Evaluation of Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Clean Electrical Power Generation (CEPG) S&T Sub-sub-Activity (PAA 2.1.4.5)

Table of Contents


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Introduction

This report summarizes the findings of an evaluation conducted on the Clean Electrical Power Generation (CEPG) Science and Technology (S&T) Sub-sub-ActivityFootnote1 of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The evaluation covers over $117 million of NRCan funding for the period from 2003-04 to 2008-09. The total estimated CEPG funding from all sources for this period was $250.5 million.

Context

Canada draws on a number of energy sources: hydroelectric, nuclear, coal and natural gas, and a small but increasing contribution from wind power. In 2007, hydroelectric power produced approximately 59% of Canada's total electrical power generation followed by fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and oil) at 25%, nuclear energy at 15%, and other sources such as wind and bio-energy accounting for the remaining 1% of generation.Footnote2

While 75% of Canada’s electricity system utilizes clean energy sources such as hydroelectric power, fossil-fuelled electric-power generation remains the single largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Canada and is responsible for 17% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, electricity generation from fossil fuels produces a major portion of regulated emissions such as fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SOx), which contribute to smog and acid rain.Footnote3

CEPG Sub-sub-Activity Overview

The CEPG Sub-sub-Activity (SSA) is part of the Energy Science and Technology Sub Activity of the Department’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA). It contributes to NRCan’s Strategic Outcome 2: Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources.Footnote4

The Clean Electrical Power Generation SSA consists of research and development (R&D) and late-stage development and demonstration of technologies for promoting clean, reliable and efficient power generation, both centrally and distributed, including the production of energy from renewable sources and the integration of these resources into the grid. It addresses the reduction of GHG emissions and toxic pollutants from the production of energy from fossil fuels, including through the development of clean coal and carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies, and it provides support for Canada’s participation in the treaty of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) to develop advanced nuclear based energy systems.Footnote5

The objectives of CEPG are to:

  • reduce the environmental impacts of Canada’s electricity infrastructure, particularly GHGFootnote6 and criteria air contaminant (CAC)Footnote7 emissions through the development and installation of clean energy technologies;
  • increase the reliability and sustainability of Canada’s electric power system through integration into the grid of renewable and distributed power generation;
  • increase efficiency of fossil-fuelled industrial plants and strategies to capture and manage emissions; and
  • provide Canadian industry with potential economic opportunities.

The CEPG SSA receives NRCan funding from the following sources:

  1. Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD);
  2. Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM);
  3. Climate Change Technology and Innovation Initiative (CCTII); and
  4. ecoENERGY Technology Initiative (ecoETI).

The CEPG SSA is comprised of three portfolios and six active programs. The programs are divided into twenty-five active sub-programs or activity areas. In 2008-09, there were 62 PERD and 40 ecoETI projects within the CEPG SSA.Footnote8

The three portfolios are Distributed Power Generation (DPG); Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCCCS); and Next Generation Nuclear (Gen IV). The estimated funding, objectives and sub-programs are presented in Table A.

Table A: Overview of the Clean Electric Power Generation Sub-sub-Activity 2.1.4.5: (Portfolios - 5.1 / 5.2 / 5.3)
5.1 Distributed Power Generation Portfolio 5.2 Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio 5.3 Next Generation Nuclear Portfolio

Estimated Funding by Portfolio

DPG projects totalled close to $146.6 million of which NRCan contributed $52.8 million (2003-04 to 2008-09).

CCCCS projects totalled $80.5 million of which NRCan contributed close to $53.6 million (2003-04 to 2008-09).

Between Gen IV project investments totalled $23.3 million of which NRCan contributed close to $11.3 million (2005-06 to 2008-09).

Portfolio Objective and Description

To advance and expand the science and technology (S&T) for electricity generation from renewable energy sources, small Combined Heat and Power Systems and other distributed clean generation technologies, including thermal and electrical storage, and the integration of such systems into the grid.

Provide S&T to reduce emissions and associated environmental impacts from centralized, combustion-based electric power generation systems. This portfolio targets emissions of GHG and criteria air contaminants (CAC) such as SO2, NOx, particulates, and toxic emissions such as mercury from large-scale power generation from coal and related solid fuels. It investigates and develops new ways of converting coal and other solid fuels to energy, of capturing the emissions and sequestering them in geological formations.Footnote9

The program is designed to advance R&D in support of Canada’s participation in the treaty of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) to develop advanced nuclear-based energy systems, specifically for Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) and Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR). Canada’s participation in GIF provides Canadian researchers with access to others’ research findings, data and projects that would otherwise not be possible.

Program Structure

5.1.1 Renewable Electricity Technologies:

  1. hydro;
  2. marine;
  3. wind; and
  4. solar.

5.2.1 Characterization of Canadian Fuels and their Emissions (COFE):

  1. characterization of coal and environmental contaminants; and
  2. knowledge integration and dissemination.

Note: This Program ended in 2006-07.

5.3.1 Gen IV Nuclear:

  1. development of the Super Critical Water-cooled Reactor;
  2. development of the Very High Temperature Reactor; and
  3. nuclear hydrogen production.

Canada’s main focus is on the development of the SCWR system as it is seen as the natural evolution of its CANDU technology. R&D undertaken in support of the VHTR system is synergetic with the development of SCWR. In addition, a key part of this research is the development of new technologies required in the production of hydrogen using nuclear energy.

5.1.2 Distributed Clean Generation:

  1. combined heat and power; and
  2. energy conversion and storage.

5.2.2 Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program:

  1. advancing knowledge of fuels and products for Clean Coal Technologies (CCT);
  2. advanced modelling techniques;
  3. pollution control strategies; and
  4. advanced CCT cycles.

5.1.3 Grid Integration:

  1. technology assessment & demonstrations;
  2. modeling, simulation, and benchmarking case studies;
  3. standards, codes and regulatory support; and
  4. national and international collaboration activities.

5.2.3 CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS)
Divided into eight sub-programs that
focus mainly on the following activities: development, integration and optimization of CO2 capture technologies; development of CO2 storage technologies and; assessment of resources for CO2 resources.

Evaluation Issues and Methodology

This study examined issues related to CEPG’s relevance and performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy). The evaluation methodologies included:

  • a review of more than 200 documents;
  • a total of 74 in-depth telephone and in-person interviews with program managers, project leaders, industry stakeholders and partners covering all three portfolios; and
  • a total of 15 in-depth cases studies involving a review of project data and documentation including 49 interviews with project deliverers and stakeholders.

All reasonable efforts were used to ensure the evaluation methodology was robust. This included the use of multiple lines of evidence and coverage across portfolios and their programs. However, there are limitations with all evaluation studies. In the case of this evaluation, the key limitations were associated with the large scope of the evaluation and with the individual methodological approaches, for example:

  • The CEPG S&T investment system is complex, covering a broad range of activities and objectives. During the time period covered by this evaluation, there was no overall strategy, policy framework or results-based management and accountability framework that encompassed the three portfolios.
  • Financial data were difficult to obtain and in some cases were inconsistent from one source to another. Difficulties in tracking financial information were attributed to the PERD structure prior to fiscal year 2008-09. Given its activity/output-based management structure, it was difficult to track financial data on a project basis.
  • Documents were identified by NRCan, interviewees and the evaluation team. Therefore, while a wealth of documents was reviewed, there is no assurance that all key documents were identified as there was no pre-existing mechanism in place to keep track of documents produced.
  • While a broad range of individuals were interviewed, some individuals were only able to comment on a limited number of evaluation questions.
  • A small number of case studies could be completed within the scope of this evaluation. In addition, many of the projects were still in their early implementation stage and therefore limited actual impacts information was obtained through the case studies.

Relevance

Continued Need for the CEPG Sub-sub-Activity and its Portfolios

There is a continued need for CEPG portfolios to carry out S&T that supports a mix of energy-related policy, research and technology strategies that addresses environmental needs, security of energy supply and economic development.

The CEPG SSA addresses the needs of both government and industry. Over the past ten years, there has been an increasing focus on alternative sustainable, green energy sources as a tool to meet climate change and GHG targets and clean air policy objectives. To be successful, Canadian technologies (including their effectiveness, costs, compatibility with existing energy networks, safety standards, etc.) must be competitive.

The Canadian private sector needs to be aware of advances in technology development and changes in policies in other countries, especially the United States. The Government of Canada performs a valuable role in terms of keeping Canadian firms apprised of current industry trends and technological advances, while carrying out R&D projects that support the basic energy infrastructure (e.g., technical capacity, resource mapping, and integration of renewable energy supply into the existing energy grids). Industry also relies on NRCan’s reputation and stature for support when dealing with international regulators.

Alignment with Government Priorities and NRCan Strategic Objectives

CEPG portfolio projects are aligned with federal priorities and to NRCan’s Strategic Objective #2 relating to environmental responsibility. In 2010, the federal government committed to reducing Canada’s GHG emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.Footnote10 In 2008, the government also committed to providing 90% of Canada’s electricity needs by non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power by 2020.Footnote11CEPG contributes to the achievement of government priorities by advancing the deployment of clean coal, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy and advanced nuclear technologies through:

  • carrying out S&T to inform the development of national and international energy-related policies, regulations, codes and standards (public good); and
  • research, development, testing and demonstration of advanced energy-related technologies associated with reliable, cost-efficient energy production with low or zero emissions of GHGs and pollutants.

Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

The government’s role in energy S&T is to support the development of harmonized evidence-based policies, regulations, codes and standards that reduce barriers to the deployment of new energy-related technologies, while ensuring safety and reliability. This provides the foundation for a secure, sustainable electricity generation system with reduced GHG and CAC emissions. NRCan also participates in high-risk, pre-competitive research and technology development and testing of advanced electrical power generation components and systems to encourage their use by the private sector as it responds to government clean energy policies.

With respect to Distributed Power Generation (DPG), the federal government works with key industry players, utilities and associations in undertaking activities to avoid multiplication of regional requirements across the country.Footnote12 In the case of clean coal and carbon capture and storage (CCCCS), the federal government works closely with industry and the research and development community to identify the technology gaps, and supports the demonstration and deployment of CCS technology. Relating to Next Generation Nuclear (Gen IV), the federal government has a unique and important role in developing, regulating and deploying nuclear energy technology. Constitutionally, nuclear energy falls within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Federal responsibilities include regulation of all nuclear materials and activities in Canada (Nuclear Safety and Control Act) and research and development (Nuclear Energy Act).

NRCan is well positioned to deliver CEPG programs and activities given the Department’s technical expertise, knowledge, unique facilities, project management capabilities, networks with key stakeholders and international credibility.

Performance

Achievement of Expected Outcomes

The CEPG SSA has been effective in advancing and expanding the science and technology for electricity generation from alternative energy sources or technologies, including advanced nuclear technologies, clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies, renewable energy technologies, small Combined Heat and Power Systems, other distributed clean generation technologies and the integration of such systems into the grid. These advances have been possible through the combined efforts of NRCan, other governmental organizations (national and international), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector. Many of these projects would not have occurred without CEPG’s contribution (expertise, equipment and laboratories, and financial resources). The incremental impact of CEPG involvement in most projects is high and therefore results are largely attributable to CEPG involvement.

A number of factors have contributed to the success of CEPG. Internally, these include NRCan’s expertise, its facilities and collaborative approach (working with industrial partners, university researchers and government research organizations), and its flexible approach to providing access to funding. Externally, facilitating factors include the availability of incentive programsFootnote13 for renewable energy technologies which were found to support deployment of wind, solar PV and some new small hydro technologies.

The CEPG SSA has produced the following technical outputs and contributed to the achievement of immediate outcomes:

  • Knowledge development, transfer and take-up: CEPG projects have resulted in a variety of publications, reports, guides, analyses, advice, best practices manuals, and analytical techniques and tools. These have benefited a wide range of stakeholders including other government departments (OGDs), provincial governments, industry, and academic community including students, international organizations and governments. In one case, this knowledge contributed to significant financial benefits. For example, NRCan representatives estimated that advice provided by the CCCCS portfolio contributed to cost savings in the order of $33 million per year for one 1,000 MW power plant. This was just one project among many that the Portfolio undertakes annually to support the efficient operation of Canadian fossil-fuel fired power utilities.

    The Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies Screen (RETScreen) – a clean energy project analysis software developed and enhanced with the support of the DPG Portfolio – allows stakeholders to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various type of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.

    In some cases, portfolio research has affected international research investment and priorities. With respect to Gen IV nuclear hydrogen production, Canada has opted to pursue a lower temperature copper chlorine processFootnote14 which is compatible with Canada’s Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) Super Critical Water-cooled Reactor concept. Canada’s involvement and support for the copper chlorine technology has highlighted the advantages and applications of this process. For example, this technology can be used in conjunction with Very High Temperature Reactor Systems and other higher temperature reactor systems, and thus the project’s results have generated significant international interest on the part of France and the U.S. and strengthened Canada’s reputation in this field. Canada’s international leadership in this area was further strengthened when Canada was chosen to take over the chair of the Generation IV International Forum Very High Temperature Reactor Hydrogen Project Management Board starting April 2010.
  • Capacity building: CEPG contributed to the capacity of partners and other stakeholders to engage in R&D and deployment of clean electric power generation. This included the establishment of research networks (e.g., various consortiums and partnerships to build demonstration sites and develop codes and standards, provision of tools, databases and enabling technologies to assess clean and renewable energy generation technologies and their potential), and the expansion of R&D testing and experimental facilities.

    Gen IV research is establishing Canada as a leader in the identification, design and chemistry of materials for use in highly corrosive conditions. Early economic spin-offs are emerging as findings are applied to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) existing reactor systems and in non-nuclear industry sectors that require advanced materials (e.g., aerospace, automotive). The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)/NRCan/AECL Program has significantly increased the number of Canadian universities involved in nuclear research (there are 20 universities participating in Gen IV projects, up from five prior to the program).

    CCCCS is working with several Canadian and international universities on development of clean coal and CCS technologies. The work ranges from development of process, modeling tools to performing economic analysis and studies for the implementation of current technologies.
  • Development of new or improved technologies: A number of new or improved technologies, including those better adapted to the Canadian context have been developed as a result of CEPG-funded projects. For DPG, these technologies include: fish-friendly hydro concepts; river in-stream flow measurement devices; Very Low Head Turbine (VLHT) design for Canadian conditions;Footnote15 engineering design of a Combined Heat and Emergency Power System;Footnote16 and, a system to recover and store waste energy from a natural gas pipeline pressure let down station Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant.Footnote17 These new technologies offer the potential of increasing the electricity supply from renewable and distributed systems and improving the economics and efficiency of these systems. Some of these technologies have been advanced to a demonstration stage and have the potential to be deployed commercially.

    In the case of CCCCS, an improved gasifier injector has been developed and a hot gas sampling system developed for use in coal-fired utilities. CanmetENERGY also developed a CO2 integrated and efficient pilot-scale technology testing platform. It simultaneously removes pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and mercury, and the CO2 is purified and compressed for transport, storage or use.Footnote18 A number of other technologies are in the development and testing stages.

    For the Gen IV Portfolio, complete next generation or advanced reactor systems will not be realized for at least 15 years. However, some technologies needed for Gen IV reactors are underway. For example, advances in materials research and work done on new hydrogen production technologies could lead to benefits in the near- to mid-term. These products and technologies (e.g., new materials for use in highly corrosive environments) are applicable in harsh, corrosive operating environments, such as those found in current nuclear plants, in next generation nuclear systems, and in the aerospace and automotive industries.
  • Establishment of prototypes, field trials and demonstrations: There are a number of examples of the conduct of field trials and demonstrations of promising new technologies under CEPG. Most of these are from the DPG Portfolio which has been in place since 2003-04 and has, for the most part, a shorter time horizon for the deployment and commercialization of R&D outputs and outcomes than that of the Gen IV and CCCCS portfolios. Examples include the VLH turbine; a Combined Heat and Emergency Power System; solar photovoltaic and thermal heating and electrical systems that provide both clean electrical power and heat for buildings; and a Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant to recover and store waste energy from a natural gas pipeline pressure let down station. These field trials and demonstrations have provided important learning on the challenges of installing these systems and data on the viability, operation, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reduction in GHG and other environmental benefits of the systems.
  • Development of new and revised codes, standards, policies and regulations: CEPG has produced several new codes and standards.Footnote19 In order for the codes and standards to be fully effective in advancing CEPG’s objectives, they need to be incorporated into policy and regulations. Although CEPG is generally not involved in promoting the uptake of codes and standards by provincial and federal regulators, according to interviewees, the work in this area has contributed to a number of provincial and municipal regulations and helped shape provincial and Environment Canada’s energy and environmental policies. However, little data have been systematically collected by CEPG on the extent of the uptake of the codes and standards by provincial and federal regulators.
  • Market uptake or deployment of new or improved technologies: There are a few examples of the market uptake or development of new or improved technologies from interviewees and case studies including the licensing of the Anemoscope, a wind energy simulation software tool and a cold-spray technique for materials coating developed under Gen IV which has been applied to the area of submarine corrosion. A number of other technologies are close to being moved along the innovation continuum from demonstration and test sites to commercial ventures including the Very Low Head Turbine, the Combined Heat and Emergency Power System, and the Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant.
  • Partnerships and Collaborations: CEPG has effectively engaged a range of stakeholders, and developed collaborative projects within Canada and internationally. The extent to which the CEPG programs have leveraged financial and in-kind resources from other government departments, university and industry is a good indicator of engagement, and the degree to which projects address the needs of partners.

    However, noted areas for improvement include increased private sector participation to support CEPG technology transfer, testing and demonstration and greater engagement with Canadian policy makers. Interviewees from all key stakeholder groups noted that greater engagement with federal policy groups would improve program efficiency and better support overall Canadian energy policy development. Greater cooperation across policy and technology communities would help ensure that CEPG includes projects that generate the data and knowledge required by policy makers, and those responsible for the regulations that govern clean energy implementation, to manage the development of the sector. A number of interviewees felt that existing mechanisms (committees, workshops, etc.) for exchanging information (e.g., technical, cost and environmental performance, and related international trends) among federal and provincial policy groups, and the R&D community could be improved.

    Better communication and understanding will support policy development and also improve R&D program effectiveness and efficiency. A better understanding – across public (federal, provincial and local) and private sector policy groups, regulatory authorities and the R&D community – of each groups’ priorities will help private sector investors and other R&D programs align their expectations and investments with those of the federal government. A well-defined role for clean energy within Canada’s electrical energy network will enhance industries’ understanding and clarify their expectations with respect to federal policy. Stakeholder confidence in the future of the clean energy sector can help NRCan leverage industry and other stakeholder investments.

Despite its success with achieving portfolio-level objectives, the CEPG SSA has not yet realized the achievement of intermediate and final outcomes to any significant extent. This is primarily due to the long-term time horizon required for the deployment and commercialization of R&D outputs and outcomes, in particular for the Gen IV Nuclear Program and the Carbon Capture and Storage Program. Economic impacts may be realized in the longer term, once new technologies are deployed on a commercial basis. The extent to which support for technology demonstration is available will affect the timing of these impacts.

With respect to the CCCCS Portfolio, the likelihood of achievement of long-term outcomes is dependant on the demonstration of the technologies on a large scale, establishment of a policy and regulatory framework, lowering the costs of technologies, and enhanced industry and public engagement. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CCS systems can be assembled from existing technologies, but the combination of these technologies into an integrated system has yet to be proven.Footnote20

While good progress has been made to date in the Gen IV National Program, the achievement of longer-term outcomes is uncertain given the significant reduction in funding, withdrawal of a key partner from the Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor research, and the future of AECL. However, SCWR research in China has greatly increased recently and efforts are underway to convince China to join the SCWR.

With respect to the DPG Portfolio, progress towards long-term outcomes is expected to continue. However, the closure of Technology Early Action Measures funding program has led to reduced funding for demonstration activities potentially limiting future progress.

Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

The level of detail and timeliness of performance and financial reporting within each portfolio has been variable. While there were no major issues found with respect to efficiency, interviewees suggested a number of ways in which improvements could be made. These include sustained, longer term CEPG funding commitments; enhanced linkages with policy groups; maintained or strengthened international research collaborations; and improved coordination with other agencies and provinces.

Given the diverse set of stakeholders (e.g., research organizations: public, private and academic; industry; utilities; provinces; etc.), federal leadership was viewed by many internal and external interviewees as an efficient means of coordinating R&D. For example, coordination at the national level was perceived as necessary for harmonization of effort and reduced duplication of efforts.

The CEPG SSA leverages funding and in-kind support from other stakeholders and helps to coordinate clean energy R&D expertise, infrastructure and resources across the Canadian public, private and academic sectors.

The ratio of Government of Canada (e.g., CEPG resources, A-base, AECL, OGDs, etc.) to non-Government of Canada contributions (e.g., in-kind and cash contributions from universities, industries, international groups, NGOs) is estimated to be 1:0.79 for the CEPG SSA. In other words, for every dollar invested by the Government of Canada, $0.79 is contributed by non-Government of Canada sources.

By portfolio, the Government of Canada to non-Government of Canada leveraging ratio is:

  • 1:0.37 for the CCCCS Portfolio;
  • 1:1.50 for the DPG Portfolio; and
  • 1:0.00 for the Gen IV Nuclear Portfolio.

The ratio of total NRCan contributions (PERD, ecoETI, TEAM, CCTII, NRCan A-base) to the non-NRCan contributions (financial and in-kind contributions from OGDs and agencies, industry, universities, etc.) is estimated to be 1:1.13 for the CEPG SSA. In other words, for every dollar invested by NRCan, $1.13 is contributed from non-NRCan sources.

By portfolio, the NRCan to non-NRCan leveraging ratio is:

  • 1:0.50 for the CCCCS Portfolio;
  • 1:1.78 for the DPG Portfolio; and
  • 1:1.07 for the Gen IV Nuclear Portfolio.

These estimates are based on data provided in the program annual reports and OERD financial records.Footnote21 Each portfolio has a different leverage profile. There is little non-federal investment in the Gen IV Program (where the impacts are long-term and the risk high). In comparison, DPG received significantly greater contributions from non-federal sources because its technologies are closer to market with nearer-term commercial benefits and, as a result, DPG leveraged TEAM funding for demonstration activities.

NRCan’s participation in international R&D collaborations (e.g., International Energy Agency, Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, and Generation IV International Forum) helps to leverage Canadian research and development and demonstration (RD&D) activity by providing access to international research findings, data, knowledge and partnerships that would otherwise not be available.

CEPG portfolio planning and project selection processes helps ensure that projects focus on developing the most promising and economically-viable clean energy technologies. However, to ensure an appropriate balance of energy options that will meet interim and long-term needs, a comprehensive RD&D strategy at the SSA level is needed. A coherent strategy across portfolios is important because CEPG’s objectives are dependant on the combined success of the portfolios and their programs. It is therefore important to articulate priorities as well as how the various programs fit together to meet interim and long-term needs for clean electric power generation.

Complementary means of achieving CEPG objectives include using government procurement as a tool for early deployment for appropriate technologies, and greater investment in public education and awareness across all CEPG programs.

Recommendations, Management Responses and Action Plan

Recommendations Management Response Responsible Official (Date)
1. The Energy Sector (ES) and the Innovation and Energy Technology Sector (IETS) should develop an overall strategy to provide direction and priorities for the CEPG SSA.
  • The strategy should articulate how the various programs fit together to meet interim and long-term outcomes for clean electric power generation. The strategy should be supported by a governance mechanism that advances the delivery of the strategy by providing coordination and synthesis of the programs; and advice on strategic and operational issues such as targeting technology and policy receptors.

Accepted - NRCan’s Energy Enterprise (ES and IETS) has been working with internal and external partners on the development of a clean energy RD&D strategy and value propositions that will develop long-term measurable vision and major outcomes for strategic areas to ensure their alignment with government priorities and commitments, and to strengthen internal and external collaboration and integrated planning.

Currently, the governance structure for NRCan-funded energy RD&D includes an interdepartmental Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Panel whose mandate includes providing advice on strategic and operational issues such as targeting technology and policy receptors and reviewing and approving Portfolio strategic plans.

