4 February 2011
On February 4, 2011 Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama were presented with the Second Report to Leaders on the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue (CED).
What is the Clean Energy Dialogue?
The U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue (CED) was announced in February 2009 by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, when the President visited Canada on his first official international visit. The purpose of the CED is to enhance collaboration between Canada and the U.S. on the development of clean energy technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and combating climate change.
Collaboration under the CED, which is being led by the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, and the Honourable Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, is being advanced by three joint working groups focused on:
• Advancing clean energy research and development.
• Promoting the development and deployment of clean energy technologies, particularly carbon capture and storage.
• Building a more efficient electricity grid based on clean and renewable energy.
A Clean Energy Dialogue Action Plan, developed by the joint Canada-U.S. working groups, outlines 20 recommendations for joint work in these three areas. The recommendations fall within four broad types of activities:
• strategic demonstration projects
• alignment of key regulatory standards
• collaborative research and development
• public awareness and outreach
The Action Plan was informed by the collective expertise of Canadian and American government officials, private sector leaders, academic and not-for-profit experts who were consulted at a CED Roundtable meeting in Washington, DC in June 2009.
Second Report to Leaders:
The Second Report to Leaders highlights progress that has been achieved since the release of the first report in September 2009 on twenty joint projects taking place under the Clean Energy Dialogue Action Plan in such areas as solar energy, advanced biofuels, and carbon capture and storage.
Notable achievements include:
Carbon Capture and Sequestration working group
The Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) working group has established a number of initiatives that will further enable the rapid development and deployment of CCS in the U.S. and Canada. Key accomplishments
to date include: the identification of priority areas for collaborative research on next generation CCS technologies, expansion of the work on the International Energy Agency (IEA) Weyburn-Midale demonstration project, and research to develop a knowledge-sharing framework for collaboration on CCS demonstration projects, as well as research in the area of regulatory issues for Canada-U.S. CCS projects.
Electricity Grid working group
The Electricity Grid working group is focused on bilateral collaboration to facilitate the long-term transition to a modernized electricity system. Key accomplishments
to date include: hosting events aimed at improving training and recruitment issues in the electricity sector, research to identify potential resources and markets for increased clean electricity trade between Canada and the U.S., as well as research on the potential of power storage and the identification of market barriers to making more efficient use of storage.
Research and Development (R&D) working group
The R&D working group aims to facilitate greater cross-border R&D collaboration by connecting Canadian and U.S. experts and institutions in priority areas, including future-generation biofuels, clean engines/vehicles and energy efficiency. Key accomplishments
to date include: a Memorandum of Understanding to support cooperative R&D to develop materials and manufacturing processes for lightweight, energy efficient vehicles and clean energy production, a cooperative agreement to facilitate collaborative research on algal biofuels aimed at yielding improved productivity and harvesting methods, and collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy on energy system modelling efforts, as well as work to develop a Clean Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Framework.
The next steps are to continue to implement the Action Plan commitments and explore a path forward for collaboration. Canada and the United States will continue to deepen coordination aimed at advancing the development of clean energy technologies in a way that reflects the economic integration of our two countries. A second Clean Energy Dialogue roundtable meeting with key stakeholders is planned for early 2011. The purpose of the meeting will be to take stock of progress and discuss new clean energy opportunities that could be pursued jointly.