Collaboration needed to achieve Canada’s net zero revolution

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Action required at all levels of society for Canada to hit net zero targets, says SNC-Lavalin report.

Global construction consultancy giant SNC-Lavalin say that Canada’s net zero target by 2050 is a “monumental but achievable” objective that will need urgent all-in commitment.

In a new report, Engineering Net Zero (Canada), the firm provides analysis and directions from thought leaders and subject matter experts inside the company. The ‘made-in-Canada’ solution supports jobs, growth and a more modern economy, powered by clean energy.

Engineering Net Zero (Canada) examines the blueprint for Canada to achieve the net zero carbon target by 2050. It brings into perspective the challenges and potential solutions across economic sectors. SNC-Lavalin’s first-hand experience in projects across sectors like energy, agriculture, transportation, oil and gas, buildings, industrial, waste and water treatment provide an advantageous viewpoint on the interdependencies at play.

Recommendations from the report include:

  1. East-west interconnected grid: Establish a federal-provincial committee for the Canadian electrical grid to enable greater reliability, resiliency, and efficiency through inter-provincial ties. This could pave the way for an east-west interconnected grid, that would help balance operations, enable more renewable integration, and effectively support electrification of other economic sectors.
  2. Early build projects should be initiated for energy sources such as hydro and nuclear, where a single plant easily takes more than 10 years to develop. Other renewable resources, such as wind and solar, should be developed quickly to meet load increases. Emerging renewable technologies have also shown significant promise, including offshore wind, tidal, and wave power generation.
  3. Carbon capture: Expedite and fund pilot carbon capture and storage projects as quickly as possible, which are the key to eliminating the balance of GHG emissions from energy intensive processes.
  4. Hydrogen fuel: Accelerate current hydrogen (and other alternative fuels) research programs, with a minimum number of demonstration projects.
  5. Consult industry in the development of the net zero 2050 plan, to ensure concrete, measurable and coordinated efforts are put in place, and to maximize the ROI for Canadians, both from a financial and environmental impact perspective.

“To achieve this monumental task, Canadian policy makers and industry need to urgently resolve a number of technical, commercial and collaborative challenges associated with decarbonising the economy,” said Dale Clarke, president, infrastructure services at SNC-Lavalin. “Jobs and growth will be spurred from the massive investments needed in existing, emerging and disruptive technologies,” said Clarke, who highlighted that cooperation and collaboration between governments at all levels, with input from the private sector, indigenous community and other stakeholders, will be essential.

“The ambitious 2050 target can effectively position Canada as a global leader in low-emission technologies and practices across all economic sectors. As a supporter of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SNC-Lavalin is committed to supporting the engineering of zero GHG-emitting solutions both here in Canada and globally,” Clarke said.

Sandy Taylor, president, nuclear at SNC-Lavalin, said: “SNC-Lavalin has created the blueprint through the Engineering Net Zero report and doing nothing is not an option. Immediate, effective and concerted action is required at all levels of society, industry, and government. Every aspect of our lives will be impacted, from travel, heating homes, and ensuring food and health security, to the ways we generate our power, operate industrial processes, and unlock our natural resources in this revolution.”

Click here to download the an executive summary of the report, Engineering Net Zero (Canada).