ADM/ES
ADM/IETS
April 2011

2. ES and the IETS should enhance the transfer of RD&D results to industry and government decision-makers. Projects should be directly linked to the longer-term outcomes of CEPG and the technical results of projects should be supported and advanced along the innovation continuum. The ES should include a process for measuring and tracking the short and long-term uptake of RD&D results.

Accepted - NRCan’s Energy Enterprise acknowledges the need for incorporating knowledge management, including uptake where applicable, at the project level and is incorporating this as a mandatory requirement in program and project planning and annual project reporting.

The implementation of the new project reporting and the annual report templates will improve data collection and project tracking which in turn will allow for better tracking the uptake NRCan’s RD&D results and dissemination through activities such as workshops, the Energy Enterprises extranets, NRCan web site, SharePoint, Wiki, and presentations at domestic and international conferences.

ADM/ES
ADM/IETS
The new templates were implemented in April 2010.

3. ES and the IETS should ensure that:
  • financial information is complete and sufficiently detailed so that programs and projects have planned funding and actual expenditure data readily available; and clearly identify funding and in-kind contributions from other sources; and
  • programs maintain accurate lists of projects and electronic copies of project reports.

Accepted - NRCan’s Energy Enterprise has implemented a new project reporting and tracking template to facilitate and improve monitoring and tracking at program and portfolio levels.

The new template, implemented in 2010-11 for year-end reporting for 2009-10, enables monitoring, tracking and reporting activities at the project level, which in turn will facilitate and improve monitoring and tracking at program and portfolio levels. The new template will be used for financial and project tracking until the new department-wide Felix-SAP system is fully operational.

ADM/ES
ADM/IETS
Project reporting template was completed in April 2010 and has been implemented for 2009-10 year-end reporting.

4. Annual reports and project reports should contain output and outcome information that is clearly linked to the programs’ performance frameworks and performance indicators. The reports should provide context so that it is clear how the activity/project links to planned outcomes. The reports should include the interim steps made towards the uptake of the RD&D results.

Accepted - NRCan’s Energy Enterprise’s new project tracking template allows for collecting this information. It will be used until Felix-SAP is able to collect the information.

ADM/ES
ADM/IETS
Revised annual reports have been made available in April 2010 for 2009-10 year-end reporting.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Overview

This report summarizes the findings of an evaluation conducted on the CEPG Sub-sub-Activity (SSA). The evaluation covers approximately $117.7 million of NRCan (CEPG) funding for the period of 2003-04 to 2008-09. The total estimated CEPG funding from all sources for this period is $250.5 million.

Canada draws on a number of energy sources: hydroelectric, nuclear, coal and natural gas, and a small but increasing contribution from wind power. In 2007, hydroelectric power produced approximately 59% of Canada's total electrical power generation followed by fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and oil) at 25%, nuclear energy at 15%, and other sources such as wind and bio-energy accounting for the remaining 1% of generation.Footnote22

While 75% of Canada’s electricity system utilizes clean energy sources such as hydroelectric power, fossil-fuelled electric power generation remains the single largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Canada and is responsible for 17% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, electricity generation from fossil fuels produces a major portion of regulated emissions such as fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SOx), which contribute to smog and acid rain (i.e., 20% of SOx, 11% of NOx, and 13% of particulate matter).Footnote23

NRCan, through its CEPG SSA (2.1.4.5), supports energy R&D to help reduce environmental emissions, while also preserving the benefits of hydrocarbons, as plentiful and inexpensive fuels for electricity power production.

Three portfolios and six programs comprise this SSA. These are described in Section 2.0 of this report and include:

  • Distributed Power Generation (DPG) – Portfolio 5.1 ($52.8 million in NRCan funding from 2003-04 to 2008-09):
    • Renewable Electricity Technologies – Program 5.1.1;
    • Distributed Clean Generation – Program 5.1.2;
    • Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources – Program 5.1.3.
  • Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCCCS) – Portfolio 5.2 ($53.6 million in NRCan funding from 2003-04 to 2008-09):
    • Characterization of Canadian Fuels and their Emissions – Program 5.2.1 (2003-04 to 2006-07);
    • Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation – Program 5.2.2;
    • Carbon Capture and Storage – Program 5.2.3.
  • Next Generation (or Generation IV) Nuclear – Portfolio 5.3 ($11.3 million in NRCan funding from 2005-06 to 2008-09):
    • Generation IV (Gen IV) National Program.

Figure 1 shows the allocation of NRCan funding to each portfolio. NRCan funding includes ecoETI, PERD, CCTII, TEAM, and NRCan A-base funding. The total NRCan funding for the CEPG SSA was $117.7 million from 2003-04 to 2008-09. The CCCCS and the DPG Portfolio each received about 45% of NRCan funding during this time period. The Gen IV Nuclear Portfolio received about 10% of NRCan funding from 2005-06 to 2008-09.

Figure 1: Estimated NRCan Funding By CEPG Portfolio – 2003-04 to 2008-09

Figure 1: Estimated NRCan Funding By CEPG Portfolio 2003-04 to 2008-09

Source: OERD financial data and program annual reports.

Text version - Figure 1

Figure 1 shows a pie chart with the approximate allocation of NRCan funding (i.e., NRCan A-base, CCTII, ecoETI, TEAM and PERD funding) to each portfolio for the CEPG Sub-sub Activity from 2003-04 to 2008-09. The total NRCan funding for the CEPG Sub-sub Activity was $117.7M from 2003-04 to 2008-09. The CCCCS portfolio received about 45% or $53.6 million during this time period. The DPG portfolio received about 45% or $52.8 million of NRCan funding. The Gen IV Nuclear portfolio received about 10% of NRCan funding or $11.3 million from 2005-06 to 2008-09

2.0 Profile

2.1 Overview of Clean Electrical Power Generation (CEPG)

CEPG is a sub-sub-activity (2.1.4.5) within NRCan’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA). It falls under the Energy Science and Technology Sub­-Activity and contributes to the following departmental strategic outcome:

  • Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources.

CEPG consists of research and development and late-stage development and demonstration of technologies for promoting clean and efficient energy in the areas of distributed power generation, clean coal and carbon dioxide capture and storage, and nuclear energy.

Table 1 highlights the expected results for Clean Electrical Power Generation and its linkages to the PAA and performance measurement framework.

Table 1: Program Activity Architecture for CEPG
PAA Level Order Program Name Expected Results
Strategic Outcome 2 Environmental Responsibility Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources
Program Activity 2.1 Clean Energy Increased energy efficiency, increased production of low-emission energy, and reduced environmental impacts associated with energy production and use
Program Sub-Activity 2.1.4 Energy S&T Canadians derive new economic, environmental and social benefits from energy S&T
Program Sub-sub-Activity 2.1.4.5 Clean Electric Power Generation
(Priority 5)
Find new, long-term, cleaner and more efficient solutions to reducing environmental emissions by developing and disseminating new knowledge and new technologies through research, development and demonstration initiatives in electric power generation

The objectives of CEPG are to:

  • reduce the environmental impacts of Canada’s electricity infrastructure, particularly GHG and criteria air contaminant (CAC) emissions;
  • increase the reliability and sustainability of Canada’s electric power system through integration into the grid of renewable and distributed power generation;
  • increase efficiency of fossil-fuelled industrial plants and strategies to capture and manage emissions; and
  • provide Canadian industry with potential economic opportunities.

Rationale for CEPG

The federal government has committed to reducing Canada’s GHG emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 and to providing 90% of Canada’s electricity needs by non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power by 2020.Footnote24 The government can play a role in supporting R&D providing the basis for new technologies and knowledge that lead to “improved lives, better jobs, and new business opportunities.”Footnote25

Efforts to reduce GHGs and CACs become even more pertinent considering that global energy demand is forecasted to increase by 40% by 2030 assuming no policy or program changes.Footnote26 Demand for fossil fuels is also expected to increase during this time period. Demand for oil is expected to increase by 24%; demand for coal by 53%; and demand for natural gas by 42%.Footnote27

CEPG Structure

CEPG is currently comprised of three portfolios, six programs and approximately twenty-five sub-programs or activity areas.

In 2008-09, there were 62 PERD and 40 ecoETI projects within the CEPG SSA. The total number of projects for fiscal year 2003-04 to 2008-09 is difficult to estimate because prior to 2008-09, PERD was managed at the activity/output level rather than at the project level. Available information indicates that for fiscal year 2003-04 to 2007-08, there was an annual average of 49 climate change technology and innovation projects.Footnote28

NRCan’s CEPG SSA is funded through a number of sources. The key federal sources are:

  • Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) which is a long-standing, interdepartmental funding program focused on energy R&D. PERD has been the major source of funding for the programs.
  • Climate Change Technology and Innovation Initiative (CCTII) which wasa federal program to help achieve GHG reduction in the longer term by means of advanced technologies and enhanced innovative capacity through R&D, demonstration, and early adoption initiatives. The Program was launched in 2003 and ended (as planned) in March 2008.
  • ecoENERGY Technology Initiative (ecoETI) which is a four-year funding program (2007-08 to 2010-11) of $230 million that funds research, development and demonstration of next generation clean energy technologies that will increase the clean energy supply, reduce energy waste, and reduce pollution from conventional energy sources.
  • Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM) which was an interdepartmental technology investment program. TEAM supported projects that were designed to demonstrate technologies that mitigate GHG emissions nationally and internationally, and that sustain economic and social development. The 10-year program, which ended in 2008, involved $248 million in federal funding and attracted another $910 million in partner funding.Footnote29
  • The Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is providing nearly $795 million over five years (2009-10 to 2013-14) to advance Canadian leadership in clean energy technologies. The CEF is investing in large-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects and smaller-scale demonstration projects of renewable and alternative energy technologies. As at June 2010, three carbon capture and storage projects in Alberta have been announced, totalling $466 million from the Fund. Up to $146 million will be invested over five years to support renewable, clean energy and smart grid demonstrations in all regions of the country.Footnote30

Figure 2 illustrates the estimates of CEPG SSA resources from non-GOC, NRCan and OGD sources from 2003-04 to 2008-09. The total estimated CEPG contribution from all sources (including both financial and in-kind contributions) was $250.5 million for this period. Non-GOC funding accounts for 45% of overall funding, and NRCan funding (i.e., NRCan A-base, CCTII, ecoETI, TEAM and PERD funding) accounts for 46% of the funding. Funding from other government departments and agencies was estimated at 9% of the overall total.

Figure 2: Estimated CEPG Resources from All Sources (2003-04 to 2008-09)Footnote31

Figure 2: Estimated CEPG Resources from All Sources (2003-04 to 2008-09)

Sources of financial data for Figure 2, Tables 2 and 3:

Text version - Figure 2

Figure 2 shows a pie chart with the estimates of CEPG Sub-sub Activity resources from Non-Government of Canada (Non GOC); NRCan and other government department (OGD) sources from 2003-04 to 2008-09. The total estimated CEPG contribution from all sources (including both financial and in-kind contributions) was $250.5 million for this period. Non-GOC funding accounts for 45% or $109.7 million of overall funding, and NRCan funding (i.e., NRCan A-base, CCTII, ecoETI, TEAM and PERD funding) accounts for 46% or $117.7 million of the funding. Funding from other government departments and agencies was estimated at 9% or $23.1 million of the overall total.

  1. OERD financial records contained the overall PERD and CCTII, and ecoETI expenditures and these records were used as the source of information when this information was not contained in the program annual reports.
  2. Program annual reports contained budget information (i.e., not actual expenditures) by theme/activity area for PERD/CCTII/EcoETI funding as well as for contributions (budgeted) from other funding sources. These financial records were used as OERD records do not contain this information.
  3. In many cases, resources provided by non-PERD/CCTII/ecoETI sources did not distinguish between cash and in-kind.
  4. With respect to the DPG and the CCCCS portfolios, the source of funding for the “other” category in the program annual reports was not identified in many cases. For these portfolios, further analysis was required to identify the most common sources of “other” funding.

Governance Structure

All CEPG programs are funded through the NRCan Office of Energy Research and Development (OERD). The OERD governance structure includes a panel of assistant deputy ministers on energy S&T, a director general committee on energy S&T, and nine newly-formed portfolio committees. These portfolio committees receive advice on energy S&T priorities from several sources.Footnote32

Each of the CEPG portfolios employs a portfolio committee and an external advisory committee to identify program priorities and define R&D activities. Portfolio committees also ensure that program plans meet the needs of each portfolio’s strategic priorities. In the case of Gen IV, the governance structure includes an international component and the planning process ensures that Canadian research is aligned with the R&D priorities and activities as identified for Canada in the Generation IV International Forum Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) and Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) research plans (which outline the roles for each participating country).

At the program level, program leaders, with the approval of the portfolio committee may appoint program management committees and technical advisory committees as appropriate,Footnote33 with membership and roles tailored to specific program or sub-program needs.Footnote34 An OERD S&T advisor is included in program management committees. The technical advisory committee for each field, program, or sub-program is an advisory body that can include representatives from industry, and other stakeholders with the mandate of advising NRCan on priorities for research and development needs.

The program leader, who is also a member of the portfolio committee, is generally responsible for producing the program plan, and developing its strategies and program level priorities; recommending the allocation of resources to achieve the outcomes established in the program plan; and, reporting on compliance and results. Sub-program leaders provide strategic input on the sub-program for the program plan. Program or project managers manage the research activities, produce the outputs and deliverables, account for the expenditure of funds, and report on research activities.

NRCan’s CanmetENERGY is a key delivery agent responsible for delivering on the R&D mandate of programs. It also collaborates with other organizations in the delivery of its R&D projects and programs. In addition to CanmetENERGY, there are other delivery agents at the program level such as other federal government departments or research councils.

Figure 3 describes the general portfolio governance structure.Footnote35

Figure 3: General Portfolio Management Structure

Figure 3: General Portfolio Management Structure
Text version - Figure 3

Figure 3 shows an organizational chart of the general portfolio management structure. At the top of the chart is the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Panel on Energy Science and Technology. Linked to this structure is the Director General Committee on Energy S&T. Beneath the ADM Panel on Energy Science and Technology is the External Advisory Committee, the portfolio committees and Office of Energy Research and Development. These portfolio committees receive advice on energy S&T priorities from several sources. Each of the CEPG portfolios employs a Portfolio Committee and an External Advisory Committee to identify program priorities and define R&D activities. The Portfolio Committees also assist with the identification of program priorities and define Research and Development activities. Portfolio Committees also ensure that program plans meet the needs of each Portfolio’s strategic priorities. 

Beneath the Portfolio Committees and the External Advisory Committee is the program level. Each program has a program leader. At the program level, program leaders, with the approval of the Portfolio Committee may appoint program management committees as appropriate, with membership and roles tailored to specific program needs.

Under the Program level is the Sub Program or Activity level. Sub-program leaders provide strategic input on the sub-program for the Program Plan. Beneath the Sub-Program level are the Technical Advisory Committees (TAC) for each field, program, or sub-program.

2.2 Distributed Power Generation (DPG)

2.2.1 Portfolio Mandate, Objectives and Rationale

The objective of the DPG Portfolio is to advance and expand the science and technology for electricity generation from renewable energy sources, small Combined Heat and Power Systems and other distributed clean generation technologies, including thermal and electrical storage, and the integration of such systems into the grid.

The Portfolio is comprised of the following three programs which are described in a subsequent subsection:

  • 5.1.1 Renewable Electricity Technologies;
  • 5.1.2 Distributed Clean Generation; and
  • 5.1.3 Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources.

Distributed power generation refers to the small-scale electrical power generating units that produce electricity at a site close to customers or that are tied to the electrical grid.Footnote36 Distributed generators use both renewable and carbon-based energy sources. Most renewable energy technologies are distributed, linked to consumer facilities with interconnections or integrated into the electricity grid. There are also smaller scale generators that use combined heat and power (CHP) technologies. These generators use waste heat resulting in higher fuel efficiencies.

2.2.2 History and Context

NRCan has carried out research related to the responsible use of resources to produce energy for over 20 years. Much of the early work was funded through PERD. NRCan has had several funding cycles during this period, modifying strategic objectives and programs to respond to changing needs and government objectives. During the 2003-04 to 2006-07 cycle, two of the three current programs under the DPG Portfolio were operating. The strategic planning process carried out at the end of this cycle led to a new structure which included CEPG as one of NRCan’s six strategic priorities. As a result of this process, the former Application of Renewable Energy Technologies and Integrated Systems in Off-Grid/Remote Communities Program (Program 3.2.2) was incorporated into the 5.1.3 Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources Program. Small adjustments among the two other programs were also made at that time.

2.2.3 Key Stakeholders

As with other CEPG portfolios, Distributed Power Generation Portfolio projects involve partnerships with a large range of stakeholders. Many research projects are carried out on a cost-sharing basis with industry, universities, research groups, quasi-public agencies, and other federal government departments and governments. NRCan also participates in various international committees to leverage its expertise.

The Portfolio reach includes the following groups:

  • various federal policy, regulatory, laboratory or program delivery activities or departments such as Environment Canada, National Research Council, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and NSERC;
  • provincial research and regulatory agencies;
  • national and international organizations such as the International Energy Agency;
  • national and international standards and testing organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Canadian Standards Association, Underwriter Laboratories and Underwriters Laboratories® of Canada;
  • electrical and natural gas utilities;
  • industrial firms (developers, manufacturers, operators and consultants);
  • industry associations such as the Canadian Solar Cell Research Network Partners, NSERC Wind Energy Research Network and Solar Building Research Network; and
  • Canadian and international universities.

2.2.4 Program Structure and Outputs

Details on the program structure of the three Distributed Power Generation Portfolio programs are given in Annex A. The three programs provide similar types of outputs including:

  • new and improved clean electrical power generation technology;
  • demonstrations of these new technologies;
  • enabling technologies such as resource assessment and prediction software and models;
  • new or revised codes and standards;
  • publications and reports;
  • test results;
  • advice to stakeholders;
  • workshops and presentations to stakeholders;
  • research project agreements with partners; and
  • patents and other types of intellectual property.

2.2.5 Resources

The programs under the Distributed Power Generation Portfolio have been funded from a range of sources from 2003-04 to the present. The primary sources of government funding have been:

  • NRCan A-base (ongoing);
  • PERD (ongoing);
  • CCTII (2003-04 to 2007-08);
  • TEAM (1998 to 2008); and
  • ecoETI (2007-08 to 2011-12).

Detailed DPG Portfolio financial information is presented in Table 2. As shown, leverage was calculated in four different ways. One key leverage estimate is the ratio of GOC contributions to the Portfolio (including CEPG funding, NRCan and OGD A-base and in-kind) to the total non-Government of Canada contributions (e.g., in-kind and financial contributions from university, industry, etc.). Over the period from 2003-04 to 2008-09, the overall GOC to non-GOC ratio was 1:1.50 for the DPG Portfolio. This means that for every GOC dollar invested, $1.50 was contributed from non-GOC sources.

Another leverage estimate is the ratio of non-NRCan contributions (OGD, university, industry, etc., in-kind and cash) to the total NRCan contributions (PERD, ecoETI, TEAM, CCTII, NRCan A-base). Using this estimate, $52.8 million of NRCan contributions leveraged $93.9 million of non-NRCan contributions (both financial and in-kind) from 2003-04 to 2008-09. In other words, for every dollar invested by NRCan, $1.78 was contributed from non-NRCan sources for the DPG Portfolio.

Table 2: Estimates of DPG Portfolio Funding, 2003-04 to 2008-09
(in thousands of $)
Source Fiscal Years Total
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
PERD 1,944 1,913 1,624 1,329 3,181 3,996 13,987
ecoETI 0 0 0 0 0 2,528 2,528
TEAM 125 1,342 1,406 2,978 1,137 6,988
CCTII 0 0 6,853 7,541 5,770 20,164
CCAP 31 31
Total CEPG 1,944 2,038 9,850 10,276 11,929 7,661 43,698
A-Base NRCan 499 180 424 254 545 442 2,344
NRCan Other 0 0 2,758 3,982 6,740
Total NRCan 2,443 2,218 13,032 14,512 12,474 8,103 52,782
Other Federal Support
OGD 670 349 364 423 1,527 409 3,742
OGD (in-kind) 240 125 250 245 450 800 2,110
Total OGD 910 474 614 668 1,977 1,209 5,852
Total GOC 3,353 2,692 13,646 15,180 14,451 9,312 58,634
Non-GOC Contributions
Industry 2,399 1,287 3,533 10,746 6,923 3,071 27,959
Industry (in-kind) 50 747 3,491 2,599 18,412 1,458 26,757
University 537 123 719 356 487 333 2,555
University(in-kind) 16 285 293 130 919 480 2,123
NGOs 268 70 0 697 118 50 1,203
NGOs (in-kind) 0 235 50 575 2 35 897
Province 190 410 530 83 565 235 2,013
Province (in-kind) 0 25 47 200 134 50 456
International 300 0 282 829 0 0 1,411
International (in-kind) 0 0 160 813 0 351 1,324
Non-GOC Other Footnote37 721 3,300 1,178 2,820 3,645 2,592 14,256
Non-GOC Other (in-kind) 0 330 2,529 107 3,972 122 7,060
Total Non-GOC 4,481 6,812 12,812 19,955 35,177 8,777 88,014
Total GOC and Non-GOC
Total 7,834 9,504 26,458 35,135 49,628 18,089 146,648
Leverage Estimate
Non- NRCan / Total NRCan Leverage
2.21 3.28 1.03 1.42 2.98 1.23 1.78
CEPG Leverage (Non-GOC/ Total CEPG)
2.31 3.34 1.30 1.94 2.95 1.15 2.01
NRCan Leverage (Non-GOC / Total NRCan)
1.83 3.07 0.98 1.38 2.82 1.08 1.67
GOC Leverage (Non-GOC / Total GOC)
1.34 2.53 0.94 1.31 2.43 0.94 1.50

Sources of financial data for Figure 2, Tables 2 and 3:

  1. OERD financial records contained the overall PERD and CCTII, and ecoETI expenditures and these records were used as the source of information when this information was not contained in the program annual reports.
  2. Program annual reports contained budget information (i.e., not actual expenditures) by theme/activity area for PERD/CCTII/EcoETI funding as well as for contributions (budgeted) from other funding sources. These financial records were used as OERD records do not contain this information.
  3. In many cases, resources provided by non-PERD/CCTII/EcoETI sources did not distinguish between cash and in-kind.
  4. With respect to the DPG and the CCCCS portfolios, the source of funding for the “other” category in the annual reports was not identified in many cases. Regarding these portfolios, further analysis was required to identify the most common sources of “other” contributions.

2.3 Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCCCS)

2.3.1 Portfolio Mandate, Objectives and Rationale

The objective of the CCCCS Portfolio is to provide S&T to reduce emissions and associated environmental impacts from centralized, combustion-based electric power generation systems. This portfolio targets emissions of GHGs and CACs such as SO2, NOx, particulates, and toxic emissions such as mercury from large-scale power generation from coal and related solid fuels. It investigates and develops new ways of converting coal and other solid fuels to energy, of capturing the emissions and sequestering them in geological formations.Footnote38

The Portfolio has two active programs, the Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program and the Carbon Capture and Storage Program.

The objective for the Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program is the efficient conversion of fossil fuels to electricity with ultra-low environmental emissions. The Program provides support to operators of current fossil fuel-fired electrical power plants through advice on modifications of problem solving to optimize the performance of their systems. The Program also performs R&D and technology development to support the development and installation of advanced power generation systems.

The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Program objective is the capture, treatment, transport, use and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources. The Program focuses on developing CO2 capture and compression technologies and advancing the understanding of the injection and storage of CO2 in geological formations. Capture of CO2 from fossil-fuelled electrical generation and its subsequent compression, transport to and injection into geological formations for long-term storage is a means of reducing Canada’s GHG emissions from large electrical power generators to near-zero.

The technology involves capturing CO2 from sources such as flue gas from a fossil fuel-fired electricity generation facility. The captured gas stream is then treated, concentrated and compressed for transportation and injection into a geological storage site such as an oil or gas reservoir, which could enhance the oil and gas production, or a saline formation for long-term storage.

