For a Sustained Canadian Energy Systems Modelling Initiative

This white paper, produced in August 2017 by the IET and IQcarbone, with the financial support of the Clean Economy Fund, presents best practices for integrating energy modelling into canadian policy making.

While energy systems are complex by nature, they are increasingly difficult to comprehend when society is being challenged to transform them to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions known to be forcing climate change.

Energy systems models are therefore more important than ever to explore and quantify possible future energy pathways, to examine the effectiveness of policy options, and to propose the most effective pathway for regions in
their transformation.

In this context, energy systems modelling plays a key role, as it is both a mean for understanding changes that are taking place and a prospective tool for decision-makers.

Based on the review of best practices in four differents jurisdictions, this report recommend that the Canadian federal government commit resources to establish a permanent energy systems modelling initiative (ESMI) that would:

  1. Acquire or commission energy systems models that are in the public space, and managed to be open access, open source and transparent to trained users across Canada.
  2. Make use of existing institutions to establish and sustain energy systems modelling knowledge infrastructure in a manner that reflects Canada’s varied regions.
  3. Support coordination of modelling, analysis and communication efforts across the country to ensure openness and independence, as well as collaboration, comparisons, exchanges and innovation.