cost the sector.  Can competitiveness be maintained?

 

MARKET ASSESSMENT OF CARBON UTILIZATION ALTERNATIVES

Carbon capture and storage is one approach to reducing carbon emissions of oil and natural gas use.  This study will consider the economic and environmental impacts of repurposing carbon emissions to other products and services along with storage.  It will provide a projection of the net cost of different carbon capture options based on how the carbon is utilized in other commercial products.

 

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES FOR OFF-SHORE OIL AND GAS IN CANADA

Building on the studies “Economic and Environmental Potentials and Efficiencies of Oil Sands Operations: Processes and Technologies,” and the two Production Forecast research papers, this project will assess the market opportunities and technology innovation of offshore crude and natural gas production [Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic] to determine Canada’s potential long-term competitiveness.  This project will provide the current perspective of those potential opportunities and identify the major challenges of each.  It will also consider how other jurisdictions are overcoming those specific challenges to protect the environment alongside economic development.

 

ECONOMIC AND EMISSIONS ANALYSIS OF ENERGY SUPPLY OPTIONS FOR REMOTE & NORTHERN COMMUNITIES

Energy supply in Canada’s Remote and Northern Communities is challenging.  Territorial governments and provinces face concerns related to supporting energy requirements for residential, and commercial use and to support industrial activities such as mining.  This project assesses grid expansions and local grid options.  While connecting to a transmission grid has clear advantages regarding lower cost and reliability in supply, there may be missed opportunities in some cases such as remote communities, cases where significant grid enhancements are needed, etc. Local generation may also have job creation opportunities while connection to the grid does not provide job creation long term.  Furthermore, revenues stay in the community, if residents are paying their local utility.  This study will conduct an economic analysis of the following case:

  • Connecting a currently off-grid community to a grid system
  • Develop local generation in an off-grid community
  • Disconnecting a currently on-grid community and develop local generation

 

EMISSIONS AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CITIES AND ENERGY SYSTEMS OF URBAN TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

This project is a continuation of the review of urban centres and their long-term choices regarding urban density, passenger transportation and freight transportation.  Metropolitan areas will be the focus of this study to explore the complexity of transportation and energy systems managed by multiple cities.  What are the environmental and economic impacts of different transportation technology pathways 1) advanced internal combustion engines, 2) hydrogen-based fuel cells and 3) batteries?  In addition to this assessment, how will the introduction of autonomous vehicles impact urban economies and environmental emissions?  Does automation require a specific technology pathway?

 

ELECTRICITY INTERPROVINCIAL TRADE:  COSTS AND BENEFITS

This project will produce a market assessment of the costs and benefits of maximizing the use of interprovincial trade in electricity to optimize provincial investment.  The study will note options for using an East-West grid to achieve the goals of affordability, reliability and decarbonization.  It will also incorporate the observations from previous studies such as generation options pricing, the business case for electricity storage, and the opportunities for distributed generation to give a wholistic view of potential pathways.  The review will also consider several different load growth scenarios that can be managed with these trade options.

 

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 Report

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

Oil Report

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

Electricity 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.


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