The potential application of combined clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies is greatest in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where coal-fired power generation provides over 80% of electrical power, and there are opportunities for deep geological storage of CO2 in oil fields and saline formations. It is estimated that between 10 and 40 megatonnes of CO2 could be stored in western Canadian oil fields as part of enhanced oil recovery.Footnote39 This can be compared to the planned targets for industry to reduce GHG emissions by 150 megatonnes by 2020.Footnote40

2.3.2 History and Context

NRCan has carried out research related to the responsible use of resources to produce energy for over 20 years. Much of the early work was funded through PERD. NRCan has had several funding cycles during this period, modifying strategic objectives and programs to respond to changing needs and government objectives. During the 2003-04 to 2006-07 cycle, two of the three programs under the current CCCCS Portfolio were operating.

The Characterization of Canadian Fuels and their Emissions Program was terminated at the end of the 2003-04 to 2006-07 cycle. The strategic planning process carried out at the end of this cycle led to a new structure which included CEPG as one of six strategic priorities. Under CEPG, the work associated with efficient combustion is carried on under the Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program and the work associated with CO2 capture and storage is carried on under the Carbon Capture and Storage Program. These two programs are currently funded to the end of 2010-11.

2.3.3 Key Stakeholders

As with other CEPG portfolios, the Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio projects involve partnerships with a large range of stakeholders. Many research projects are carried out on a cost-sharing basis with industry, universities, research groups, quasi-public agencies, and other federal government departments and governments. NRCan also participates in various international committees to leverage its expertise.

The Portfolio reach includes the following groups:

  • various federal policy, regulatory, laboratory or program delivery activities or departments such as Environment Canada policy and regulatory groups, and the National Research Council (NRC);
  • western Canadian provincial research and regulatory agencies;
  • national and international organizations such as the International Energy Agency, Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, and Asia Pacific Energy Partnership;
  • other government research agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories;
  • electrical utilities with fossil fuel-fired power generation such as SaskPower, Ontario Power Generation, and Scotia Power;
  • industrial firms in the fossil fuel combustion and CO2 capture and storage sectors (developers, manufacturers, operators and consultants); and
  • Canadian and international universities.

2.3.4 Program Structure and Outputs

Details on the Program structure of the two CCCCS portfolio programs are given in Annex A. The programs’ outputs include:

  • experimental results;
  • enabling technologies such as process and computational modeling software, models and data;
  • current improved and state-of-the-art new facilities;
  • new and improved technology;
  • technology transfer;
  • publications and reports;
  • advice to stakeholders;
  • workshops and presentations to stakeholders;
  • research project agreements with partners; and
  • patents and other types of intellectual property.

2.3.5 Resources

The programs under the Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio have been funded from a range of sources from 2003-04 to the present. The primary sources of government funding have been:

  • NRCan A-base (ongoing);
  • PERD (ongoing);
  • CCTII (2003-04 to 2007-08); and
  • ecoETI (2007-08 to 2011-12).

The Characterisation of Canadian Fuels and their Emissions Program, which is now closed, was funded through A-base and PERD. The Clean Coal Combustion Program has been funded primarily through A-base and PERD, and the CO2 Capture and Storage Program has been funded through A-base, PERD, CCTII, Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) and ecoETI.

Detailed CCCCS Portfolio financial information is presented in Table 3. As shown, leverage was calculated in four different ways. One key leverage estimate is the ratio of Government of Canada contributions (including CEPG funding, NRCan and OGD) to the total non-Government of Canada contributions to the Portfolio (e.g., financial and in-kind contributions from university, industry, etc.). Over the six year period beginning in 2003-04, the overall non-GOC to GOC ratio for CCCCS was 1:0.37, meaning that for every dollar invested by the federal system; $0.37 was contributed by other non-Government of Canada stakeholders.

Another leverage estimate is the ratio of NRCan contributions (PERD, ecoETI, CCTII, NRCan A-base, etc.) to non-NRCan contributions (financial and in-kind contributions from OGD, university, industry, etc). Using this estimate, NRCan contributions for CCCCS ($53.6 million) leveraged $21.6 million of non-NRCan contributions (both financial and in-kind) from 2003-04 to 2008-09. In other words, for every dollar invested by NRCan (CCCCS), $0.50 was contributed from non-NRCan sources.

Table 3: Estimates of CCCCS Portfolio Funding, 2003-04 to 2008-09 (in thousands of $)
Source Fiscal Years Total
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Footnote41
Government of Canada (GOC)
NRCanCEPG Funding
PERD 4,053 3,681 4,092 3,765 3,884 4,170 23,645
CCTII 1,057 1,480 2,387 3,630 3,489 12,043
ecoETI 0 0 0 0 708 10,505 11,213
CCAP 0 1,070 712 0 0 0 1,782
Total CEPG 5,110 6,231 7,191 7,395 8,081 14,675 48,683
NRCan – Other
Other NRCan Funding 638 638
NRCan A-Base 939 1,111 1,024 591 632 0 4,297
Total NRCan 6,687 7,342 8,215 7,986 8,713 14,675 53,618
Other Federal Support
OGD (Cash) 1,122 1,574 1,173 1,063 313 0 5,245
OGD (In-kind) 0 0 20 6 0 0 26
Total OGD 1,122 1,574 1,193 1,069 313 0 5,271
Total Federal 7,809 8,916 9,408 9,055 9,026 14,675 58,889
Non-GOC Contributions
Industry – Cash 1,496 1,554 1,098 2,408 1,910 865 9,331
Industry –In-kind 290 640 615 10 70 1,625
Provinces – Cash 75 330 319 441 335 102 1,602
Provinces – In-kind 100 130 130 11 371
University – Cash 0 0 0 700 569 250 1,519
University – In-kind 95 0 350 457 0 0 902
International – Cash 1,500 0 400 850 200 0 2,950
International – In-kind 2,090 500 250 0 0 0 2,840
Other Non-GOC 65 87 40 40 50 180 462
Other Non-GOC (in-kind) 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
Total Non-GOC and Other 5,711 3,241 3,202 4,919 3,134 1,397 21,604
Total GOC and Non-GOC
Total 13,520 12,157 12,610 13,974 12,160 16,072 80,493
Leverage Estimates
Non- NRCan / Total NRCan
1.02 0.66 0.53 0.75 0.40 0.10 0.50
CEPG Leverage (Non-GOC/ Total CEPG)
1.12 0.52 0.45 0.67 0.39 0.10 0.44
NRCan Leverage (Non-GOC/ Total NRCan)
0.85 0.44 0.39 0.62 0.36 0.10 0.40
GOC Leverage (Non-GOC/ Total GOC)
0.73 0.36 0.34 0.54 0.35 0.10 0.37

Sources of financial data for Figure 2, Tables 2 and 3:

  1. OERD financial records contained the overall PERD and CCTII, and ecoETI expenditures and these records were used as the source of information when this information was not contained in the program annual reports.
  2. Program annual reports contained budget information (i.e., not actual expenditures) by theme/activity area for PERD/CCTII/ecoETI funding as well as for contributions (budgeted) from other funding sources. These financial records were used as OERD records do not contain this information.
  3. In many cases, resources provided by non-PERD/CCTII/ecoETI sources did not distinguish between cash and in-kind.
  4. With respect to the DPG and the CCCCS portfolios, the source of funding for the “other” category contained in the annual reports was not identified in many cases. Pertaining to these portfolios, further analysis was required to identify the most common sources of “other” funding.

2.4 Next Generation Nuclear (Gen IV)

2.4.1 Portfolio Mandate, Objectives and Rationale

The mandate of the Next Generation Nuclear Portfolio is twofold: to support Canada’s xext generation (Gen IV) nuclear R&D and to support Canada’s participation in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Treaty to develop advanced nuclear-based energy systems.Footnote42

The Next Generation (or Generation IV) Nuclear Portfolio (5.3) has one active program: the Generation IV (Gen IV) National Program.

Generation IV is a term that has been adopted to apply to future nuclear energy systems (i.e., deployment beyond 2020), and that can be licensed, constructed and operated in a manner that will provide a competitively-priced and reliable supply of energy, while satisfactorily addressing nuclear safety, waste, proliferation and public perception concerns. In 2001, 10 countries initiated the GIF to collaboratively develop such advanced energy systems as part of energy strategies for the future.

2.4.2 History and Context

Nuclear Research in Canada

Prior to this program, advance nuclear power R&D funding was the responsibility of a Canadian crown corporation (AECL) through its Chalk River Laboratory (CRL) which has been the focus for nuclear technology R&D in Canada for over 50 years. When the Gen IV National Program was added to the CEPG SSA in January 2006, NRCan’s Office of Energy Research and Development established the infrastructure to oversee the Program, establish a governance framework, and secure long-term funding. The technical efforts in this first year (funded by PERD) were delivered primarily by AECL and focused on ensuring Canada’s ongoing participation in GIF and laying the groundwork for the Gen IV National Program. In the second year of the Program (2006-07), relevant capabilities and expertise within NRCan labs were identified and some R&D activities initiated.

Gen IV CEPG funding comes from two sources, PERD and ecoETI, both of which have been described above.

International Context

In 2001, 10 countries (including Canada) initiated the Generation IV International Forum to collaboratively develop the next generation of nuclear energy systems to provide competitively- priced and reliable energy in a safe and sustainable way. As at June 2010, the Forum has 13 members which are signatories of its founding document, the GIF Charter. Canada, along with Argentina, Brazil, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States were the original signatories to the GIF Charter in July 2001. Subsequently, it was signed by Switzerland in 2002, EuratomFootnote43 in 2003, and the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, both in 2006.Footnote44

Over 100 potential nuclear reactor concepts or systems were reviewed by an international panel of experts. The panel selected six reactor types that best met the Generation IV objectives of sustainability, economics, safety and reliability, and proliferation resistance and physical protection.Footnote45 The six selected systems are:

  • Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) System;
  • Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) System;
  • Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor System;
  • Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor System;
  • Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor System; and
  • Molten Salt Reactor System.

In February 2005, Canada along with four other countries signed the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems; it is the binding international treaty that unites all participant countries to carry out the R&D needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems. The GIF Framework AgreementFootnote46 is the mechanism by which countries may collaboratively undertake and participate in nuclear R&D in support of the GIF. To date, a total of nine countries plus the European Union have ratified the agreement. To meet these commitments, NRCan’s Gen IV National Program was initiated in January 2006.

Canada participates in the development of two GIF reactor systems: the SCWR and the VHTR. The SCWR is a natural evolution of current Canadian CANDU technology (Canada has over 50 years of experience with this technology). The GIF programs present an opportunity to leverage Canada’s expertise to develop the next generation SCWR systems in a timelier manner, with low-risk and at lower cost than to undertake the initiative on its own.

Canada’s current interestFootnote47 in VHTR system is due in large part to the fact that the GIF’s nuclear hydrogen research takes place within the VHTR Program and thus provides an opportunity to gain access to these project findings by joining the VHTR system. Canada has a strong competitive interest in developing cost-effective new technologies for hydrogen production to support its clean energy and climate change agenda priorities. Cost-effective hydrogen production can allow for widespread use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, an input to agricultural fertilizer, or for application in the Alberta tar sands (to upgrade bitumen to form synthetic crude oil). Nuclear hydrogen production may be achieved through VHTR processes or in lower temperature SCWR systems.

In addition to nuclear hydrogen research, Canada also participates in VHTR materials research projects when there is good alignment with the SCWR reactor design needs. Findings from GIF projects may have direct application to existing CANDU reactor systems (e.g., improved reactor materials design and safety protocols) and in other sectors (e.g., space, transportation, etc.).

The Gen IV systems are not expected to be available for commercial introduction until after 2025.

2.4.3 Governance Structure

Unlike the other two CEPG portfolios, there are two key governance structures that influence the design and delivery of this portfolio. The first is the organizational structure that supports Canada’s Gen IV National Program, and the second is the governance structure for the broader international effort (GIF). Canada plays an active role in GIF, chairing various technical committees and shaping the Gen IV National Program to meet Canada’s international GIF commitments. Details are provided in Annex A.

2.4.4 Key Stakeholders

The Gen IV National Program projects and activities involve a large range and number of stakeholders. Most projects are led by AECL or NRCan and are conducted in collaboration with other government departments, international research organizations and, as a result of the NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program, an increasing number of Canadian universities. The key stakeholders include:

  • AECL;
  • NRCan labs (e.g., CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (CANMET MTL)) and other government department labs (e.g., NRC);
  • Canadian nuclear industry;
  • non-nuclear industries with advanced materials needs;
  • Canadian universities (20 currently participate in one or more next generation projects);
  • NSERC, which provides financial and management support for university participation;
  • international research organizations (e.g. Argonne National Labs (U.S.), Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland)); and,
  • GIF members (France, Japan, Korea, South Africa, the United States, Switzerland, European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), China and Russia).

2.4.5 Program Structure and Outputs

The program is delivered through two main mechanisms:

  • Targeted calls for proposals to the national energy S&T community (federal laboratories, agencies and crown corporations). The first Request for Proposals (RFP) was held in 2007; however, due to significant program funding reductions, the submissions became invalid and a second RFP was held in May 2008. As a result, 2008-09 marked the first year of stable R&D funding and the 19 selected projects are expected to run for three years.
  • Calls for proposals to universities through NSERC/NRCan/AECL Generation IV Energy Technologies Program. The call went out in early 2009, following which 23 projects (from eight provinces) were selected for funding. Most of these commenced in the spring and early summer of 2009.

The Program is currently organized around three sub-programs: Super Critical Water-Cooled Reactor; Very High Temperature Reactor; and Nuclear Hydrogen Production as further described in Annex A.

2.4.6 Resources

The Program first received PERD funding in January 2006 when the Gen IV National Program was launched. The Program has also received ecoETI funding, and receives in-kind and financial resources from project partners which include AECL, CANMET (A-base), universities and international research organizations.

As noted above, during the initial planning phases, the Program anticipated funding of $35 million over four years (2007-08 to 2010-11). In 2007, significant changes to ecoETI allocations reduced the funding allocation to $9.5 million over three years (2008-09 to 2010-11), effectively reducing program resources to one-third of the original plan.

Gen IV Portfolio financial information is presented in Table 4. As shown, leverage was calculated in four different ways. Given the long-term nature of Gen IV research, the Portfolio has not leveraged non-Government of Canada dollars. However, it is estimated that as a member of the GIF SCWR & VHTR systems from 2005-06 to 2008-09, Canada has gained access to research valued at approximately $96.8 million.Footnote48

Using the leveraging ratio of NRCan contributions (PERD, ecoETI, NRCan A-base) to the total non-NRCan contributions (financial and in-kind contributions from OGD, international, etc), NRCan funding of $11.3 million for this portfolio leveraged $12.1 million of non-NRCan financial and in-kind contributions. In other words, for every dollar invested by NRCan, $1.07 was contributed from non-NRCan sources.

Table 4: Estimates of Gen IV Portfolio Funding, 2005-06 to 2008-09 (in thousands of $)
Funding Sources Fiscal Years Total
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Government of Canada (GOC)
NRCanCEPG Funding
PERD 1,500 2,000 1,135 3,257 7,892
ecoETI 1,201 771 1,972
Total CEPG 1,500 2,000 2,336 4,028 9,864
NRCan – Other
Other OERD / ES 481 481
NRCan A-Base 70 70
NRCan (In-kind MTL, CETC) 20 30 855 905
Total NRCan 1,500 2,020 2,436 5,364 11,320
Other Federal Support
OGDFootnote49 (In-kind) 83 284 367
NSERC Footnote50 1,000 1,000
AECL In-kind Footnote51 3,100 5,497 2,046 2,810 10,643
Total OGD 3,100 5,497 2,129 2,284 12,010
Total Government of Canada 4,600 7,517 4,565 7,648 23,330
Non-GOC Contributions
Universities (In-kind) 10 10
International (In-kind) 100 100
Total Non GOC Contributions 0 100 10 0 110
Total GOC and Non-GOC
Total 4,600 7,617 4,575 7,648 23,440
Leverage Estimates
Non- NRCan / Total NRCan Leverage
2.07 2.77 0.88 0.24 1.07
CEPG Leverage (Non-GOC / Total CEPG)
0.00 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.01
NRCan Leverage (Non-GOC / Total NRCan)
0.00 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.01
GOC Leverage (Non-GOC / Total GOC)
0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00

Sources of financial data for Table 4:

  1. OERD financial records were used as the source of information for PERD and ecoETI.
  2. Program annual reports contained budget information (i.e., not actual expenditures) by theme/activity area for PERD/CCTII/EcoETI funding as well as for contributions (budgeted) from other funding sources. These financial records were used as OERD records do not contain this information.
  3. Estimates of AECL in-kind contributions based on data provided by AECL.

Table 4 includes the funding for the recently-launched NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program. The budget is $6 million over three years, with NRCan/CEPG and NSERC each contributing $1 million per year. The maximum available per project is $300,000 ($100,000 per year for three years). AECL supports the Program by providing in-kind support in the form of access to personnel and facilities, where appropriate.

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Evaluation Issues and Methodology

This evaluation examined issues related to the relevance and performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy) of CEPG and its portfolios. The evaluation methodology was comprised of the following approaches:

  • Document Review – Over 200 documents were reviewed which encompassed each portfolio’s (and its programs) documentation, plans and performance reports. In addition, documents from external sources, including Canadian federal policy documents such as Canada’s Economic Action Plan, priority identification instruments (e.g., budget speech) as well as related publications of other countries and federal departments, reports to Parliament and other publications were reviewed.
  • Interviews – In total, 74 in-depth interviews were completed. Interviewees included program managers, project leaders, industry stakeholders and partners. By portfolio, 35 individuals were interviewed with respect to the Distributed Power Distribution Portfolio; 23 for the Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio; and 16 from the Next Generation Nuclear Portfolio. Interviews were distributed as per Table 5.
Table 5: In-Depth and Case Study Interviews
Type DPG CCCCS Gen IV Total
In-depth Case Study In-depth Case Study In-depth Case Study In-depth Case Study
NRCan 14 7 13 13 4 3 31 23
OGD 10 1 2 1 4 1 16 3
Industry 6 13 2 2 4 3 12 18
University 5 1 4 1 0 1 9 3
Province 0 0 2 2 0 0 2 2
International 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 0
Other 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 35 22 23 19 16 8 74 49
  • Case Studies – A total of 15 case studies were completed. The case studies were conducted across a sample of projects to acquire more detailed knowledge of outputs and outcomes and are one of the major data sources for addressing the effectiveness of CEPG and its portfolios. They involved review of data and documentation as well as 49 case study interviews with project deliverers and stakeholders for each case study. A summary of the case studies is provided in Table 6. Detailed case study write-ups were provided under separate cover. The distribution of case study interviews is also outlined in Table 5.
Table 6: Overview of Case Studies
Title Program Sub-Program Funding Sources NRCan $
Distributed Power Generation Portfolio
Combined Heat and Energy Power Systems (CHeP) Distributed Clean Generation (5.1.2) Combined Heat and Power T&I

TEAM
$292,500

$778,700
Enbridge Ultra-Clean Generation and Fuel Cell Distributed Clean Generation (5.1.2) Combined Heat and Power T&I

TEAM
$522,000

$1,763,000
Very Low Head Turbine (VLHT) Hydraulic Energy Project Renewable Energy Technologies (5.1.1) Small Hydro T&I

ecoETI

PERD
$794,000 (T&I and ecoETI total)


$82,000
Standards Renewable Energy Technologies (5.1.1) Wind, Solar PV and Marine T&I

PERD

ecoETI
$1,235,000 (total)
Wind Energy Atlas and Wind Energy Simulation Toolkit Renewable Energy Technologies (5.1.1) Wind T&I

ecoETI
$2,052,000 (total)
Clean Carbon and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio
Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle Development for production of hydrogen and oxygen and CO2 capture for storage Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation (5.2.2) Developing High-Efficiency, Low Emission Advanced Power Cycles (Advanced Cycles) (Sub-Program 4) PERD

ecoETI
$416,000

$840,000
Development and Implementation of an Advanced Pilot-scale CO2 Capture and Compression Unit CO2 Capture and Storage (5.2.3) Development of 2nd Generation of Fossil Fuel Energy Processes with CO2 Capture (Sub-program 1)
Develop Advanced Modular CO2 Clean-up and Compression Unit (Sub-program 2)
T&I

PERD
$2,000,000

$540,000
Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation (5.2.2) Advanced Modeling Techniques for Clean Coal Technologies (Modeling) PERD

ecoETI
$933,000

$165,000
Fuel Property Database Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation (5.2.2) Advancing Knowledge of Fuels and Products for Clean Coal Technologies (Knowledge) (Sub-Program 1) PERD $385,000
Integrated Gasification Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation (5.2.2) High Efficiency, Low Emission Advanced Clean Coal Technology Cycles (Sub-Program 4) PERD

ecoETI
$1,123,000
Estimating Storage Capacity for CO2 in Saline Aquifers CO2 Capture and Storage (5.2.3) Develop Monitoring, Measurement and Verification (MMV) CO2 Storage Tools and Protocols (Sub-Program 5) PERD $487,000
International Energy Agency (IEA) Weyburn-Midale Project CO2 Capture and Storage (5.2.3) Assessment of Resources for CO2 Storage CCAP

T&I

PERD

ecoETI
$1,000,000

$770,000

$100,000

$7,400,000
Next Generation Nuclear (Gen IV) Portfolio
Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR) – Corrosion Database Generation IV Nuclear Technologies (5.3.1) Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactors (Sub-Program 1) PERD $892,000
Nuclear Hydrogen Production – Copper Chlorine Cycle Generation IV Nuclear Technologies (5.3.1) Development of Nuclear Hydrogen Production Technologies (Sub-Program 3) PERD

EcoETI
$372,000

$240,000
Very-High Temperature Reactors – Modeling for Materials Selection Generation IV Nuclear Technologies (5.3.1) Very-High Temperature Reactors (Sub-Program 2) ecoETI

PERD
$300,000 (total)

3.2 Evaluation Limitations

As outlined in the previous section, all reasonable efforts were used to ensure that the evaluation methodology was robust. This included the use of multiple lines of evidence and coverage across portfolios and their programs. However, there are limitations with all evaluation studies. In the case of this evaluation, the key limitations were associated with the large scope and complexity of the SSA and with the individual evaluation methodological approaches. Limitations are as per Table 7.

Table 7: Evaluation Limitations
Approach Limitations

Scope of the SSA

The CEPG S&T investment system is complex, covering a broad range of activities and objectives within the CEPG theme of NRCan’s PAA. During the time period covered by this evaluation, there was no strategy, policy framework or results-based management and accountability framework that encompassed all of the portfolios.

Document Review

The documents were identified by NRCan, interviewees and the evaluation team. As such, a wealth of documents on CEPG and its environment was reviewed. However, there is no assurance that all key documents were identified and reviewed as there was no pre-existing mechanism in place to keep track of documents produced that were relevant to CEPG and its environment.

Review of Financial Data

There were several issues with financial information on the portfolios and their programs and projects. This information was difficult to obtain and was often inconsistent from one source to another.

In-Depth Interviews

The in-depth interviews provided a wealth of qualitative information on various aspects of the Program. Some interviewees had an in-depth knowledge of the portfolios whereas others had in-depth knowledge of an aspect of particular relevance to the evaluation. Therefore, some interviewees could only provide limited information on some evaluation issues. Nonetheless, given the large number of interviews completed, the in-depth interviews contributed to providing good coverage of all issues.

Another limitation to the interviews was the difficulty in obtaining up-to-date contact information. The lists of key portfolio stakeholders were out-of-date and it was therefore difficult to determine if the individuals interviewed were, in actual fact, the most knowledgeable individuals to interview. In addition, since the lists were screened by representatives of the portfolios, a selection bias could have been introduced. However, this potential bias is offset by the use of multiple lines of evidence including an extensive document review and comprehensive case studies.

Case Studies

The case studies provided an excellent means of examining specific projects in depth. They provided information on projects from a wide range of perspectives. However, only a limited number of cases could be completed in the context of this study. The cases are therefore not representative of all CEPG projects.

In addition, while the intent was to select case studies that would provide detailed information on CEPG outputs, outcomes and impacts, many of the projects selected were still in their early implementation stage. As a result, limited actual impacts information was obtained. Rather, most of the cases outlined potential rather than actual impacts.

Finally, as previously noted, financial data on projects was difficult to obtain and inconsistent from one source to another.

4.0 Relevance

4.1 Continued Need for the CEPG Sub-sub-Activity and its Portfolios

4.1.1 Is there a continued need for the CEPG SSA and its portfolios?

Yes. The CEPG SSA supports a mix of energy-related policy, research and technology strategies that respond to national needs related to reduction in GHG emissions, clean air, security of energy supply, and economic development.

Overview
  • Energy projections indicate that Canadian and global energy production is expected to increase over the next few decades in response to a growing economy. Renewable, alternative and more efficient fossil-fuelled energy options are expected to assume an expanding role in energy production world wide.
  • CEPG S&T supports a mix of energy options that respond to opportunities to mitigate GHG emissions and pollutants through the development of clean coal-fired power generation; renewable and alternative power sources and their connection to the electricity grid; and next generation nuclear power.
  • CEPG portfolios support the need for data and advice based on R&D, testing and demonstrations to facilitate the development of science-based federal and provincial energy-related policies, regulations and standards.
  • CEPG results support the continued economic development of Canada’s coal and coal-fired electric power, renewable and alternative energy and nuclear power generation sectors. These sectors are important contributors to Canada’s economy in terms of employment and provision of a reliable cost-effective energy supply.
  • CEPG research and development is needed to adapt existing clean energy-related technology and develop new technologies that are appropriate for the Canadian context.
  • By partnering with universities, CEPG contributes to the development of a skilled workforce so that Canada has the required technical capacity to develop and implement clean power generation.
  • Through the provision of technical advice and technology development and testing, CEPG addresses industry needs to choose the most cost-effective options for power generation that meets government regulations.
Detailed Findings
  • Forecasted increase in the demand for fossil fuels, both globally and in Canada, over the next two or three decades highlight the continued need for initiatives aimed at reducing GHG and CAC emissions. Global energy demand is forecasted to increase by 40% by 2030. Demand for fossil fuels is also expected to increase during this time period. Demand for oil is expected to increase by 24%; demand for coal by 53%; and demand for natural gas by 42%.Footnote52 Examining the energy outlook to 2020, the National Energy Board (NEB) predicts that energy from conventional fossil fuels will continue to be the dominant source of supply in Canada, although the use of non-conventional sources will continue to increase proportionally. Energy demand in Canada is expected to increase with increases in population and economic growth. However, energy demand growth rates are projected to slow compared to previous rates and compared to the NEB’s 2007 projection.Footnote53 While conventional production of oil and gas is forecasted to decline in Canada, this is expected to be compensated by the increase in non-conventional production of oil and gas in Canada (e.g., the production of shale and tight gas are projected to increase significantly). NEB also expects that Canadian natural gas exports will stabilize in the medium to longer term.Footnote54
  • Using the NEB reference case scenario, natural gas-fired power generation is expected to increase in Canada during the period 2009 to 2020 by an additional 5 517 MW of combined- cycle generation and 2 629 MW of combustion turbine/cogeneration facilities. Total coal-fired generation capacity is projected to decrease by 46.3% in this same time period, largely due to the planned phase-out of coal-fired generation in Ontario by 2015.Footnote55 Power generation, from renewable and alternative energy sources, while still remaining small relative to conventional sources, is forecasted to increase during this time period.Footnote56

There is a continued need for safe, secure and reliable power. In Canada, an aging, centralized grid infrastructure and the need to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of electricity have become increasing concerns in many jurisdictions.Footnote57 Interviewees noted that, as a modern industrial economy, Canada requires an electrical energy system that meets industry and consumer needs for secure, reliable, sustainable power. A well-functioning electrical power distribution system provides critical infrastructure for sustaining and advancing Canada’s social and economic welfare.

There is a need for a mix of energy options, such as those included in the CEPG SSA, which can help to mitigate GHG emissions and air pollutants. A number of stakeholder groups – e .g., National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), National Advisory Panel on Sustainable Energy Science and Technology – highlight the importance for Canada in having an effective strategy that incorporates a blend of technology options to mitigate GHGs. An analysis conducted by the NRTEE suggests that significant reductions in GHGs can be achieved through a dual focus on improving energy efficiency and on reducing carbon intensity in energy production using existing and near-term technology.Footnote58 According to the NRTEE, it is anticipated that clean coal technology involving carbon capture and storage and electricity generation from co-generation and renewable energy (i.e., solar, wind, hydro, marine) will be an important part of transforming the electricity sector. The NRTEE analysis includes nuclear energy as part of its scenario depicting a successful transition to a low emission future.Footnote59

The three CEPG portfolios carry out projects that support the development, testing, demonstration and deployment of a range of technologies. These are outlined in Table 8.

Table 8: Portfolio Projects in Support of Development, Testing, Demonstration and Deployment of Technologies
Portfolio Projects

CCCCS

Clean coal and CO2 and pollutant separation technologies for use in the next generation of advanced, efficient fossil fuel-fired power generation.

Technologies to capture and compress CO2 from combustion flue gas and syngas, and to transport it to a storage site or enhanced oil recovery fields.

Technologies to select sites, inject and store CO2 in stable, geological formations.

DPG

Renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, small scale hydro) to provide new power sources without GHG emissions.

Alternative energy technologies for more efficient energy production with reduced emissions of CO2 and pollutants.

Technologies, standards and protocols for the reliable and safe connection of distributed energy sources to the electrical grid.

Gen IV

R&D and technologies to support next generation nuclear energy plants.

Technologies to produce hydrogen from nuclear power plants.

Together the CEPG Portfolio projects contribute to the development of a range of cleaner and more efficient solutions to reducing environmental emissions from electrical power generation by developing and disseminating new knowledge and new technologies through research, development and demonstration initiatives. The CCCCS and DPG portfolios provide advice and knowledge products to industry to facilitate decision making regarding efficient technologies or in some cases appropriate site locations for the deployment of technologies. CCCCS also supports the development and testing of advanced fossil fuel power cycles that are expected to replace the current systems as they reach the end of their operational lives. The DPG Portfolio also has a continuum of projects helping test and demonstrate emerging technologies and systems as well as conducting R&D for the development of new technologies that will not be ready for commercialization for years. The first demonstrations of next generation nuclear reactors are more than a decade away. However, a strategy across all three portfolios would provide direction as to how the portfolios and their various programs and projects would link together to address interim and longer term needs.

S&T results from the three portfolios address the needs of both the public and private sectors. Interviewees reported that, for the public sector, the information produced through R&D contributes to the development of science-based carbon and pollutant emission policies, regulations and standards that protect the public interest and provide the foundation for industrial development. For industry, the portfolios provide expertise, development and testing of modified and new technologies that enable companies to make informed, cost-effective decisions about technological choices. In some cases, CEPG develops new and improved technologies, while in others, the program identifies, adapts and tests technologies developed elsewhere for application in Canada.

Stakeholders undertook a number of initiatives to align portfolio projects with stakeholder needs. Two of the portfolios have developed roadmaps which involved soliciting industry, expert and government feedback, as a method of ensuring the Portfolio’s relevance (i.e., Canada’s CO2 Capture and Storage Technology Roadmap, Canada’s Clean Coal Technology Roadmap, and A Technology Roadmap for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems).Footnote60 NRCan, Industry Canada and Environment Canada also conducted a survey of Canadian clean coal activities, and the resulting compendium is being used to identify gaps in clean coal technologies, set priorities and promote cooperation. NRCan also commissioned a survey and compendium with respect to CO2 carbon capture and storage. In addition, a roadmap was developed for wind technology that included feedback from a variety of stakeholders.

Interviewees reported that continued RD&D is required to address information and technical needs. For example, interviewees noted that RD&D efforts are needed to address technical challenges related to the higher costs of clean coal, carbon capture and storage and renewable technologies.

It is important to note that CEPG carries out research, development and demonstration activities that produce knowledge, expertise and technology. These initial outcomes are the necessary but not sufficient first steps along the pathway to the achievement of the long-term CEPG objectives identified previously. These early achievements of CEPG need to be followed up by demonstration projects to provide performance data on reliability and cost-effectiveness in order to support greater acceptance and commercial implementation.

The continued need for each of the three portfolios is presented below:

The Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio conducts S&T to help reduce emissions from combustion-based electric power generation systems by converting fossil fuels to electricity more efficiently and capturing CO2 emitted during combustion. The Portfolio is responding to the needs of the coal production and coal-fired power generation sectors for efficient coal-fired power generation with reduced CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Portfolio projects support the continued use of Canada’s large investment in coal-fired power generation as CO2 makes the most significant contribution to GHGs created from human activities.

Coal-fired plants generate 18% of Canada’s electricity overall, and much higher percentages in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Fossil-fuelled electric power generation remains the single largest source of CO2 emissions, emitting as much CO2 as the rest of the industrial sector combined. A major portion of regulated emissions come from Canada’s fossil-fuelled power generation (20% of SOx, 11% of NOx, 13% of particulate matter, 26% of toxics and 17% of GHGs).Footnote61 Canada’s Clean Coal Technology RoadmapFootnote62 estimated that about half of current coal-fired power plants are over 25 years old, and that 61 will need to be replaced by 2034.Footnote63 The CCCCS Portfolio is focusing on developing and testing new and improved technologies associated with advanced cycles with CO2 capture.

As noted in Canada’s Clean Coal Technology Roadmap, western Canada has an abundance of economic coal deposits, which have been used to create a large coal-fired power generation industry. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, coal-fired power accounts for over 85% of electrical power production. Without the introduction of new technology to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, Canada’s coal-fired electrical power generation sector may be under attack as a major source of GHGs. CCCCS Portfolio support for the development of high efficiency, advanced cycle clean coal technologies and their use in the next generation of coal-fired electric power stations will enhance and protect Canada’s coal and coal-fired electric power generation industries.

The Portfolio also supports the development of carbon capture and storage technologies. These technologies are used to capture CO2 from flue gas (in the case of combustion) and syngas (in case of gasification). The captured CO2 can then be compressed and transported for injection into oil fields to enhance oil recovery, providing an economic benefit, or into deep saline aquifers for long-term storage.

In addition to abundant coal reserves, western Canada also has oil fields and deep saline aquifers that provide locations for secure, long term CO2 storage. Interviewees noted that this combination of geological factors provides a strategic advantage to western Canada. The clean coal technologies and carbon capture and storage technologies being developed by the Portfolio can be combined, resulting in efficient coal-fired electricity production with near-zero CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Development of portfolio technologies will support the continued use of coal in electrical power generation in Canada’s electrical energy mix. However, literature and interviewees note that there are regulatory, cost and technology barriers to deployment and that the technologies need further development and testing in order to demonstrate the reliability and cost-effectiveness necessary for industry and public acceptance and implementation.

In addition to helping develop Canada’s next generation of advanced clean coal power systems, as noted in the Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling case study, combustion modeling work carried out by the CCCCS Portfolio is supporting the efficient operation of Canada’s current coal-fired power stations through the provision of advice and development of improved combustion components.

The Distributed Power Generation (DPG) Portfolio focuses on providing S&T to support the development of distributed alternative clean electrical energy sources with low/zero GHG emissions and their integration into the electrical distribution grid. These alternative energy sources, most of which are renewable (solar, wind, small hydro), contribute to meeting the growing demand for electrical energy without additional GHG and CAC emissions. The Portfolio focuses on three areas: renewable electrical generation technologies; distributed clean electricity generation; and grid integration of renewable and distributed energy sources.

The Portfolio includes developing more efficient energy technologies using fossil fuels such as natural gas. These technologies add to the mix of technological options for clean power generation. The DPG Portfolio supports the development of the rapidly growing renewable power generation sector, which is projected to account for 25% of new energy production and 10% of total power generation by 2025.Footnote64 Analysis of existing capacity and feedback from interviewees show that renewable energy production can contribute significantly to meeting Canada’s growing energy needs. However, renewable energy alone cannot meet base load electricity requirements in the foreseeable future.

Evidence from interviews, documents and case studies indicates that the Portfolio focuses on technology development and regulations and standards for the safe, reliable use and integration of these technologies into the electrical distribution system. Interviewees reported that many of the RD&D activities in this Portfolio respond to information and technical gaps. For example, considerable work needs to be done with respect to the integration of distributed generation and other storage devices into the utility grid. There is also a need to enhance the storage capacity of renewable energy.

For remote locations (northern and rural) off the main electrical grid, renewable and co-generation technologies can be more cost-effective than present systems that rely on high cost diesel-powered generation. Co-generation with natural gas is considered to have significant near-term market potential for hospitals and similar larger applications.

The Next Generation Nuclear (Gen IV) Portfolio is the mechanism for meeting Canada’s commitments under the GIF Treaty to develop advanced nuclear-based energy systems through an international partnership. The long-term objective of the Portfolio is to develop next generation nuclear technology that will support security of Canada’s energy supply through increased nuclear electricity generation, reduced GHG emissions from the electricity generation sector, commercialization of technology and economic growth. Gen IV is supporting development of the Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactor, based on CANDU technology and the Very High Temperature Reactor. These next generation nuclear systems are not expected to be in use for another 15 to 20 years. Gen IV is also planning to address key related issues such as sustainability (includes radioactive waste), proliferation, resistance and physical protection, and enhanced safety. The Portfolio supports the development of technologies for the efficient production of hydrogen from next generation nuclear reactors.

Nuclear power is considered to be an appropriate strategy for addressing base load electricity demands, and on a life cycle based analysis emits comparable GHGs to renewable energy sources,Footnote65 while providing reliable and sustainable power. At present, nuclear power is an important source of electrical power in Canada and internationally. Nuclear power accounts for 15% of Canada’s electricity supply and almost 50% of Ontario’s power needs. The nuclear sector is an important part of Canada’s economy. The Canadian Energy Research Institute reported that, as at 2008, nuclear energy was a $6.6 billion per year industry, with $1.2 billion in export sales and direct employment of 21,000.Footnote66 Canada is also the world’s largest producer of natural uranium, supplying 22% of the world’s total production in 2007.Footnote67

The Generation IV International Annual Report (2008) notes that it is expected, in the coming years, that a significant number of nuclear plants will be built, many of them state-of-the-art Generation III or Generation IV units.

4.2 Alignment with Government Priorities and NRCan Strategic Objectives

4.2.1 Are CEPG and the portfolios consistent with government priorities and NRCan’s strategic objectives?

Yes. CEPG activities are designed to contribute to the government objective of a Clean and Healthy Environment and NRCan’s Strategic Outcome 2, Environmental Responsibility.

Overview
  • CEPG contributes to government objectives related to security of energy supply, GHG reductions and economic development, by advancing the development, demonstration and deployment of clean coal, renewable energy and advanced nuclear technologies.
  • As a sub-sub-activity, CEPG is one component of the Clean Energy Program Activity. It contributes S&T knowledge, advice and technology development to support downstream public and private sector clean energy initiatives that together are intended to lead to the achievement of CEPG’s long-term objectives.
Detailed Findings: Consistency with Government Priorities

The CEPG SSA contributes to the achievement of several government policy priorities, including reduction in GHG emissions and pollutants from fossil-fuelled electric power generation and industrial plants, maintenance of a secure and reliable energy supply and sustainable economic development. The report Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage is a major federal government policy document. The report notes that CO2 capture and storage technologies are central elements of the government’s approach and that accelerated investments in related technologies are required.Footnote68

The linkage between these priorities and CEPG is demonstrated by the following CEPG objectives:

  • reduce the environmental impact of Canada’s electricity infrastructure, particularly GHG and CAC emissions;
  • increase the reliability and sustainability of Canada’s electrical system through integration into the grid of renewable and distributed power generation;
  • increase the efficiency of fossil-fuelled industrial plants and strategies to capture and manage emissions; and
  • provide Canadian industry with potential economic opportunities.

Interviewees reported that, through the Kyoto Protocol, the federal government committed Canada to a reduction in GHG emissions from 1990 levels. This international commitment was recently modified in the Copenhagen Agreement, reached in December 2009. Canada now has a target of reducing carbon emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next 10 years.Footnote69 The federal government has also made a commitment that 90% of Canada’s electricity needs to be provided by non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power by 2020.Footnote70

In March 2008, the federal government released further details of its 2007 “Turning the Corner” action plan. The planFootnote71 has several components, including a regulatory framework for industrial emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

The recent federal funding programs reflect the relative emphasis being placed on each area with ecoETI and the Clean Energy Fund allocating more money to CCCCS activities. As shown in Table 3 in Section 2.3.5, the CCCCS Portfolio receives the largest portion of ecoETI funding for the fiscal year 2008-09. In fiscal year 2008-09, the CCCCS Portfolio received a total of $14.7 million NRCan funding including $10.5 million in ecoETI funds. This reflects the need to deal with the high level of CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generation and the importance placed on supporting and defending Canada’s large investment in the strategically and economically-important fossil fuels and fossil fuel-fired electrical power generation sectors that are presently in place. In this same fiscal year, the DPG Portfolio receives the next largest funding share (total NRCan funding of $8.1 million including $2.5 million in ecoETI funds) which is distributed among a range of renewable and alternative energy production and distribution network initiatives. The Gen IV Portfolio is receiving the smallest portion in fiscal year 2008-09; a total of $5.4 million in NRCan funds which includes $0.8 million in ecoETI funding.

Detailed Findings: Consistency with NRCan Strategic Objectives

CEPG activities support the achievement of NRCan’s vision and mission. The NRCan 2009-10 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP)Footnote72 describes the role played by NRCan in achieving government-wide objectives. NRCan’s vision is “Improving the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage” and its mission is “To be a champion of sustainable development, a world-class centre of knowledge on natural resources, and a leader in policy and science.” CEPG contributes to Canadians’ quality of life by conducting S&T to reduce the environmental impact of electricity production, and to sustainable development by supporting the sustainable use of Canada’s large coal resources for clean coal power generation.

NRCan works to improve the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resource sectors which provide employment and income for Canadians. The Department has three strategic objectives related to economic competitiveness, environmental responsibility, and safety, security and stewardship. NRCan’s PAA describes the connection between strategic outcomes, program activities, program sub-activities and program sub-sub-activities that are designed to achieve the expected results that collectively contribute to the realization of strategic outcomes. Table 1 presented earlier (Section 2.1) shows the linkage between CEPG and NRCan Strategic Outcome #2, Environmental Responsibility, which states that Canada is a world leader in environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources. Strategic Outcome 2 is aligned with the Government of Canada objective of “A Clean and Healthy Environment.”

The 2009-10 RPPFootnote73 also describes the Clean Energy Program Activity (2.1) expected results, which are “increased energy efficiency, increased production of low-emission energy, and reduced environmental impacts associated with energy production and use.”

CEPG objectives are directly aligned with the achievement of these expected results, with the additional benefit of increased economic opportunities. They are also consistent with the broader government objective of security of energy supply.

Detailed Findings: Consistency of CEPG Portfolio Programs with CEPG Objectives

The three CEPG portfolios and their six programs all contribute to the achievement of CEPG objectives. However, they each employ different strategies to achieve CEPG objectives related to the specific sectors of energy production (fossil fuel-fired, renewable and alternative, and nuclear) that they target. Table 9 provides a description of expected results from the programs carried out under each portfolio.

Table 9: Expected Results from CEPG Portfolio Programs
Portfolios and Programs Expected Results
Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio
Clean and Efficient Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Support for cost-effective and efficient operation of current generation of Canadian coal-fired power plants.

Support for development of advanced clean coal power plants with CO2 rich flue gas streams.
Carbon Capture and Storage Development of technologies to remove air pollutants, capture and compress CO2 from fossil-fuelled power plant flue gas stream.

Develop protocols to assess potential of oil fields and deep saline aquifers for injection and stable storage of CO2.
Distributed Power Generation Portfolio
Renewable Electricity Technologies Increase proportion of Canada’s electricity supply from renewable sources.
Distributed Clean Generation Improved efficiency and reliability and reduced lifecycle costs of distributed generation systems, leading to commercial development and implementation.
Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources Development of technologies and standards that support the connection of renewable and distributed energy sources to the electricity distribution grid.
Next Generation Nuclear Portfolio
Generation IV National Program Meeting of Canada’s commitments to the international Generation IV International Forum towards the development of advanced sustainable nuclear-based energy systems.

Each of the six programs in the three portfolios contributes to one or more of the CEPG objectives. Table 10 shows the alignment between portfolio programs and CEPG objectives.

Table 10: Contribution of CEPG Portfolios to Achievement of Objectives
CEPG Objective Portfolio Programs Contributing
To reduce the environmental impact of Canada’s electricity infrastructure, particularly GHG and CAC emissions. All.
To increase the reliability and sustainability of Canada’s electrical system through integration into the grid of renewable and distributed power generation. Distributed Power Generation Portfolio: Renewable Electricity Technologies, Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources and Distributed Clean Generation.Footnote74
To increase the efficiency of fossil-fuelled industrial plants and strategies to capture and manage emissions. Clean Coal and Carbon Capture and Storage Portfolio: Clean and Efficient Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation and Carbon Capture and Storage.
To provide Canadian industry with potential economic opportunities. All.

4.3 Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

4.3.1 Is there a legitimate and necessary role for NRCan and other federal science-based departments and agencies in carrying out energy related S&T?

Yes. The NRCan mandate includes addressing government objectives related to clean energy production and security of energy supply. Energy-related S&T carried out by CEPG informs the development and implementation of evidence-based energy policies and regulations.

Overview
  • The government role in energy S&T is required to support the development of harmonized evidence-based policies, regulations, codes and standards that reduce barriers to the deployment of new energy-related technologies, while ensuring safety and reliability. This is a public good that provides the foundation for a secure, sustainable electricity generation system with reduced GHG and CAC emissions.
  • Other federal science-based departments and agencies and international universities and international research organizations collaborate with NRCan in conducting energy-related S&T, and in contributing specific expertise and capabilities to further advance energy-related S&T and support the development of policies and regulations.
  • The government participates in high-risk, pre-competitive research and technology development and testing of advanced electrical power generation components and systems to encourage their use by the private sector as it responds to government clean energy policies.
  • With the exception of nuclear energy, the predominant provincial role in natural resources and energy results in jurisdictional issues and challenges for the effective co-ordination of CEPG activities. Federal leadership in technology development and standards supports the development of harmonized evidence-based policies and programs by the provinces.
  • In Canada, constitutionally, nuclear energy falls within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Federal responsibilities include regulation of all nuclear materials and activities in Canada (Nuclear Safety and Control Act) and research and development (Nuclear Energy Act). Provinces are responsible for the development and management of their nuclear supply system, including nuclear power stations. It is therefore within the provincial jurisdiction, in conjunction with the relevant provincial energy organizations or power utilities, to decide whether or not new nuclear power plants should be built.Footnote75
Detailed Findings

The rationale for the involvement of NRCan and other federal science-based departments and agencies in carrying out energy-related S&T is discussed in NRCan’s Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program Plan (2007-2011).Footnote76 The plan states that “the federal government must play a central role in the development of the required knowledge and technologies”, and identified the following reasons:

  • if the federal government does not do it, no one else will (lack of resources and capacity);
  • the federal government must conduct the S&T to support its regulatory function;
  • federal technical capacity is the primary source of expert advice to support the development of federal policies and regulations;
  • carrying out energy-related S&T is an effective approach to providing leadership in sustainable development; and
  • Canadian stakeholders want and expect the government to play this leadership role.

While the plan dealt with one specific program, the reasons are consistent with interviewees’ comments and apply to CEPG in general and all its portfolios and programs.

Interviewees reported that, through CEPG, NRCan plays a leadership role in a range of clean energy initiatives, providing core funding, expertise, facilities and credibility that attract participation by other Canadian and international stakeholders. There are numerous examples in all three portfolios of the rationale for federal government leadership in energy-related S&T.

The CCCCS Portfolio IEA Weyburn-Midale project case study provides an example of a large NRCan-led project involving provincial governments, Canadian and international industry, universities and other international entities such as the International Energy Agency, and the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE). Interviewees reported that many of the projects under the CCCCS Portfolio, such as the coal gasification work, require facilities to carry out pilot-scale testing of new and improved technologies. Interviewees reported that facilities such as NRCan’s Vertical Combustor Research Facility are expensive to construct and operate and would likely have not been built without NRCan’s leadership. Several of these types of facilities are unique in Canada, and attract international partners and industry to participate in testing and demonstration of new technologies. Demonstration and testing are important mechanisms to examine performance and reliability of new technologies, and are critical steps along the pathway from R&D to full commercial application of advanced clean energy technologies.

CEPG plays an important role for Canada internationally, providing representatives for many international energy-related committees and associations. The expertise of CEPG staff makes an important contribution to Canada’s credibility and influence in these venues. As noted in the PERD and ecoETI Integrated Energy S&T Program Plan for 2007-2011,Footnote77 staff from the Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Sources Program represent Canada on the International Electrotechnical Commission TC 57 Working Group 17. This group developed the Communications Systems for Distributed Energy Resources standard, which is intended to facilitate the inter-operability of distributed resources interconnected with electric power distribution systems.

The Gen IV Portfolio is carrying out nuclear research in Canada as part of international collaborations under the Generation IV International (GIF) Forum. NRCan and AECL researchers are active members on more than 10 GIF policy and technical committees. In the case of the CCCCS Portfolio, the Clean and Efficient Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program staff is working with the U.S. DOE Sandia National Laboratories under the International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative on the design and development of a next generation, integrated, highly-efficient advanced power plant system with CO2 capture. There is also ongoing work with the U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory and the International Energy Agency on the Weyburn-Midale CO2 Project.

Interviewees noted that there are jurisdictional challenges to the co-ordination of federal and provincial activities as the supply of electrical power is a provincial responsibility.Footnote78 According to interviewees external to NRCan, the provinces are focused on operational issues related to production, distribution, permitting and regulatory issues, and have little funding available for research and technology development and testing. Moreover, many of the technological barriers are beyond the responsibility and resource capacity of any one province, and are best undertaken by a national program that has the expertise and access to a range of stakeholders to coordinate activities and enhance harmonization of effort.

Advancement of the clean energy agenda requires a long-term commitment to the funding of S&T to support policies, standards and regulations and technology development that can take many years to be implemented. NRCan has been providing funding through the long standing PERD Program. In addition to PERD, NRCan’s ecoETI is a four-year (2007-2008 to 2011-12) initiative to undertake S&T, develop and demonstrate clean energy technologies and support development of regulations.Footnote79

According to external interviewees, NRCan S&T initiatives produce credible, neutral scientific results that can be used to inform policy and regulatory decisions by individual provinces and support harmonization among provinces. For example, both Alberta and Saskatchewan government agencies are partners in the Weyburn-Midale project which is developing a best practices manual to guide all aspects of future CO2 storage projects including regulatory issues. As noted in the PERD and ecoETI Program Plan for 2007-2011 Renewable Electricity Technologies,Footnote80 development of codes and standards for new electricity technologies reduces economic, technical and regulatory barriers and ensures that safety and reliability standards are met.

In addition, the federal government plays a key role in conducting resource assessments. Resource assessment projects such as the development of the National Wind Atlas involved the S&T expertise of NRCan and Environment Canada. The federal government was also involved in developing a national map of potential sites for geological storage of CO2 across Canada. Many interviewees external to NRCan highlighted the importance of technical information and advice provided by CEPG staff.

5.0 Performance

5.1 Achievement of Expected Outcomes

5.1.1 To what extent have intended outcomes been achieved as a result of the CEPG Sub-sub-Activity and its portfolios?

CEPG has delivered on its portfolio level objectives of advancing science and technology through the production of knowledge-based and technical outputs and the achievement of immediate outcomes.

Overview
  • Evidence indicates that, for the most part, CEPG’s achievements in science and technology would not have occurred without the funding available from NRCan, the contribution and expertise of CEPG Program staff and availability of unique testing facilities.
  • CEPG has engaged many of the public and private sector stakeholders whose contributions are required to achieve CEPG objectives.
  • CEPG has not yet realized the achievement of intermediate and ultimate outcomes to any significant extent. This is primarily due to the long-term time horizon required for the deployment and commercialization of R&D outputs and outcomes. Many of the activities within the Gen IV Nuclear Program and within the Carbon Capture and Storage Program have only recently been implemented.
  • The achievement of reductions in GHG and CAC emissions and other environmental and socio-economic benefits is dependent on large-scale deployment of the new and improved technologies generated by CEPG. While the programs within CEPG lay the groundwork for increased deployment, there are a number of barriers, many of which are external to NRCan, that need to be overcome before this can occur.

A logic model linking CEPG S&T product and service outputs and immediate outcomes to intermediate and longer term outcomes is shown in Table 11. It is derived from the objectives of CEPG and the chain of expected results linking this sub-activity up to Strategic Outcome 2 of NRCan’s PAA. The immediate outcomes of knowledge development, capacity building, development of new or improved technologies, establishment of prototypes, field trials and demonstrations, and the development of new and revised codes, standards, policies and regulations are all essential requirements for the achievement of intermediate outcomes. The intermediate outcomes include market uptake or deployment of new or improved technologies, and a change in electricity supply to renewable and distributed systems. These results, in turn, contribute to reduced GHG and CAC emissions, environmental benefits and other socio-economic benefits.

It should be noted that the linkages between CEPG immediate outcomes and the achievement of intermediate and longer-term outcomes such as market uptake or deployment of new or improved technologies, and environmental and socio-economic benefits are not explicitly defined in any of CEPG’s performance frameworks. The contribution of other public and private stakeholders is required to achieve these intermediate and longer-term outcomes.

Table 11: Implicit Logic Model for CEPG Sub-sub-Activity
Inputs Outputs Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Ultimate Outcomes

NRCan $ and technical expertise

Other partner/ stakeholder contributions in $ and in-kind

Knowledge products (e.g., publications/reports, conferences, presentations, case studies, studies/analysis, websites)

Training

Formal and informal collaborations/networks

Enabling technologies

Improved/new tools/models/databases

Improved/new methods/designs

Pilot scale technologies

Knowledge development, transfer and take-up

Capacity building among stakeholders

Development of new or improved technologies

Establishment of prototypes, field trials and demonstrations

Development of new and revised codes, standards, policies and regulations

Market uptake or deployment of new or improved technologies

Change in electricity supply from renewable and distributed systems

Reduced GHG and CAC emissions

Environmental benefits

Socio-economic benefits

Detailed Findings: Progress towards Achievement of Strategic Outcome 2

CEPG has contributed to finding new, long-term, cleaner and more efficient solutions to reducing environmental emissions by developing and disseminating new knowledge and new technologies through research, development and demonstration initiatives in electric power generation. It has achieved this through the provision of technical outputs and the resulting immediate outcomes.

CEPG has not yet realized, to any significant extent, the achievement of the intermediate and ultimate outcomes shown in Table 11. This is primarily due to the long-term time horizon required for the deployment and commercialization of R&D outputs and outcomes; and in particular for the Gen IV Nuclear Program and many of the activities within the Carbon Capture and Storage Program which have only recently been implemented.

Also, the achievement of ultimate outcomes such as reductions in environmental impacts and other socio-economic benefits is dependent on large-scale deployment of new and improved technologies generated by CEPG. While the activities and programs within CEPG lay the groundwork for increased deployment, there are a number of barriers, many of which are external to NRCan, that need to be overcome before this can occur.

With respect to the CCCCS Portfolio, the likelihood of achievement of long-term outcomes is dependant on the demonstration of the technologies on a large scale, establishment of a regulatory framework, lowering the costs of technologies, and enhanced public and industry engagement. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CCS systems can be assembled from existing technologies, but the combination of these technologies into an integrated system has yet to be proven. Similarly the International Energy Agency notes that while CO2 capture technology is commercially available, the associated costs need to be lowered and the technology still needs to be demonstrated at commercial scale.Footnote81

While good progress has been made to date in the Gen IV National Program, the achievement of longer-term outcomes is uncertain given the significant reduction in funding, withdrawal of a key partner from the Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor research,Footnote82 and the future of AECL.

In the case of the DPG Portfolio, progress towards long-term outcomes is expected to continue. However, the closure of TEAM has led to reduced funding for demonstration activities potentially limiting future progress.

Detailed Findings: Progress towards Achievement of Portfolio Objectives

CEPG has delivered on its portfolio level objectives of advancing science and technology through the production of technical outputs and the achievement of immediate outcomes. The following sections provide a general assessment of the achievement of outcomes and examples of the kinds of results achieved by CEPG, by portfolio. The actual extent or level of achievement of outcomes cannot be assessed because data on achievement of outcomes at the CEPG level is not being systematically collected and reported.

Knowledge Development, Transfer and Take-up

There was evidence of the production of knowledge products and their use by CEPG stakeholders. They included a variety of publications and reports, guides, analyses, advice, best practices manuals and analytical techniques and simulation tools. External stakeholder interviewees and case studies indicated general satisfaction with the knowledge products and services provided by CEPG. One notable example cited by an interviewee for the CCCCS Portfolio involves practical advice and assistance given to Atlantic power utilities to solve particular crisis problems. Some New Brunswick power plants had been designed to use low cost orimulsion, a heavy oil-emulsified product from Venezuela. However, this product became unavailable and the utility needed to find an alternative fuel. With CanmetENERGY assistance, a cost-effective solution was found using a new burner nozzle and a petroleum coke-oil slurry. Estimated cost savings over alternative solutions are in the order of $33 million per year for one 1,000 MW power plant. Extension of these innovations to other power plants would increase the cost savings.

Table 12: Examples of Knowledge Development, Transfer and Take-up Achievements
Portfolio Examples

DPG

A variety of publications and reports produced between 2006-07 to 2008-09:Footnote83

  • 120 refereed, peer-reviewed journals produced;
  • 348 national and international presentations;
  • 113 internal technical reports;
  • 72 client reports; and
  • 96 knowledge transfer products developed or approved.

Another measure of knowledge take-up is the extent to which partners have been actively and formally involved in projects.Footnote84 Between 2006-07 to 2008-09:

  • 433 domestic partners involved in projects;
  • 456 international partners involved in projects;
  • 166 conferences or workshops organized; and
  • 21 active MOUs.

NRCan web sites including the Wind Energy Atlas provide information on R&D related to renewable energy to build public awareness.Footnote85

Guides on regulatory processes and regulatory compliance regarding renewable energy technologies.

CANMET-Varennes conducts annual surveys as to uptake of solar technology and costs trends.

Results from the R&D activities that CANMET Varennes in collaboration with Canadian experts were transferred to the IEA PVPS Task 2 international network on Performance, Reliability and Analysis of PV Systems. Canada’s contribution consisted in providing additional data to the international PV system performance database developed by Task 2, as well as sections of Task 2’s international report on PV system performance. These reports and publications provide information on the performance of PV modules and systems under Canadian climatic conditions. They are relevant to the PV system designers, PV product manufacturers and any stakeholders interested in PV system performance. These reports and publications are available through CETC-Varennes’ web site and the IEA PVPS Task 2 website.

Provision of advisory services to other government departments and agencies as well as to industry.

Development of analytical techniques and simulation tools to support advisory services.

CCCCS

A variety of publications and reports produced between 2006-07 to 2008-09:Footnote86

  • 70 refereed, peer-reviewed journals produced;
  • 89 national and international presentations;
  • 65 client reports;
  • 31 internal technical reports; and
  • 4 knowledge transfer products developed or published.

Another measure of knowledge take-up is the extent to which partners have been actively and formally involved in projects.Footnote87 Between 2006-07 to 2008-09:

  • 15 domestic partners involved in projects;
  • 11 international partners involved in projects;
  • 11 conferences or workshops organized; and
  • 10 active MOUs.

Best practices manuals and technologies are being developed for monitoring, measurement and verification of CO2 storage in western Canadian saline formations and oil fields.

Analysis of coal samples for utilities to help decide on the most appropriate coal cleaning procedures for best performance and the most cost-effective coal or coal mix to use.

Advice on combustion performance of various other hydrocarbon products such as asphaltene that can be mixed with coal for power generation and heavy oil production.

Knowledge and data to support storage of CO2 in western Canadian geological formations.

Developers and manufacturers of gasification equipment, coal producers and energy producers are collaborating with CEPG to make informed decisions about the introduction of new energy-related technology.

Gen IV

A variety of publications and reports produced between 2005-06 to 2008-09:

  • 27 refereed, peer-reviewed publications;
  • over 60 national and international presentations;
  • 50 internal technical reports; and
  • 3 codes, standards or regulations developed or modified.Footnote88

Another measure of knowledge take-up is the extent to which partners have been actively and formally involved in projects:

  • 50 domestic partners involved in projects;
  • 7 international partners involved in projects;
  • 11 conferences or workshops organized; and
  • 7 active MOUs.

The Corrosion Database Under Pressure Tube Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR) Conditions project is a custom-designed materials database that can be used to cost-effectively identify suitable materials for key components in a pressure tube SCWR.

Capacity Building among Stakeholders

All lines of evidence show that CEPG built greater capacity among partners and other stakeholders to engage in R&D and deployment of clean electric power generation. This included the establishment of research networks, various consortiums and partnerships to build demonstration sites and develop codes and standards, provision of tools, databases and enabling technologies to assess clean and renewable energy generation technologies and their potential and the expansion of R&D testing and experimental facilities. The Gen IV work on SCWR and VHTR systems is establishing Canada as a leader in reactor materials and chemistry work.

Table 13: Examples of Capacity Building Achievements

Portfolio

Examples

DPG

Establishment and support of research networks involved in solar cell, wind energy and solar buildings such as the Canadian Solar Cell Research Network and the Wind Energy Strategic Network.

Organization of consortiums to pursue demonstration projects.

Partnerships with industry and the Canadian Standards Association for the development of standards.

Building expertise with DFO on environmental assessment of impacts of technology on fish.

Wind Energy Forecasting and Simulation Tools used by utilities to help manage portfolio of power sources. Wind Energy Atlas is a new meteorological tool used by Canada's wind energy industry, consultants and the general public to determine the wind energy potential of sites throughout Canada.Footnote89

RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software used by developers to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.Footnote90

Solar maps give estimates of the electricity that can be generated by grid-connected photovoltaic arrays without batteries for any location in Canada.Footnote91

Several projects required participation of students, research fellows and guest workers:Footnote92

  • approximately 348 students, research fellows involved in DPG RD&D activities (2006-07 to 2008-09); and
  • approximately 111 guest workers involved in DPG activities from 2006-07 to 2008-09 (e.g., industrial staff, international research scientists).

CCCCS

Developed and improved the combustion testing and experimental facilities at Bells Corners to enable a wider variety of tests to provide Canadian and international stakeholders with data and advice to help optimize combustion system design and performance and support decisions to build larger scale demonstration units.

Developed a first-of-its kind CO2 capture and compression unit – CO2 Research Facility (CanCO2) – that removes air pollutants, captures and compresses CO2 for transport and injection for enhanced oil recovery or long-term storage. The data generated from this unit will provide performance parameters and insight into the operational challenges and performance targets of such units. It will also constitute a baseline for scale-up studies.Footnote93

Involvement of the Carleton University Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department senior class in a novel next generation advanced power generation system will help provide the next generation of highly-qualified personnel with expertise in advanced power generation technology.

Computational Fluid Dynamics models used by power utilities to examine and improve combustion performance burner design.

Fuel properties database is being used by Canadian coal-fired power utilities to identify the most cost-effective coal or coal coke blends to optimize the performance of their systems.

Models and test procedures developed have increased the capacity of public and private sector organizations to assess the potential of various geological formations for long-term CO2 storage and are being used in the Fort Nelson Spectra Energy Project, a large commercial scale acid gas and CO2 injection project.

Several projects included participation by graduate and undergraduate university students:Footnote94

  • approximately 139 students and research fellows involved in CCCCS projects from 2006-07 to 2008-09; and
  • approximately 9 guest workers were involved in CCCCS activities from 2006-07 to 2008-09 (e.g., industrial staff, international research scientists).

Gen IV

Canada’s involvement in the Generation IV National Program and work in corrosion and materials testing is establishing Canada as a leader in Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactor materials and chemistry research, and signals to the international community that Canada is still in the nuclear power systems’ business.

Grants awarded through the NSERC/NRCan/ AECL Program have involved 20 different universities engaging over 45 students (master and PhD level) in collaborative research projects with AECL.

A new nuclear materials group has been formed at NRCan’s Materials Technology Laboratory (MTL) to help meet the needs of the Gen IV National Program. MTL is moving from Ottawa to Hamilton in 2010 and much of the design of the new building, and the equipment that it will house, has been influenced by Gen IV materials R&D requirements.

Simulation capabilities developed for nuclear hydrogen production will enable techno-economic feasibility studies that will support the future demonstration and implementation of nuclear hydrogen production technologies.

Computer modeling and simulation tools using advanced microstructural computational methods, coupled with validating experimental techniques, will help the industry save time and money by providing opportunities for virtual materials design, selection and performance evaluation for nuclear systems. A complementary objective is the development of highly-qualified personnel in the area of computational materials physics for the Canadian nuclear industry.

The Corrosion Database provides critical support for the materials testing program at AECL.

Development of New or Improved Technologies

There have been a number of new or improved technologies developed within the CEPG SSA as noted in Table 14. Some of these technologies have been advanced to a demonstration stage and have potential to be deployed commercially which is discussed in the following section. According to interviewees, many of the technologies have been modified from existing technologies to facilitate their adaption to the Canadian context.

Table 14: Examples of Development of New or Improved Technologies
Portfolio Examples

DPG

New low head, fish-friendly hydro technologies which can generate power from water currents with minimal harm to fish.

River in-stream flow devices to accurately measure water flow.

Very Low Head Turbine (VLHT) design for Canadian conditions to generate electrical power from low head water power sources such as dams and weirs.

Engineering design of a Combined Heat and Emergency Power System for large buildings using natural gas rather that diesel fuel as an energy source. It is cleaner and less expensive to install and provides the capacity to provide power in cases of power outages as well as to generate electricity to supplement that provided from the grid.

System to recover and store waste energy from a natural gas pressure let down station (Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant) and convert it to electrical power.

CCCCS

Contribution to the engineering design of a proposed 270 megawatt coal gasification demonstration facility.

Development of a unit for the capture, clean-up and compression of CO2 from CO2 rich flue gas and the removal of pollutants such as SO2, NOX and mercury. Integration with an oxy-fuel combustion system to create a more efficient, clean, system with lower capital cost.

New and improved fuel injectors, refractory materials and shell temperature measurement techniques for incorporation in integrated gasifier combined cycle systems.

Gen IV

Novel ceramic coating system is being developed at the Fuel Cell Institute of NRC that can be applied broadly to the nuclear, aerospace and automobile industries where advanced materials will enable more energy efficient technologies.

Canadian researchers have opted to pursue a lower temperature copper chlorine (Cu-Cl) process which has several benefits, being compatible with AECL’s CANDU/SCWR reactors, with fewer scaling-up and materials challenges as compared to the higher temperature sulphur iodine process being developed by other international partners. The project results have generated significant international interest on the part of France and the U.S. and contributed to Canada’s reputation in this field. Canada’s international leadership in this area was further strengthened when Canada was chosen to take over the chair of the GIF VHTR Hydrogen Project Management Board starting April 2010.

Establishment of Prototypes, Field Trials and Demonstrations

There are a number of examples of the conduct of field trials and demonstrations of promising new technologies under the CEPG identified by interviewees and case studies. Most of these are from the DPG Portfolio which has been in place since 2003-04 and has, for the most part, a shorter time horizon for the deployment and commercialization of R&D outputs and outcomes than that of the Gen IV and CCCCS portfolios. These field trials and demonstrations have provided important learning on the challenges of installing these systems and data on the viability, operation, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reduction in GHG and other environmental benefits of the systems.

Table 15: Examples of Establishment of Prototypes, Field Trials and Demonstrations
Portfolio Examples

DPG

Solar PV and thermal heating and electrical systems which provide both clean electrical power and heat for buildings. For example, a Combined Solar Electric and Thermal System was integrated into the daily operation of the new John Molson School of Business at Concordia University.

Wind Diesel Project on Ramea Island will allow Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to provide its customers on Ramea Island with clean wind power, either directly via wind turbines, or from stored hydrogen, produced by using excess wind-generated electrical power. During periods of low power demand, this system can replace existing diesel power generation, at other times it will reduce the amount of diesel power generation required.

Combined Heat and Emergency Power System for large buildings uses natural gas rather than diesel fuel as an energy source. It is cleaner and less expensive to install and provides the capacity to provide emergency power in cases of power outages as well as to generate electricity to supplement that provided from the grid.

VLH Turbine generates electrical power from low head water power sources such as dams and rivers.

Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant recovers and stores waste energy from a natural gas pressure let down station to produce electrical power and feeds it into the electrical grid.

CCCCS

The IEA Weyburn-Midale field trial is testing the viability of CO2 injection into an oil field to enhance oil recovery and provide stable, long-term CO2 storage

Gen IV

N/A

Development of New and Revised Codes, Standards, Policies and Regulations

CEPG has supported the development of a number of new codes and standards and influenced a variety of provincial and municipal regulations. There is also evidence from interviewees and case studies that CEPG staff and research have helped shape provincial and Environment Canada’s energy and environmental policies. However, no data have been collected by CEPG on the extent of the uptake of the codes and standards by provincial and federal regulators and their incorporation in policy or regulations.

Table 16: Examples of New and Revised Codes, Standards, Policies and Regulations
Portfolio Examples

DPG

Development of various international and domestic technical codes and standards. There were approximately 38 codes and standards modified or developed that were published or approved (2006-07 to 2008-09).Footnote95 These involve international and domestic standards for: offshore wind; large wind design requirements; small wind; power performance; lightning protection; acoustic noise wind codes and standards; a variety of standards for terrestrial photovoltaic modules; and the review, evaluation and development of new test procedures for solar PV systems.

The work also influenced a variety of provincial regulations involving Combined Heat and Power Systems and energy rate regulation.

Influenced some changes to the City of Toronto’s by-laws to allow easier zoning and permitting for distributed generation technologies, resulted in an overhaul to the city’s planning process and engaged city officials in learning more about distributed generation technologies.Footnote96

Advice and support for Ontario’s policy deliberations on its Green Energy Agenda regarding the enabling of tomorrow’s electrical system.

Supported changes to Quebec energy policy and purchase of 4,000 megawatts of wind energy for Quebec.

CCCCS

Support to Environment Canada to understand the technical aspects of new advanced power generation technologies such as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle in order to develop appropriate evidence-based policies related to emission limits for CO2, other GHGs and pollutants such as mercury.

Particulate Matter Sampling Method being adopted as an international standard and Environment Canada considering creating a Canadian standard based on this work.

Development of Best Practices Manual containing protocols for CO2 storage, including site selection, design, operation, risk assessment, monitoring and determination of storage volume.

Gen IV

N/A

Market Uptake or Deployment of New or Improved Technologies

There are a few examples of the market uptake or deployment of new or improved technologies from interviewees and case studies. A number of other technologies are close to being moved along the innovation continuum from demonstration and test sites to commercial ventures including the Very Low Head Turbine, the Combined Heat and Emergency Power System, and the Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant. As discussed in the next section, the latter two technologies have not yet been commercialized because they cannot yet compete with conventional electrical power sources and are unable to obtain government financial incentives to make them competitive. The Very Low Head Turbine is closest to commercialization because it has obtained support from an Ontario feed-in tariff. Finally, sales of the Anemoscope have been discontinued because NRC, the licenser of the technology, is no longer supporting this activity.

Table 17: Examples of Market Uptake or Deployment of New or Improved Technologies
Portfolio Examples

DPG

23 licences for Anemoscope, a wind energy simulation software tool packaged in a user-friendly interface running on Windows, have been sold to Canadian and foreign customers.Footnote97

9 patents issued, 5 active patents, 31 licences issued, $172,000 licence revenues received (2006-07 to 2008-09).Footnote98

CCCCS

Development of modified burner technologies to support use of alternative fuels in a New Brunswick power plant, resulting in cost saving of $33 million annually.

4 patents issued.Footnote99

Gen IV

Work to advance a cold spray technique for materials coating has already helped to progress Department of National Defence work in the area of submarine corrosion and has promoted sales for a Canadian supplier.

Attribution

Evidence from interviews and case studies indicated that the technology outputs and immediate and intermediate outcomes would likely not have occurred without the funding available through the Program, the availability of CEPG facilities and the involvement of NRCan program staff.

While there were likely contributions made from some program outputs (e.g., The Wind Atlas; assistance given to New Brunswick Power that resulted in cost savings) to the deployment of technologies leading to reductions in GHG and CAC emissions, there were no data available to assess the magnitude of the contribution of CEPG to long-term objectives.

5.1.2 What factors (both internal and external) affect the performance of the CEPG and its portfolios?

There was overall agreement that NRCan expertise, connections and access to funding served as a catalyst for collaboration among key stakeholders and overcoming challenges through the lifecycle of a project.

Overview
  • A number of positive factors have directly influenced the success of CEPG in advancing energy-related science and technology. They involve NRCan’s neutrality and credibility; technical and project management experience; appropriate laboratory facilities; ability to establish formal and informal networks; access to various funding programs; and its ability to leverage those funds. In addition, the continuity provided by NRCan’s core areas of expertise and access to funding was viewed as critical by external stakeholders.
  • There are a number of challenges and other internal and external factors that need to be addressed in order to enable CEPG to make a significant contribution to the deployment of new or modified energy-related technologies and the achievement of its longer-term outcomes. These challenges include the high costs of many new energy-related technologies, and the lack of a coordinated energy strategy and regulatory framework.
  • A key factor that limits the uptake and deployment of many new or enhanced technologies is their lower cost effectiveness in comparison to other more traditional technologies. Incentive programs such as Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program are considered to be one of the critical elements for increasing deployment of renewable technologies (i.e., wind and solar). However, not all renewable or distributed technologies are eligible for incentive programs and the value of incentives varies among these technologies. Interviewees also noted the importance of linking incentive programs to ongoing R&D to address technical and cost-effectiveness issues to ensure the sustainability of the technologies.
Detailed Findings: Factors Contributing to Success
NRCan Expertise and Facilities

Overwhelmingly, interviews (including both internal and external stakeholders) and case studies showed that the strength of NRCan staff’s core technical expertise, program management skills, professionalism, and reputation was a major factor in the SSA’s success. Access to unique or specialized facilities and equipment were also key ingredients in developing partnerships with stakeholders and the transfer of knowledge to public and private sector beneficiaries. Notable among these was NRCan’s Vertical Combustor Research Facility and Materials Technology Laboratory. Continuity of expertise within NRCan was viewed as very important by external stakeholders.

Networks

NRCan’s networks with industrial partners, university researchers and government research organizations were also an important element in the CEPG’s ability to attract partners and collaborators willing to contribute to the Program’s activities. The complementary skills, capabilities and technologies of these partners and collaborators were also critical factors to CEPG’s success. Key federal partners and collaborators included EC, NRC, NSERC, DFO and AECL. The establishment and engagement of formal university research networks in the Program’s work was another factor.Footnote100 Other partners and collaborators included industrial firms developing and manufacturing next generation technology; consulting firms; electric and gas utilities; universities and research institutes; domestic and international codes and standards agencies; provincial government departments and agencies; foreign government departments and agencies; industry associations; and various other industry and research networks and associations.

Participation in international networks was also viewed by interviewees as critical for maintaining access to expertise and current research.

Access to Funding

Interviews and case studies illustrated that flexible access to resources from NRCan funding programs like PERD, T&I, ecoETI and TEAM to supplement NRCan’s A-base resources and the ability to leverage these resources with financial and in-kind contributions from project partners and collaborators were vital ingredients to the success of CEPG. The NRCan funding programs were aimed at providing funding at various stages in the innovation cycle. PERD funding supports early stage R&D aligned with developing expertise and capability, whereas ecoETI funding is provided for later stage development and demonstration work as well as early stage R&D.

Incentive Programs

Ontario’s various policies and incentive programs for renewable energy technologies were found to support deployment of wind, solar PV and some new small hydro technologies.Footnote101 DPG case studies showed that the incentive programs supported the DPG’s Very Low Head Turbine, subsidizing a couple of demonstration sites for this technology in Ontario.

Detailed Findings: Challenges
Comprehensive and Coordinated Energy Strategy and Regulatory Framework

According to most external and internal interviewees, the lack of a comprehensive strategy that includes a full range of energy and technology options and how they integrate together and the lack of a regulatory framework on allowable levels of emissions for fossil fuel power generatorsFootnote102 are challenges to achieving CEPG objectives. Interviewees also indicated that a strategy and regulatory framework is needed to facilitate the achievement of outcomes because as long as requirements are unclear, the private sector utilities are less likely to make significant investments in new technology. In addition, an energy strategy would help to enhance coordination among stakeholders and government.

The literature reviewFootnote103 found that a number of groups – such as the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy – highlight the need for a common energy framework to coordinate energy options. Additionally, such a framework would enable a more coordinated approach to the deployment of near-term and proven technologies and to the research, development, demonstration and commercialization of longer-term technologies. AccordiCO2 Capture and Storage Roadmap. NRCan website. http://canmetenergy-canmetenergie.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/fichier/78713/ccstrm.... ng to Canada’s CO2 Capture and Storage Roadmap,Footnote104 a non-technical challenge for the deployment of CCS technology is the lack of a clear and concise policy on the role of CCS. The Roadmap notes that a policy framework is required to articulate a vision and strategy for the role that CCS can play in the portfolio of options for dealing with GHG reductions, at both the international and national levels. The framework should include a clear indication of how CCS complements other policies and measures related to climate change, energy and sustainable development. As noted in the report, an effective policy framework would help to guide regulation.

Low Conventional Electricity Costs and Incentive Programs

The case studies and interviewees indicated that the electricity produced from most renewable and alternative energy sources is uncompetitive compared to the low-cost electricity generated by existing conventional sources. One of the major challenges for the more widespread deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies is to become economically competitive with more traditional energy technologies.Footnote105 According to the International Energy Agency, for many renewable technologies, the cost range estimates are large. The IEA concludes that, overall, ocean and solar technologies are relatively costly whereas wind power is becoming more competitive with conventional generation technologies where the resource potential is good.Footnote106

One of the main drawbacks of photovoltaic power is its relatively high cost compared to electricity generated from conventional fossil fuel or hydro power generation mainly because of solar cell production costs. PV electricity prices can range from 30 to 60 cents/kWhFootnote107 as compared to average residential electricity prices of between 9 to 10.4 cents/kWh (between 1998 and 2008).Footnote108 For this reason, government support for construction or subsidies for renewable power generation are required to attract investment and deployment. Firms are not likely to develop and deploy the technologies unless there are financial incentives available. This was illustrated in the case studies on CHEP and Hybrid Fuel Cell technologies where the lack of Province of Ontario incentives for these specific technologies is posing a barrier to further commercialization. This is attributed to the newness of these specific technologies, the different levels of feed-in tariffs being applied to various technologies, and the general uncertainties in the policy environment involved.

Funding Levels and the Economy

One of the key factors cited by many interviewees as impeding the performance of the Program is the need for additional funding for testing, demonstration, and field trials to examine the cost-effectiveness, reliability and overall performance of CEPG technologies. The recent economic downturn has exacerbated the funding issue. As examples, the high cost of demonstration projects caused EPCOR to hold off funding for a proposed Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle demonstration plant with CO2 capture and storage in Alberta. SaskPower also decided not to participate in the development of a planned oxyfuel demonstration facility. These demonstration projects are necessary before the power manufacturing and generation industries will make the investments to commercialize and deploy these technologies.

Some interviewees also noted that the economic recession decreased the capacity of energy technology firms, particularly smaller companies, to invest in technology development. As a result, some R&D projects have lower partner contributions than expected.

The renewable and alternative power generation sector is made up of mostly smaller firms without access to adequate funding to finance their participation in such projects. For example, the ability to invest in the development of standards is a challenge faced by wind, marine and solar PV energy industries in Canada which are in their infancy. These industries are struggling to fund the development, testing and deployment of their technologies. NRCan has difficulty finding partners for its codes and standards development work for renewable and alternative power technologies because firms are unable to cover the costs of their involvement and require government funding to support these efforts.

Under such circumstances, some interviewees reported that the tendency in the DPG Portfolio was to disperse funding among many smaller projects and to place emphasis on less costly enabling technologies rather than those leading more directly to demonstration, commercialization and deployment of technologies.Footnote109 Some interviewees felt that projects in the latter areas yielded greater and more immediate results in terms of GHG reductions and other environmental and economic benefits.

Lastly, the funding levels for some of the RD&D projects are lower than they appear because of NRCan overhead levies.Footnote110 The low levels of A-base resources for CanmetENERGY means that it now utilizes part of T&I, PERD and ecoETI funding to cover operating and administrative costs.

Uncertainty and Delays in Funding

Some interviewees mentioned that the transitions between T&I, ecoETI and the new Clean Energy Fund and the resulting changes to the objectives have caused some confusion. Also, interviewees noted that uncertainties in the level and continuity of funding provided for CEPG made R&D planning more difficult and resulted in the delay of some R&D projects.

At the beginning of a funding cycle, there can be delays of several months in receiving funding decisions and receipt of funding. Some grants and contributions projects with external partners take months to get underway, delaying progress and potentially affecting partner support.

For Gen IV, the level of program funding was significantly reduced from planned levels which led to Canada’s withdrawal from some research areas altogether, the removal of some project activities, and delays within funded activities. Looking forward, the research that was postponed will need to be addressed in the next phase of funding, thus increasing the overall research load. Also, projects in the next phase will generally require more expensive facilities and testing, thus increasing demands on the Program. It is not clear how these challenges will be addressed.

Human Resources

While the technical expertise of NRCan staff is recognized as a key strength of CEPG, interviewees commented that the future performance of the Program will be affected by the lack of depth for this capability and recent staff turnover. Like many other areas in government, many of the scientists who manage and deliver the programs and who possess the corporate knowledge are nearing retirement. While NRCan engages private sector contractors and hires short-term staff possessing specialized skill sets to offset the lack of sufficient in-house personnel, this strategy cannot replace loss of corporate memory.

Issues of limited highly-qualified personnel capacity, and testing equipment and facilities to support the development of next generation nuclear technology are reported in a number of documents. The Gen IV National Program and the involvement of a network of researchers across the country and leveraging of other sources of funds are aimed at addressing this issue.

Regulatory Barriers

A variety of regulatory and permitting barriers have made deployment of new renewable technologies difficult and costly. This is demonstrated by the case studies on the establishment of demonstration sites for the VLHT, the Hybrid Fuel Cell Plant and the CHEP projects. Some of these barriers are due to the fact that these technologies are unfamiliar to regulators and inspectors, and there are few established codes or standards specific to the technologies that they can use.

Federal and Provincial Jurisdictions

Another challenge relates to jurisdictional issues. Under the Constitution, provinces and territories have jurisdiction over natural resources, including coal, gas and oil. Each province can develop its own separate energy policy that may not be related to national interests. This factor makes it challenging to develop coordinated strategies for areas such as CO2 capture and long-term storage.

Culture of Utilities – Grid Integration

A few interviewees identified that utilities have traditionally been hesitant to adopt new clean and renewable electrical energy generation sources and integrate them into the electricity grid. This hesitancy is related to the provincial regimes that regulate the utilities. These regulatory regimes generally place an emphasis on keeping rates low for consumers and maintaining the reliability of energy supply. This tends to inhibit investments by utilities in innovative technologies which are seen to be untested and unreliable. Ontario’s Green Energy Act has, however, recently mandated the Ontario Energy Board to facilitate connections to the grid by small energy suppliers, which is a first for North America.

Intellectual Property

Access to and ownership of intellectual property developed during projects is another barrier to developing partnerships and getting organizations to carry out projects. While open, shared access of data among participants is common in some R&D projects, intellectual property issues were identified by a number of interviewees as a potentially significant issue as R&D moves beyond materials-related projects towards the development of prototype reactor systems and other technologies. As an example, negotiating and solving intellectual property issues caused delays of more than a year in the design and implementation of the final phase of the CCCCS Weyburn-Midale project. Also, SkyPower/SunEdison withdrew its participation from a DPG photovoltaic forecasting project because it preferred to keep the performance data of its solar projects confidential.Footnote111

Other Internal Factors

Interviewees also identified several internal factors impeding good performance. These included:

  • need for improved communication, particularly between CanmetENERGY and OERD;
  • long delays in the federal procurement process causing significant delays in the purchase and construction of some components needed for test facilities; and
  • lack of sufficient funds to cover the high cost of fabrication and installation of new equipment in the Bells Corners (Ottawa) pilot plant facilities which has delayed progress and required funding partners to cover these shortfalls.
Program Specific Issues

The case study for the wind energy enabling technologies developed under the DPG Portfolio showed that an increasing number of user demands for support on the web-based software technologies and the requirements to continually update and upgrade the technologies to keep them current, has placed a financial and operational burden on NRCan’s principal partner, Environment Canada. EC, being a research organization, does not have the mandate, skills and funding support to effectively operate a technical service. This has limited the deployment and utilization of the technology.

Another detracting factor for this project involved another partner, NRC. NRC had helped commercialize one of the wind enabling technologies, the Anemoscope, and had sold licences for the technology in Canada and internationally. Due to an internal reorganization and adjustment of priorities, NRC has been forced to discontinue the licensing of the Anemoscope. Agreement between NRCan and its partners on how best to further deploy and support this technology remains unresolved.

For the Gen IV Portfolio, one interviewee noted that a risk facing the development of the SCWR and the long-term success of the Gen IV Initiative is that some of the major international GIF members, particularly the United States, are not involved in the development of this reactor system. The participants in the GIF SCWR research now include only Canada, Japan and Euratom, although efforts to bring in China are under way. Other interviewees, while supporting the SCWR approach, recognized that the withdrawal of the United States from research in this area has slowed progress. This may have significant long-term economic implications as the first next generation reactor systems to make it to the commercialization stage will have an advantage over those that follow.

In addition, the restructuring at AECL was mentioned by many interviewees as an issue that will affect future Gen IV Portfolio performance. Interviewees indicated that, if the federal government was to divest itself of AECL, the relationship between NRCan and AECL would change, bringing uncertainty to the future of the Gen IV Program.

5.1.3 To what extent has the design and delivery of the CEPG and its portfolios facilitated the achievement of outcomes and its overall effectiveness?

Overall, CEPG is well managed with an appropriate governance structure and project selection process. However, no comprehensive strategy is in place for CEPG that articulates priorities and how the portfolios and programs fit together to meet interim and long-term needs for CEPG.

Overview
  • No comprehensive strategy is in place that outlines federal objectives and priorities on Clean Electric Power Generation and links the programs together.
  • Strategic planning, project monitoring and reporting were identified as areas requiring enhancements to strengthen the overall effectiveness of the SSA.
  • The emphasis on partnering and leveraging of funding are strong program design features that were critical to facilitating the achievement of program results.
  • Some features of individual funding programs were impediments to the overall effectiveness of the CCCCS and DPG portfolios, such as the termination of TEAM funding, short funding cycles and matching funding requirements and stacking rules.Footnote112
Detailed Findings
Governance and Project Management

Most interviewees, both internal and external, considered that CEPG was well managed and making good progress towards achieving results given the resources available. Roles, accountabilities and objectives were clear. The Portfolio management structure with its themed approach was viewed positively by interviewees.

However, some interviewees observed that ongoing projects need to be subject to periodic critical reviews against established success criteria to redirect or discontinue those that are not achieving intended milestones and objectives.

Strategic Planning

A number of interviewees indicated the need for a long-term R&D strategy and an overall plan for the DPG Portfolio and its programs and projects. It should directly link project activities to the longer-term outcomes of CEPG and ensure that the technological results of projects are supported and advanced along the innovation continuum towards deployment and connection to the electrical grid. This would involve consultations with the federal and provincial governments, industry and international stakeholders. The Wind Technology Roadmap, however, is a good start to addressing this need.

Evidence from the DPG case studies and interviews indicates that there have been obstacles to overcome to advance the technologies along the innovation continuum. A coherent strategy is important for coordinating the closely interrelated programs in the Portfolio because their combined success in achieving the longer-term outcomes of CEPG is largely dependent upon the establishment of cost-effective links to the electrical grid.

This concern is not solely limited to the DPG Portfolio as some interviewees commented that a longer-term strategic planning process would be helpful for the CCCCS Portfolio as well. However, interviewees indicated that the ability to do longer-term RD&D planning is constrained by the four-year funding cycle and limited core funding for planning.

Project planning was well regarded by representatives of other government departments who indicated that they were consulted early in the project planning process.

Project Selection Process

The project selection processes and criteria for the three portfolios were generally viewed by internal and external stakeholders as working well and that the project selection committee was receptive to the opinions of others.

The PERD project selection process is viewed as appropriate and is a bottom-up, flexible process, involving consultations with provinces and industry to ensure relevance and complementarity. For PERD-funded projects, OERD relies on CanmetENERGY project leaders and other federal organizations to provide expert advice in the selection process.

For CCTII and ecoETI projects, project proponents complete a detailed project proposal that outlines the intended research, including partners, collaborators, funding sources, and a description of research outputs, outcomes and timelines. With respect to the DPG Portfolio, these proposals are then reviewed by an external review committee and rated according to a formal “PROGRID” process that rates the proposal in terms of relevance to portfolio and program objectives, level of stakeholder support and impact.

The Gen IV Portfolio uses two main mechanisms for project selection involving a targeted call for proposals to the national energy S&T community and calls for proposals to universities through the NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program. The latter process relies on AECL research managers and NRCan researchers for their technical input to the proposal review.

While the project selection processes were generally considered appropriate, some interviewees outside NRCan felt that a more rigorous and transparent project selection process is needed with clearer links made to broader environmental, economic and social outcomes. They commented that more involvement by industry, utility and provincial government representatives was needed as well.

Coordination Mechanisms

Interviewees also spoke of other coordinating mechanisms that influence CEPG. Mechanisms include a Council of Energy Ministers (CEM) Energy Technology Working Group which is focused on increasing collaboration among provinces and the federal government. The Canadian Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Network – a federal/provincial territorial government-based network – was created under the direction of the CEM in September 2008. The mission of this network is to facilitate the deployment and commercialization of carbon capture and storage technologies in Canada.Footnote113

The GIF design and delivery structure was noted by the Gen IV interviewees as an effective governance structure that helps to minimize duplication of research at an international level, and facilitates the sharing of data and new knowledge among the 10 GIF Framework Agreement signatories. Collaboration with international networks such as the IEA was viewed as effective in reducing duplication of effort and providing access to expertise. The Weyburn-Midale field trial provided an opportunity to engage Alberta and Saskatchewan in the development of common policies and protocols related to CO2 storage, an area of common interest, as both provinces have oil fields that are suitable for enhanced oil recovery and CO2 storage.

Partnering and Leveraging of Expertise

The design and delivery of CEPG encourages project proponents to work with other organizations, to build capacity within Canadian research organizations, and build national and international networks to support future RD&D activity. This is reflected in the project selection criteria. Interviews and case studies have illustrated the critical value of this design feature to help project proponents leverage program funding and the expertise of project partners and collaborators to the success of their projects.

Performance Measurement and Reporting

Annual project and program reporting formats and timing are key elements in program management and delivery. A review of documentation has shown that, at the level of project annual reporting, the reporting template or format does not allow project leaders to easily communicate their projects’ progress and next steps. Reviewing these reports does not always provide the reader with a clear understanding of the overall intent, progress, issues, and proposed steps to resolve them. In addition, it is not always clear – when reviewing annual reports over the six-year period – the progress and key results that have been achieved for the specific fiscal year.

Overall, performance measurement and reporting at the project, program and portfolio level focuses on technical outputs and immediate outcomes. The links to the achievement of higher level outcomes are not often evident. This approach focuses on project level technical success, but does not support managing projects to achieve the longer term goals and objectives of the program. There should be some means of monitoring the level of reach and uptake related to the knowledge and technical products generated by CEPG. In reviewing more recent performance reports, the evaluation team has noted that improvements have been made beginning in 2007-08.

Financial Reporting

Financial information generally varied within and across the programs with respect to quality and availability. Expenditure data were not always reported.

Some specific reporting issues include:

  1. Actual expenditures vs. budgets: the annual reports do not usually contain information on actual expenditures.
  2. In-kind and cash contributions: the annual reports do not consistently differentiate between in-kind and cash contributions from partners.
  3. Data inconsistencies: the funding data in the programs’ annual reports on PERD, CCTII and ecoETI funding were not consistent with the overall funding levels per program reported in OERD financial records. In addition, the funding data reported in the annual reports were not always consistent with the funding reported in the project reports. As a result, it was difficult to determine which information was accurate.
  4. Labelling: funding sources were sometimes not clearly identified and were lumped into one category as “Other” in which the source of funding is not consistently identified.
  5. Administrative costs: financial data did not include detailed information on administrative costs nor did they provide other detailed expenditure information such as capital and operational expenditures.
Design of NRCan Funding Programs

Additional concerns were identified by some interviewees about the NRCan funding programs supporting CEPG. These involve the following issues:

  • The discontinuation of TEAM has put more pressure on ecoETI and the Clean Energy Fund to provide demonstration funding, however ecoETI has limited grant and contribution funding which is necessary to carry out pilot level and demonstration projects led by partners.Footnote114
  • At the conclusion of the data collection period for this evaluation in February 2010, the level of S&T funding available within the CEF had not yet been decided. This made planning difficult and created uncertainty among NRCan staff and partners.
  • CanmetENERGY is not allowed to participate in demonstration and deployment projects funded by Sustainable Development Technologies Canada which blocks opportunities for NRCan laboratories to contribute their expertise, get additional funding for projects, and support additional downstream collaboration with industry.
  • Government stacking rules and TEAM’s requirement for 50% matching funds made it difficult to attract small entrepreneurs who do not have resources to participate in innovation projects; this was a particular problem for the DPG Portfolio.
  • Cost-recovery projects with industrial partners are given priority over longer-term, strategic projects because of funding pressures and stakeholder expectations.
  • Four-year funding cycles are not conducive to planning longer-term R&D projects.
  • NRCan researchers compete for T&I and ecoETI program funding, which provide short-term funding, leaving uncertainty about long-term sustainability.
  • External stakeholders were not clear how to access the variety of programs available and believed that a single point of service was needed.

5.1.4 To what extent has CEPG S&T influenced the constructive engagement and collaborative networks to further research, development and deployment activities?

CEPG projects have resulted in new and strengthened research partnerships and networks that support RD&D.

Overview
  • The design and delivery of CEPG relies on the engagement of, and collaboration among a range of partners and stakeholders.
  • The extent to which CEPG has leveraged financial and in-kind resources from NRCan funding programs, OGDs, university and industry is a good indicator of engagement and collaboration.
  • Formal networks and agreements have been established with international organizations (e.g., the IEA, GIF) that provide Canadians access to findings and data from international research projects that would otherwise be unavailable.
  • There are a number of examples of effective cooperation leading to spin-off activity. For example, promising spin-offs emerged from the Solar Research Buildings Network.
  • Greater industry engagement in the three portfolios is needed to support CEPG S&T technology transfer and deployment objectives.
  • Improved engagement between the technology development community and Canadian policy makers could help address information gaps between the two groups, and promote greater industry, OGD and provincial confidence in the future of clean energy technologies.
Detailed Findings

Documents, interviews and case studies provided substantial evidence of the role played by Canadian and international public and private sector stakeholders in contributing to CEPG R&D, demonstration and deployment initiatives.

Portfolio planning documents and annual reports all note the importance of project partners and collaborators in the delivery of projects and in meeting portfolio objectives. For example, Canadian stakeholders were involved early on in some of the planning and priority setting for the CCCCS, participating in the development NRCan’s Canada’s Clean Coal Technology Roadmap (2004).Footnote115

Interview and case study evidence illustrates that stakeholders have played an important role in terms of both funding R&D (in-kind and financial support), participating in R&D projects and in the transfer or testing of new or improved technologies through demonstration projects. The extent to which stakeholders have participated is illustrated in the three portfolio funding tables (see Tables 2, 3 and 4).

The delivery of portfolio activities in partnership with stakeholders has led to the development or strengthening of R&D relationships (e.g., research networks, project partnerships, and international collaborations). Individual projects feature direct engagement by Canadian and international universities, industry, governments and research organizations. The degree of leveraging associated with each portfolio is one indicator of the degree of stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

Case studies and interviews showed that participation in international research networks such as the IEA (CCCCS and DPG) and GIF (Gen IV) has been an effective mechanism for information sharing and gaining access to international research projects, findings and data that would otherwise be unavailable to the Canadian research community.

CEPG research collaborations and networks have included the following stakeholders (specific examples, by portfolio, are provided later on in this section):

  • other government departments and laboratories (federal and provincial);
  • Canadian and international universities;
  • Canadian and international industry;
  • international governments;
  • international research organizations (e.g., IEA, GIF);
  • electric and gas utilities; and
  • Canadian and international codes and standards agencies.

Several issues have affected the level of collaboration:

  • barriers presented by intellectual property concerns;
  • the long-term nature of much of the research which has limited the participation of private sector stakeholders in R&D projects to date;
  • the level of portfolio funding which has limited international cooperation (e.g., there are examples of NRCan dropping out of some international activity due to a reduction in CEPG funding such as participation in some of the GIF activity); and
  • the lack of a comprehensive energy framework affects the extent to which investors and researchers are clear on the future role for government in the development of clean energy technologies in Canada.

There is evidence that collaboration with provinces could be improved, thus increasing program leverage and promoting sharing and use of information.

CCCCS

The January 2008 Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program PlanFootnote116 reported that the Program will include linkages to universities and industry. The plan noted that clean coal technology is a priority for many countries and there is a great deal of activity in developing and demonstrating clean coal and related technologies internationally. Interview and case study findings show that the Portfolio is connected to many of these international projects, whether through linkages with individual researchers, cost-shared work with technology suppliers, bilateral government-to-government agreements (such as with the U.S.) or multilateral agreements and mechanisms, principally with the IEA. Program participants are active in task-shared work (for instance with foreign universities), in consortia (as performers and/or supporters) and in direct partnerships with technology developers.

The Program builds on ongoing participation in the International Energy Agency’s Clean Coal Centre and GHG R&D Programme and includes funding for Canada’s membership in the IEA Clean Coal Centre.Footnote117 These relationships provide leveraged collaboration on joint tasks and privileged access to world developments in these fields. Moreover, they are seen by Canadian industry as key aspects of federal leadership in CCCCS R&D. Interviewees reported that sponsorship of the Weyburn-Midale oil field CO2 injection and storage field trial enhanced the credibility of the project and attracted the participation of industry and other stakeholders. In addition to collaborations within the IEA structure, the Program has international collaborations with universities in Italy and Poland, the Spanish Research Council, a European Union Consortium, the U.S. DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency, Chinese Power utilities and Babcox and Wilcox.Footnote118

Interview and case study findings provided numerous examples of new or enhanced collaborations and networks, national and international, which have contributed to R&D and deployment:

  • The CANMET CO2 R&D Consortium is a group of public and private sector organizations interested in reducing CO2 emissions due to power generation. This group has helped to identify projects and has provided funding for CCCCS projects. As project partners, consortium members receive access to project results. This mechanism provides additional support for R&D projects and is an important technology transfer pathway to the Canadian and international fossil-fuelled electric power generation sector.
  • The Canadian Clean Power Coalition (CCPC) is a stakeholder group that is providing funding to the gasification project, and has access to project results. In some cases, CCPC members have funded projects to address specific needs.
  • The large international partnership involved in funding and carrying out testing at the Weyburn and Midale oil fields is another example of a collaborative network that is contributing to both carrying out the R&D and the transfer of CO2 injection and storage technology to oil field operators and regulators.
  • The partnership with the Thermal Power Research Institute GreenGen in China provided the CanmetENERGY modeling group with experimental and performance data from their 10 MW pilot scale gasifier, which is unavailable within Canada. This has allowed the modeling group to extend their models to higher power gasifiers.
  • The Guodian Power Corporation in China is collaborating with the CanmetENERGY modeling group in developing Computational Fluid Dynamics models of their plasma ignition technology. Studies of this technology in China have shown it to improve energy efficiency use and CanmetENERGY is now evaluating its applicability for use in Canadian coal-fired power generation.

Despite these achievements, there were examples of a lack of coordination between provincial and federal initiatives. When ecoETI funding began, Alberta had just begun a similar program with overlapping objectives. This resulted in some confusion and delays in funding ecoETI proposals within Alberta.

There have also been issues in engaging industry in the funding of demonstration units employing new clean coal technologies. These have been largely due to financial difficulties caused by the recent economic downturn, and according to interviewees, exacerbated by the lack of a clear and comprehensive energy and regulatory framework.

One major issue in partnerships and networks is access to intellectual property (IP) and knowledge, which must be managed carefully. Managing IP for advanced technology development, complex and multi-partnered and international R&D projects can affect the development of research networks and generate project management issues. Depending on the IP regimes within participating countries, IP can be a barrier to project implementation or, at a minimum, cause delays and increase project management costs. Complex IP regimes also require ongoing investments (resources and management systems) to monitor project progress and to ensure that findings are being appropriately shared. IP issues were a particular problem and caused significant delays for the Weyburn-Midale CO2 sequestration project with its many public and private sector partners from Canada, the U.S. and other countries.

In the CCCCS Portfolio, IP management can be grouped into two categories:Footnote119

  • Unrestricted access – Assets are available to anyone wishing to access and use them in order to derive a benefit for Canada. For R&D under this category, the outputs are disseminated to stakeholders via conferences, symposia, workshops, technical discussions, presentations, journal papers, and other appropriate avenues.
  • Restricted access – Assets are restricted to collaborative partners due to contractual obligations. These assets are accessible only by parties to agreements (bilateral and multilateral) or others who are authorized under the agreements.
DPG

For this portfolio, international R&D and deployment collaborations are an important component of federal R&D projects, and enable scientists to access the investments and results of other countries working in this area. The International Energy Agency is the key international partner for DPG Portfolio activity; however there are also a number of bilateral collaborations with the U.S. and Europe for technology development related to photovoltaics, small hydro, and others.

To support the federal investment in DPG R&D, NRCan helped establish three university research networks:

  • Canadian Solar Cell Research Network;
  • Wind Energy Strategic Network; and
  • Solar Building Research Network

The Wind Energy Strategic Network includes 16 universities in Canada that is conducting research on wind resource assessment and forecasting. NRCan supported the development of this network for one of its DPG Portfolio projects. Through another project, linkages were established with the Ontario Fuel Cell Research and Innovation Network to support research opportunities.

Some interviewees reported that promising spin-offs emerged from the Solar Research Buildings Network which were not directly related to NRCan funding but illustrated the leveraging of NRCan PERD funding of research networks. It involved a power converter technology that was developed with the support of the Solar Building Research Network. NRCan has a position on the board of directors of the network and has been proactive in supporting it by bridging gaps between researchers and industry. The Network reached a licensing agreement with a British Columbia (B.C.) firm for the power converter technology. Another B.C. firm, which has developed solar PV panels, will be packaging the power converter technology with the PV panels to make the entire system generate electricity. According to the interviewee, the latter firm plans to build power plants in Ontario with a total capacity of 200 megawatts and sell electricity to the grid. The Network is also working with a small Canadian wind producer on the Wendwar technology, in Saskatchewan, developing a turbine power converter that can operate at variable speeds, producing increased energy output.

One area of possible weakness noted by several interviewees was the level of engagement and support of policy stakeholders for renewable energy technology development. These interviewees felt that there was not enough engagement of policy stakeholders and that this has affected policy development and the level of investment (public and private) in the renewable energy sector.

Gen IV

Gen IV supports Canada’s participation in a number of GIF management groups and committees, which provides access to international R&D findings, data and researchers, and enhances Canada’s international presence and reputation in this field. There are two NRCan representatives on the GIF Policy Group, and a combination of AECL and NRCan representatives for Canada on another 12 committees related to VHTR and SCWR technology development, most of which originate from AECL.

NRCan signed the GIF SCWR and VHTR System Arrangements (SA) in November 2006. The VHTR SA formally established collaboration among Canada, France, the E.U., the U.S.Footnote120, Japan, and South Korea for the development of VHTR systems and nuclear hydrogen technologies, and the SCWR SA was signed by Canada, the Euratom and Japan. These arrangements, and supporting Project Arrangement Agreements, represent a commitment on the part of participating nations to deliver their respective portions of the overall R&D.Footnote121

Participation in the various GIF groups and committees, and the extent and quality of Canada’s research findings over the past two years, were cited by a number of interviewees as evidence of Canada ‘punching above its weight’ in the international nuclear R&D field, especially when the low level of federal funding is considered.

Beyond access to significant R&D results, GIF provides opportunities to build networks of international contacts, and is an efficient way for Canadian researchers to stay abreast of R&D work and programs in other countries. This helps Canadian researchers to find niche areas where they can play a leadership role and contribute usefully to the overall global effort. As shown in the case studies, Gen IV has fostered new linkages internationally. For example, the Computational Modeling case study project involves collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland which shares technical information and advice with Canadian researchers, helping MTL to tailor this project to complement the international activity.

The NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program has developed linkages between university researchers, AECL, NRCan labs and OGD labs; to date, it has funded 23 projects, involving over 45 students at more than 20 universities. The projects have resulted in four published journal articles (and a further seven submitted), and researchers have made 38 presentations at various national and international conferences, and to AECL and NRCan.Footnote122

Several interviewees mentioned that the Gen IV activity would benefit from greater private sector involvement (ranging from smaller technology development companies to utilities such as Ontario Power Generation, as well as the Canadian Nuclear Industry Association). However, most interviewees noted that Gen IV research is too long-term for all but AECL. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Bruce Power is represented on the program’s External Advisory Committee.

Three Gen IV case studies illustrate a number of new research collaborations and networks that have been established to pursue Gen IV nuclear R&D: 1) the Hydrogen Production case study project shows how new research collaborations among AECL, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Argonne National Laboratories in the U.S. have led to significant developments with respect to technologies for the production of hydrogen; 2) the work done in Canada on the copper-chlorine cycle has influenced international research directions, with France and others now interested in this technology over the more traditional technologies.

5.2 Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

5.2.1 How could the efficiency of the programs be improved?

CEPG is operating efficiently in that there is no significant overlap or duplication with other programs; the project selection processes ensure that activities are aligned with CEPG objectives; the majority of CEPG project deliverables are on schedule; and CEPG R&D projects involve key stakeholders.

Overview
  • The level of detail and timeliness of performance and financial reporting varies across CEPG portfolios. There is insufficient performance and financial information available for all projects and programs to draw conclusions on project progress, next steps and impacts. In the absence of timely, complete and consistent data for all relevant decision-makers (e.g., project managers, program managers, portfolio committees, external committees, etc.), the ability to make cost-effective decisions on project work plans, possible funding reallocations, etc. is compromised.
  • Suggestions from interviewees to improve efficiency include: higher levels and more sustained funding commitments; improved financial and performance reporting; enhanced linkages with policy groups; maintained or strengthened international research collaborations; and improved coordination with other agencies and provinces.
  • A key strength of NRCan within the CEPG portfolios is its ability to network and collaborate. For example, planning for the CCCCS and Gen IV portfolios included the development of technology roadmaps which involved consultations with industry, provinces and others. For DPG, a roadmap was developed for wind power technology area.
Detailed Findings

Document, interview and case study findings point to the following issues that are affecting the overall efficiency of the CEPG S&T Portfolio delivery.

Program Funding

The scope and quantity of CEPG RD&D is constrained by the funding allocated to each portfolio and the available A-base funding to support individual projects. The level and uncertainty of CEPG funding affects the ability of NRCan, and therefore its R&D partners, to make commitments to longer-term RD&D plans. Much of the CEPG technology development has a 10-year or longer time horizon and the need of a sustained, long-term effort is a cornerstone of CEPG rationale as discussed earlier.

The CCCCS Portfolio relies on project funding from CCTII, PERD and ecoETI, as well as partner contributions. A significant expansion of the work was possible with the new ecoETI funding. As shown by the financial data, there are low levels of A-base funding for Canmet Energy Technology Centre (CETC)-Ottawa, which relies to a large extent on NRCan funding programs.Footnote123 The low level of A-base funding means that the federal labs involved in CEPG RD&D have to rely, to some extent, on NRCan funding programs to maintain baseline capacity. In addition, low levels of funding and uncertainties with annual funding can make it difficult for labs to attract and retain staff, and purchase the required lab equipment and maintain the lab facilities.

The Gen IV Portfolio funding was reduced by approximately two-thirds in 2007-08 from planned levels. This led Canada to withdraw from GIF R&D in some areas that had been identified as priorities, and reduce involvement in others. The Gen IV activity now relies, to a large extent, on A-base funding (from both NRCan and NSERC), university research funded through other programs (e.g., Ontario Research Fund, Canadian Foundation of Innovation, Research Chairs), and AECL’s ongoing research programs and in-kind contributions.

Moving forward, the Gen IV R&D will get more expensive; the next phase will require more expensive facilities and testing, and the research activity that was deferred when Gen IV Portfolio funding was significantly reduced in 2007-08 will need to be completed. These factors place increasing pressure on the available funding which may affect program efficiency as R&D backlogs are addressed.

Financial and Performance Reporting

A review of the CEPG Portfolio annual reports and other management information shows that there has been limited, timely financial information available to monitor and manage projects or the three portfolios.

According to several management interviewees, CEPG would benefit from enhanced program flexibility, including greater capacity to redirect funding among projects based on changing circumstances. Even if the protocols and policies for redirecting funds are further clarified and well understood, their implementation would be difficult given the state of project and portfolio quarterly and annual performance and financial reporting.

There was an undue level of burden associated with the two key funding mechanisms (PERD and T&I) each of which had different reporting requirements, proposals, meetings, project adjustments, etc. Suggestions were made for more streamlined contracting processes (to minimize project delays), more integrated or aligned proposal processes and reporting across the various funding programs. OERD has addressed this problem by combining PERD and ecoETI plans and reports.

Linkages with Policy Groups

Interviewees from all key stakeholder groups noted that greater engagement with federal policy groups (e.g., NRCan, Environment Canada) would improve program efficiency and better support overall Canadian energy policy development. Greater cooperation across policy and technology communities would help ensure that CEPG includes projects that generate the data and knowledge required by policy makers, and those responsible for the regulations that govern clean energy implementation. A number of interviewees felt that existing mechanisms (committees, workshops, etc.) for exchanging information (e.g., technical, cost and environmental performance, and related international trends) among federal and provincial policy groups, and the R&D community could be improved.

Better communication and understanding would support policy development and also improve R&D program effectiveness and efficiency. A better understanding across public (federal, provincial and local) and private sector policy groups, regulatory authorities and the R&D community of each groups’ priorities would help private sector investors and other R&D programs align their expectations and investments with those of the federal government. A well-defined role for clean energy within Canada’s electrical energy network would enhance industries’ understanding and clarify expectations. Stakeholder confidence in the future of the sector could help NRCan secure additional program funding, including federal funding (A-base, other programs) and industry investment (in-kind and financial).

While there are a number of NRCan energy policy representatives involved on portfolio federal executive committees, external advisory committees and to a lesser extent the portfolio committees, more could be done to promote information exchange between the R&D and policy groups.

Industry Participation

As noted in the previous section, linkages have been established to help leverage NRCan’s efforts nationally and internationally. Evaluation findings show that the level of participation of Canadian industry, which has been limited to date, if strengthened, could support greater technology transfer and deployment activities thus increasing overall efficiency.

International Participation

Interviewees noted that the efficiency and effectiveness of many aspects of CEPG is inextricably linked to the access of Canadian researchers to international research findings.

In the Gen IV Portfolio area, Canada’s future participation in GIF, and the benefits it receives from this association, are seen by Canadian stakeholders to be at risk due to federal funding uncertainties. Most Canadian interviewees noted that the level of resources is barely sufficient to support Canada’s present minimum level of GIF involvement. As noted, Canada had to withdraw from a number of research areas and international commitments; despite the limited involvement, international stakeholders interviewed for this project strongly value Canada’s participation in GIF.

Program Overlap or Duplication

With minor exceptions, there was no evidence that CEPG duplicates work done by other programs and no significant opportunities for related efficiency improvements were identified.
Several CCCCS Portfolio interviewees thought that linkages with western provinces were good, while others identified the need for improved coordination with some provinces with respect to funding projects. Alberta and NRCan both provide funding for R&D and demonstrations, however there has been little coordination to minimize duplication and confusion.

Several Gen IV Portfolio interviewees compared the NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program with the balance of the Gen IV Portfolio and suggested that stronger links between these two funding mechanisms could both improve program management efficiency and lead to more collaborative projects involving AECL labs, universities, federal labs and industry. A review of background documentation, supported by interview findings, showed CEPG activity to be unique in Canada and complementary to the work being done within AECL and universities.

Project Deadlines

One measure of program efficiency is the extent to which program and project deadlines and objectives are met. Case studies showed that several CCCCS projects have been delayed due to factors such as government procurement, etc. The most recent annual report for the Gen IV Portfolio showed most (15 of 19) projects to be on schedule.Footnote124 Similarly, the most recent annual reports for the DPG Portfolio showed that 31 of 40 projects were on schedule.Footnote125

5.2.2 Are the programs the most economic means of achieving the intended outcomes?

Overview
  • CEPG R&D activities are leveraging funding and in-kind support from other stakeholders and helping to coordinate clean energy R&D expertise, infrastructure and resources across the Canadian public, private and academic sectors. The ratio of Government of Canada funding to non-Government of Canada resources (e.g., in-kind and cash contributions from universities, industry, international groups, NGOs) across the three portfolios is estimated to be 1:0.79.
  • Canada’s participation in international R&D collaborations (e.g., IEA, GIF) helps to leverage the limited CEPG investment and provides new access to international research findings, data, knowledge and partnerships.
  • CEPG planning and project selection processes help ensure that projects focus on developing the most promising and economically-viable clean energy technologies. In some cases there were observations that projects are not always clear about their end results. For example, some project proposals clearly define a project work plan and short term impacts, but the ultimate (or even intermediate) impacts on the technology and sector are not addressed.
  • Alternative or complementary means of achieving CEPG objectives economically include using government procurement as a tool for early deployment for some appropriate technologies, and greater investment in public education and awareness for all CEPG programs. Both these mechanisms would support technology acceptance and deployment and complement CEPG technology development efforts.
Detailed Findings

One method used to assess program cost-effectiveness is to examine the extent to which a program has been able to leverage investments from other sources. The three portfolios’ activities have leveraged financial and in-kind resources from OGDs, industry and universities. The extent to which partners are willing to invest in a specific CEPG project depends on its alignment with their objectives. In general, industry will not make major investments in early stage projects that are unproven and are far from potential application. The overall ratio of Government of Canada contributions to non-Government of Canada contributions (financial and in-kind) is estimated as 1:0.79.Footnote126

By portfolio, the ratios of Government of Canada funding to non-Government of Canada resources (e.g., in-kind and cash contributions from universities, industries, international groups, NGOs) are estimated to be:

  • 1:0.37 for the CCCCS Portfolio;
  • 1:1.50 for the DPG Portfolio; and
  • 1:0.00 for the Gen IV Portfolio.

The ratio of total NRCan (PERD, ecoETI, TEAM, CCTII, NRCan A-base) to non-NRCan contributions (e.g., financial and in-kind contributions from other federal departments and agencies, industry, etc.) is estimated to be 1:1.13 for the CEPG SSA.

By portfolio, the NRCan to non-NRCan leveraging ratio is estimated to be:

  • 1:0.50 for the CCCCS Portfolio;
  • 1:1.78 for the DPG Portfolio; and
  • 1:1.07 for the Gen IV Nuclear Portfolio.

These estimates are based on data provided in OERD financial and program annual reports. It is important to note that each portfolio has a different leverage profile. Not surprisingly, there is little non-federal investment in the Gen IV Program (where the impacts are long-term and the risk high). In comparison, DPG received significantly greater contributions from non-federal sources because its technologies are closer to market with nearer-term commercial benefits, and as a result, DPG leveraged TEAM funding for demonstration activities. The CCCCS Portfolio non-GOC to GOC leverage ratio is between DPG and Gen IV.

There are some inherent challenges associated with assessing the economic impact of activities such as knowledge dissemination, technical advice and planning and decision-making tools, which comprise a large part of CEPG activity. The related impacts often occur over many years and are only partially attributable to CEPG or NRCan activity. For example, the codes and standards development activity and resource assessment (for renewable energy technologies) funded by CEPG support the long-term deployment and integration of new clean energy technologies in Canadian and international markets.

Details on portfolio resources (as reported in the program annual reports) are presented below for each portfolio, along with findings from interviews and case studies that address cost effectiveness.

CCCCS

Table 3, in Section 2.3.5, provides a summary of the available information (from the program annual reports) of the resources provided to CCCCS Portfolio projects from CEPG funding programs, NRCan, other federal funding and contributions from industry, universities and international sources.

Four leverage estimates are provided for each year (2003-04 to 2008-09). The leverage estimates are calculated as the ratio of non-Government of Canada support to: (1) CEPG funding (e.g., PERD, ecoETI, etc.); (2) total NRCan support (CEPG funding plus A-base and other NRCan in-kind support); and (3) total federal sources (NRCan plus OGD cash and in-kind contributions). The fourth leverage estimate calculates the ratio of non-NRCan funding to NRCan funding.

It is estimated that for every dollar of CEPG CCCCS funding invested (this includes PERD, CCTII, and ecoETI) over the 2003-04 to 2008-09 time period, $0.50 was invested (financial and in-kind) by non-GOC stakeholders. When all sources of federal funding (i.e., CEPG, NRCan and OGD A-base) are considered, the leverage ratio (i.e., non-Government of Canada versus all Government of Canada sources) drops to 0.37 for every GOC dollar.

While the calculated leverage for the overall Portfolio is $0.37 (non-GOC) to every GOC $1.00, there is a significant variation in the level of funding support and the number of contributors depending on the specific program. The CCCCS case studies provided specific examples of the extent of leveraging of federal funding provided by project partners. For most cases, the research is early stage, with little immediate opportunity for application by industry. Consequently, industry is unwilling to provide large amounts of funding. The deep economic downturn during the timeframe of the evaluation has also severely affected the industry’s ability to contribute. The consequence is that federal funding through PERD and ecoETI is providing the bulk of funding for most case studies.

For the Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electrical Generation, industry is the only non-NRCan contributor, providing about 20% of funding. For the CCS Program, industry, universities, provinces and international sources have provided contributions due in large part to the IEA Weyburn-Midale Oil CO2 Storage field trial.

It is also important to remember that CCTII projects were intended to be directly relevant to industry and required a significant financial contribution from industry. As shown in the CO2 Clean-up and Capture from Oxy-Fuel Combustion case study, industry provided about 33% of total annual funding. For the large IEA-sponsored Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring Project, there were many public and private sector partners providing funding and in-kind contributions. For the final phase, NRCan is providing about $10 million of an estimated $40 million total, which indicates an overall project level leverage of $3.00 for every NRCan $1.00.

The majority of projects carried out by the CCCCS Portfolio are well aligned with the recommendations of a study conducted by the Canadian Clean Power Coalition which concluded that it would not be cost effective to retrofit existing facilities for CO2 capture due to the large energy penalty involved and the cost of retrofits. The Clean Coal Technology Roadmap proposed that GHG emissions be addressed through the installation of new more efficient coal-fired facilities and brown-field installations on existing sites. It is estimated that about half of current facilities are over 25 years old, 33 units will reach economic maturity by 2015 and 61 will need to be replaced by 2034.Footnote127 The CCCCS Portfolio is responding to this proposal by focusing on developing and testing new and improved technologies associated with advanced cycle power generation with CO2 capture.

The focus of CCCCS Portfolio R&D is also supported by other studies. NRTEE argues that public R&D investments should strategically target areas in which Canada has a competitive advantage. In Canada’s Clean Coal Technology Roadmap, it is stated that large stationary point sources (such as thermal plants) are thought to be a cost-effective opportunity given the size of these facilities. Carbon capture and storage is considered to be an important part of clean coal technologies because of the possibility of near-zero emissions.

Interviewees noted that the intended longer-term outcomes cannot be achieved by NRCan alone. A number of government departments and agencies – including Industry Canada, Environment Canada and Sustainable Development and Technology Canada, as well as NRCan – have a role in the deployment and commercialization of clean coal and CO2 capture and storage technology. Some interviewees said that CanmetENERGY has a positive relationship with western Canadian provinces, and is providing technical support to policy and regulatory decisions. NRCan is well-positioned with western provinces. The linkages and collaborative projects with U.S. energy agencies leverage these resources and contribute to good relationships with these agencies. These relationships are important, especially as Canada intends to develop a regulatory regime that is harmonized with the U.S.

Given the inherent difficulties of quantifying many longer-term outcomes and the fact that many CCS activities are in the initial stages of implementation, there are only a few instances where the impact of CanmetENERGY support for industry can be quantified. However, the assistance to New Brunswick Power in developing an alternative, low cost fuel source to replace the Orimulsion from Venezuela that was being phased out, has been estimated by NRCan representatives to contribute to an annual savings of $33 million in the cost of fuel for a single 100 MW power plant.Footnote128 This was just one project among many that the portfolio research groups undertake annually to support the efficient operation of Canadian fossil fuel-fired power utilities.

DPG

Table 2 provides a summary of the available information (from program annual reports and OERD financial data) of the resources provided to DPG Portfolio projects from CEPG funding programs, NRCan, other federal funding and contributions from industry, universities, NGOs and international sources.

In the case of DPG, there is significantly higher amount of “Other” funding in which the source is not identified in the annual reports. Further investigation was conducted to identify the most common sources of funding for this ‘Other’ category (i.e. non-GOC funding leveraged through TEAM and international sources).

It is estimated that for every dollar of CEPG DPG funding (i.e., federal funding programs such as PERD, TEAM, ecoETI) invested over the six years, a further $2.01 (financial and in-kind) was invested by non-GOC stakeholders. For each NRCan dollar invested, a $1.78 (financial and in-kind) of non-NRCan contributions was leveraged (i.e., OGDs, non-GOC). When all sources of NRCan funding are considered (this includes CEPG as well as NRCan A-base), the leverage ratio is 1:1.67. When all sources of Government of Canada funding are considered (i.e., NRCan funding plus OGD funding), the leverage drops to $1.50.

An analysis of various studies on renewable energies and renewable energy deploymentFootnote129 indicated that, on an international level, renewable energy utilization grew rapidly from 2000 to 2004. For example, grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) increased by 60% per annum on average, wind power by 28%, biodiesel 25%, solar hot water or heating 17%, off-grid PV 17%, geothermal heat capacity 13%. As a result of assessing engineering and technological criteria, the analysis indicated that the total technical potential of different forms of renewable energy exceeds the current energy demand by manifolds. For many technologies the cost range estimates were quite large and therefore it was difficult to conclude which technologies are the most economic. The study however indicated that ocean and solar technologies were still relatively costly, while wind, biomass and hydro power technologies are fairly competitive.Footnote130

R&D and deployment work in the micro-cogeneration area has promising economic outcomes. For example, a company’s diesel engine generator was retrofitted to operate on natural gas. “The significance of this work is that rugged, heavy duty diesel engines fitted with asynchronous generators can be used to create a high efficiency, long life micro-cogeneration products at about half the cost of currently available micro-cogeneration systems.”Footnote131

Within the DPG Portfolio, work has progressed with respect to the development on small-scale generators that use combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.Footnote132 CHP systems are now being installed in a commercial setting to determine cost/benefit to the consumer including energy savings and potential for improved electrical supply reliability.

There were no widely held views on alternative approaches to improve the cost effectiveness of meeting DPG objectives. However, several interviewees made specific suggestions for improving the cost effectiveness. One interviewee suggested that deployment of clean and renewable electrical generation technologies could be more easily achieved by using government procurement as a tool to require such technologies to be installed in government facilities. Another interviewee suggested that a public education and awareness program on the benefits of clean and renewable electrical generation technologies would be a relatively economical means of generating more consumer demand and interest to deploy these technologies. A third interviewee indicated that potential program partners are faced with navigating a complex array of departments and agencies and may be discouraged from pursuing partnership opportunities. The interviewee suggested that a ‘one-stop shopping’ mechanism be set up to help match potential partners to the appropriate program(s). While government procurement and public education could complement current CEPG activities, interview and case study findings show that research and technology development are critical to the future deployment of new, clean energy technologies.

Gen IV

Table 4 provides a summary of the available information (from program annual reports) of the resources provided to Gen IV Portfolio projects from CEPG funding programs, NRCan, other federal funding and contributions from industry, universities and international sources.

Again, four leverage estimates are provided for each year (2005-06 to 2008-09) as shown in Table 4. Given the long-term and high-risk nature of Gen IV research, the Portfolio has not leveraged non-Government of Canada contributions. Using the leveraging ratio of non-NRCan dollars (OGD, international, etc., in-kind and cash) to the total NRCan contributions (PERD, ecoETI, NRCan A-base), NRCan funding ($11.3 million) for this portfolio leveraged $12.1 million of non-NRCan financial and in-kind contributions. For every dollar invested by NRCan, $1.07 (financial and in-kind) was contributed from non-NRCan sources.

In 2008-09, the NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program was launched, providing up to $6 million over three years, with NRCan and NSERC each investing up to $3 million over three years. AECL provides in-kind support to each project in the form of access to personnel and facilities, where appropriate (a requirement for each project is to involve at least one AECL researcher during all stages of the research to ensure that the projects are focused on Canadian industry and GIF priorities). Gen IV will leverage $1 million per year from NSERC for the current and following fiscal years.

In addition to in-kind funding from Canadian sources, the benefits obtained by participating in GIF are significant. It is estimated that as a member of the GIF SCWR & VHTR systems from 2005-06 to 2008-09, Canada has gained access to research valued at approximately $96.8 million.Footnote133 Efforts began at the planning stages to involve a range of research organizations in Gen IV activity and develop nuclear technology research capacity within Canadian academic, private and public sectors. A presentation made by Gen IV Portfolio management in October 2009Footnote134 noted examples of how Gen IV funding helped other organizations leverage funding of their own:

  • Ontario Research Foundation (ORF) has provided $5 million over five years in project funding and supported a SCW loop at Carleton university;Footnote135
  • CFI/ORF – CANS (Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems) has provided $18 millionFootnote136 over five years in project funding and will support a McMaster-MTL joint facility; and
  • a new nuclear materials program was established at MTL.

The Gen IV Portfolio helped to increase the level of coordination of nuclear expertise, infrastructure and resource spending in Canada. This has been critical in terms of meeting international commitments and gaining access to international research program findings. For example, although Canada signed the VHTR Hydrogen Production Project Arrangement in 2008, the funding available to support these commitments was significantly reduced when the Gen IV Program funding was cut in 2007-08. According to the Portfolio manager, when this happened, AECL stated that it would support the hydrogen work through their existing program and this would be part of the AECL in-kind contribution to the project Hydrogen projects has received some small modest amount of funding from NRCan. In turn, Canada has access to all R&D results contributed by the other participating nations, including royalty-free access to all intellectual property for the purposes of ongoing R&D.Footnote137 The 2008 Generation IV International Forum Annual Report estimates that the total spent by GIF participants on hydrogen production research in 2008 was $46 million (U.S.).

Canada's main involvement in GIF has been through its SCWR work which builds on existing CANDU technology and expertise. A number of the Gen IV projects, especially related to materials development (e.g., corrosion), contribute to both SCWR and VHTR priorities. To the extent possible, during the planning or project selection process, NRCan selected projects that met needs for both SCWR (the reactor type of most interest to Canada) and VHTR (which enables Canada to get a seat at the VHTR table, leveraging NRCan's investment and giving Canada access to international materials research and the hydrogen work).

Beyond access to significant research results, GIF also provides opportunities to build networks of international contacts and is an efficient way for Canadian researchers to stay current with international developments.

With respect to economic impacts, next generation reactor development activity is a long-term venture, with next generation SCWR reactors not expected before 2030, and Gen IV projects have been under way for less than three years. There have been no significant economic impacts to date.

Annex A – Additional Portfolio Profile Information

A.1 DPG

Renewable Energy Technologies (5.1.1)

The Renewable Energy Technologies ProgramFootnote138 supports efforts to make the conversion of renewable energy to electricity more cost effective and efficient, including related storage, hybrid, and systems technologies. The objective of this program is to provide and support S&T to increase the proportion of Canada's electricity supply from renewables by strengthening the national S&T capacity; improving the economics and efficiency; and reducing the environmental impacts of conversion of renewable energy to electricity. Support for R&D, research networks, the development of codes and standards, and resource assessmentsFootnote139 provide some of the means for achieving these objectives. The Program also involves a number of planned or implemented international collaborations. Some examples of principal international linkages include the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 8; the Norwegian Wild Salmon Programme; and the International Energy Agency Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement.Footnote140

Commencing in 2007-08, the R&D carried out in this program is organized under the four following sub-programs: Hydro; Marine; Wind (including offshore); and Solar. Each of these four sub-programs has four research streams: Technology Development, Renewable Energy Technology Networks, Resource Assessment, and Environmental Impact & Mitigation.

Distributed Clean Generation (5.1.2)Footnote141

The Distributed Clean Generation Program objective is to improve the economics and efficiency of conversion of non-renewable energy to electricity in distributed systems including related storage, hybrid, and systems technologies. The aim is to increase the use of distributed generation in Canada to take advantage of increased electricity supply, as well as the economic and environmental benefits.

Cogeneration remains the central theme of this program. Cogeneration refers to the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy from a common fuel source. The surplus waste heat can be used for industrial processes or for heating purposes. The current Program also includes conversion of fuel to electricity, and storage of electricity and by-product waste heat.

The activities of the Distributed Clean Energy Program are organized under two sub-programs: Combined Heat and Power; and Energy Conversion and Storage.

Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (5.1.3)

Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy ResourcesFootnote142 supports research and development efforts that contribute to the modernization of the electricity grid network, enhance the benefits of renewable and clean distributed energy resources, increase the diversity and reliability of supply, and facilitate recovery after disruptions in the power system. The current funding cycle (2007-08 to 2011-12) reflects the shift from electrical power generated in large power plants towards the integration of intermittent renewable energy and clean decentralized energy resources into the main electrical grid.Footnote143

The Program encompasses Science and Technology efforts for Grid Integration, as well as targeted activities on the application of renewable energy technologies and integrated systems in off-grid or remote communities formerly covered under Program 3.2.2.Footnote144 In addition, several activities and projects within this program reflect the ongoing research priorities funded by the T&I funding to NRCan’s CANMET Technology Center. Support for Canadian contribution and R&D activities for International S&T Cooperation and Collaboration was expanded from 2004 to 2006. Examples of national and international cooperation include Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques, C6 Distribution Systems and Dispersed Generation; International Microgrid R&D cooperation; and International Energy Agency Photovoltaic (PV) Power Systems.

The Program has been divided into four key activity areas: technology assessment and demonstrations; modeling, simulation, and benchmarking case studies; standards, codes and regulatory support; and national and international collaboration activities.

A.2 CCCCS

The Clean and Efficient Combustion Technologies for Large Utility Electricity Generation Program has four principal sub-programs:

  • Advancing Knowledge of Fuels and Products for Clean Coal Technologies (Knowledge);
  • Advanced Modeling Techniques for Clean Coal Technologies (Modeling);
  • Pollution Control Strategies (Pollution Control); and
  • Developing High-Efficiency, Low-Emission Advanced Clean Coal Technology Cycles (Advanced Cycles).

These sub-programs are mutually dependent and supportive. The knowledge and modeling sub-programs provide the basic tools from which pollution control and advanced cycles technologies are developed. Similarly, the testing of pollution control strategies and advanced cycles contributes to the validation and further development of models.

The CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) Program (5.2.3) focuses on:

  • development, integration and optimization of CO2 capture technologies;
  • development of CO2 storage technologies; and
  • assessment of resources for CO2 storage.

Program 5.2.3 is divided into eight sub-programs, each with a number of projects. The sub-programs are:

  • development of 2nd generation of fossil fuel energy conversion processes with CO2 capture;
  • advancement of CO2 capture technologies;
  • pptimization of CO2 capture integrated processes and developing and assessing techno-economic models;
  • development of novel modules for new fossil fuel energy conversion processes with CO2capture ;
  • development of monitoring, measurement and verification CO2 storage tool and protocols;
  • assessment of geological storage integrity;
  • characterization of and capacity estimates for saline aquifers; and
  • coordination, collaboration and planning of national and international CCS activities.

To enhance coordination within NRCan, the Carbon Capture and Storage Horizontal Task Team was launched in March 2008 to develop an integrated and strategic approach to CCS in the form of an action plan. The Task Team brings together CCS experts from all sectors across the Department.

A.3 Gen IV

The Gen IV National Program funds and coordinates nuclear research within Canada to meet its obligations as committed to when it signed the GIF Treaty in 2005. Canada participates in three areas of research that are an evolution of current Canadian technology: Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactors (SCWR), Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTR) and nuclear hydrogen production.Footnote145

The rationale for Canadian involvement in the Program is the country’s need for new energy technologies that can help reduce GHG emissions while providing sustainable, economic, and secure energy supply.

The development of next generation (Gen IV) nuclear technology requires investments that are beyond the reach of one company or even one country; the Generation IV International Forum is the international community’s response to this need and is the vehicle through which Canada can leverage its investment in nuclear R&D. The Gen IV Program provides an opportunity to remain a leading player in the development of advance reactor systems.

The Gen IV National Program was launched in January 2006 and designed to coordinate and fund Canada’s next generation nuclear research, bringing together key research organizations from industry, universities and other government departments. The federal investment in the Program is intended to ensure that Canada produces R&D outputs that meet the country’s international GIF commitments, and thus provide access to the broader international GIF R&D program. More specifically, the Program was designed to meet two specific technology objectives:Footnote146

  • To advance R&D in support of Canada’s participation in GIF activity to develop advanced nuclear energy systems in a collaborative, multi-lateral way. More specifically, the Program supports work on two specific types of reactor systems: the Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR), which is based on CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) technology, and the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR).
  • To develop technologies required in the production of hydrogen using nuclear energy from next generation reactors.

These objectives will be met through partnerships among Canadian and international research organizations, and participation in international R&D programs.

It is important to note that AECL has always invested in R&D that supports the development of advanced reactor systems, and is currently working on Generation III reactors. These AECL programs and projects focus on incremental improvements to the existing CANDU reactor system. By contrast, the Gen IV activity focuses on developing next generation reactor systems that are not expected to be on-line for another 15 to 20 years, and that have significant economic, environmental and technical benefits.

The expected long-term outcomes for this program (as identified in its program logic model) are:Footnote147

  • long-term security of energy supply and pricing through increased nuclear electricity generating capacity;
  • expertise within Canada supporting a strong nuclear industry;
  • commercialization of new, safe, and reliable Canadian nuclear technologies;
  • environmental benefits, reduced emissions from the electricity production sector;
  • favourable public opinion toward nuclear energy production;
  • increased sustainability of nuclear energy systems;
  • access to all of the knowledge and technology necessary to build and operate an SCWR; and,
  • economical, non-GHG emitting, hydrogen production processes for large scale production of hydrogen to support the hydrogen economy in Canada.

The expected, key immediate results are:

  • fulfilment of Canada’s GIF commitments;
  • recognition of Canadian leadership in SCWR design and contributions to VHTR development and nuclear hydrogen production technologies;
  • development of highly-qualified people;
  • development of new lines of research and capacity within Canadian government labs, universities and industry;
  • creation of new national and international collaborations;
  • acceleration of technology development, with application to advanced nuclear technologies;
  • application of new technologies to non-nuclear industries (e.g., materials, computational modeling); and,
  • addressing safety and proliferation issues.

Governance Structure

Gen IV National Program

The Program governance and delivery structure was fully in place in 2007-08 and is illustrated in Figure A-1.

Figure A-1: Generation IV National Program Organizational Structure

Figure A-1: Generation IV National Program Organizational Structure
Text version - Figure A-1

Figure A-1 shows an organizational chart of the Generation IV National Program structure. At the highest level is the Federal Executive Committee, the advisory body responsible for reviewing and informing the strategic direction and the mechanisms for implementing the program. 

This Committee makes recommendations to the next level: the Director of Energy Science and Technology Program. The next level down is the Program Director of the Gen IV National Program. Below the Program Director is the Portfolio Committee. 

The Portfolio Committee is linked by a two-way arrow to the External Advisory Panel. The primary role of the External Advisory Panel is to provide advice to the Portfolio Committee and the Federal Executive Committee on the relevance of the program’s activities and technical aspects relevant to decision making. 

Below the Portfolio Committee are the three delivery agents for the program: AECL, NSERC and OERD. As shown in the chart the target recipients for the AECL are the AECL laboratories; the target recipients for NSERC are universities; and the target recipients for OERD are the federal laboratories and industry, although the focus is primarily on the federal laboratories.

Below the target recipients the chart shows those groups that are potential collaborators with the target recipients. .For the AECL, the AECL labs potential collaborators are as follows: universities, industry, and international organizations. For NSERC, industries are possible collaborators with the universities. With respect to NRCan, universities and industry are possible collaborators with the federal NRCan laboratories.

The Federal Executive Committee is the advisory body responsible for reviewing and informing the strategic direction and the mechanisms for implementing the Program. This committee includes approximately 15 representatives from NRCan, Treasury Board Secretariat, AECL, NSERC, the National Research Council, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Industry Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The Program Director, who is also a member of the Portfolio Committee, is generally responsible for producing the program plan, and developing its strategies and program-level priorities; recommending the allocation of resources to achieve the outcomes established in the program plan; and reporting on compliance and results.

The primary role of the External Advisory Panel is to provide advice to the Portfolio Committee and the Federal Executive Committee on the relevance of the Program’s activities and technical aspects relevant to decision making. The Panel membership currently includes seven representatives from AECL, universities, Ontario Power Generation, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission selected so as to cover the entire R&D spectrum.

The Portfolio Committee is chaired by OERD, NRCan and currently includes 10 representatives from CANMET-MTL (Materials Technology Laboratory), CANMET-Energy Technology Centre, AECL, and the National Research Council. The role of the Portfolio Committee for Gen IV is the same as that of other portfolio committees as described in Section 2.2.3.

The three delivery agents for the Program are AECL, NSERC and OERD. AECL manages many of the projects delivered under this program and its research managers represent Canada on the international (GIF) systems steering committees and project management boards. NSERC delivers the NSERC/NRCan/AECL Program using its own processes to solicit and evaluate proposals, while relying on AECL and NRCan MTL researchers for their technical input to the proposal review. OERD delivers the PERD and ecoETI funds to federal labs and industry (although the focus is primarily on federal labs).

The role of AECL has been critical in Canada’s participation in the GIF and supporting the implementation of the Gen IV National Program. The majority of Canada’s nuclear energy R&D capacity resides at AECL, and it was AECL managers that were tasked early on with helping NRCan to negotiate Canada’s participation in the GIF.

GIF Governance Structure

At the highest level, the GIF is led by the Policy Group which is responsible for the overall steering of the GIF cooperative research efforts. The Experts Group advises the Policy Group on R&D strategy, priorities and methodology and the assessment of research plans prepared in the framework of systems arrangements (see below). Both groups include representatives from all 10 GIF member countriesFootnote148 and Canada has two representatives on each of these groups (AECL and NRCan are the two Canadian organizations that are involved in GIF governance).

The GIF governance structure is presented in Figure A-2.

Figure A-2: GIF Governance Structure

Figure A-2: GIF Governance Structure
Text version - Figure A-2

Figure A-2 depicts an organization chart of the GIF international governance structure. At the highest level, the GIF is led by the Policy Group (led by a chair) which is responsible for the overall steering of the GIF cooperative research efforts. Alongside the Policy Group is the Senior Industry Advisory Council which provides advice to the Policy Group. Below the Policy Group is the Experts Group which advises the Policy Group on R&D strategy, priorities and methodology and the assessment of research plans prepared in the framework of Systems Arrangements. The Policy Secretariat provides the Secretariat function to the Chairs of the Policy and Expert Groups. Reporting directly to the Experts Group are the Methodology Working Groups (led by co-chairs).

The Policy Secretariat and the Expert Groups communicate closely with the System Steering Committees (led by co-chairs). For each of the six Gen IV reactor systems under study, a System Steering Committee has been established to plan and oversee the required R&D. The System Steering Committees report directly to the Policy Group. Below the System Steering Committees are the Project Management Boards that report to their respective System Steering Committees. Project Management Boards (PMBs) implement the Project Agreements. The Technical Secretariat provides the Secretariat function for the Project Management Boards and the Methodology Working Groups.

For each of the six Gen IV reactor systems under study, a system steering committee has been established to plan and oversee the required R&D. Countries interested in a given system sign a system arrangement agreement. In November 2006, Canada signed the SCWR and VHTR System ArrangementsFootnote149, the two priority areas identified in consultation with Canadian stakeholders.

The R&D activities for each GIF reactor system is implemented through a set of project arrangements signed by interested countries. Project management boards (PMBs) implement these project agreements, which comprise a limited number of common R&D project areas with well-defined deliverables, milestones and schedules, with a clearly-defined contractual framework. In the VHTR system, Canada has signed two project agreements: one for fuel and fuel cycle; and another for hydrogen production. Canada is participating in the Hydrogen Production Project Agreement that will address feasibility, optimization, efficiency and economics evaluation for small- and large-scale hydrogen production.

Notably, Canada leads SCWR development and a Canadian representative chaired the SCWR System Steering Committee until September 2009. Canada participates in three SCWR PMBs (Design and Integration, Thermalhydraulics and Safety, and Chemistry and Materials).

Program StructureFootnote150

Table A-1: Gen IV National Program Structure – Sub-Programs and Project CategoriesFootnote151

Sub-Program/Research Area

Description

Sub-Program 1 – Super Critical Water-Cooled Reactor

The SCWR is an evolution of existing Canadian technology. There are four SCWR project categories with PMBs:

  • 1.1 System Integration and Assessment;
  • 1.2 Thermalhydraulics and Safety;
  • 1.3 Fuel and Fuel Cycle Development;
  • 1.4 Materials and Chemistry.

Canada is a member of the PMBs for all but the Fuel and Fuel Cycle Development area.

Sub-Program 2 – Very High Temperature Reactor

Canada has limited experience with VHTR technology. The basic technology for VHTR has been established in U.S. and German prototype reactors. This system is primarily dedicated to cogeneration of electricity and hydrogen. Canadian efforts focus on R&D projects that are synergistic with the SCWR. Canada participates in two VHTR project categories: VHTR Materials and VHTR Hydrogen Production. With respect to VHTR System Integration and Assessment, this project has yet to be negotiated. Hence, Canada’s participation has yet to be decided in this area. Canadian participation on Fuel and Fuel Cycles was dropped in 2007-08 when funding was reduced.

The goal is to be involved to the extent necessary to learn and benefit from contributions of participating nations. Canada is a member of the Materials and Hydrogen PMBs.

Sub-Program 3 – Nuclear Hydrogen ProductionFootnote152

The production of hydrogen power, without the production of GHGs, represents a promising application of nuclear power. Canada’s contribution to GIF has been defined in the project arrangement of March 2007 and includes R&D on thermochemical cycles, high-temperature electrolysis, and safety and integration.

SCWR builds upon CANDU technology and, as such, Canada has taken a leadership role in the development of the SCWR within GIF.

Canada plays a smaller role with respect to VHTR and is involved in this GIF System Arrangement primarily to gain access to the GIF nuclear hydrogen production projects (which are one element of the VHTR Program) and the materials research that can benefit SCWR development. The scope of work in these areas has decreased as a result of the significant reductions in funding levels. The nuclear hydrogen production research receives a very modest amount of program funding with the majority of activity being funded through AECL internal programs (see the Hydrogen Case Study for more detail)); however, nuclear hydrogen research remains an important component of the Generation IV Portfolio and continues to be one of Canada’s significant areas of contribution to GIF. As well, Canada’s contribution to the VHTR material development may be small, but has gained recent recitation by VHTR participants because of the value it brings to the systems.