Panel #1: Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: What Clean Energy Can Do for Communities (Amrit Dhatt, Colleen Giroux Schmidt)

Following the theme of this year’s Generate, More than Electrons, it is imperative to look at how access to clean energy can have a transformative impact on communities and their future generations. The proposed panel will address the question of how access to energy can be a driving force for increased community socioeconomic development and provide examples from BC, Canada, and around the world.

Access to clean and reliable energy is central to human development, promoting economic growth, and mitigating climate change. Sustainable energy sources are key to sustainable development—stimulating green economies, providing access to clean and safe forms of energy, creating jobs and investment opportunities, all while protecting the environment. Energy is also a fundamental requirement for basic life necessities such as food, water, shelter and clothing; and meeting these needs without depleting the planet’s natural resources is key to framing the discussion on access to clean energy as a necessity for sustainable development and maintaining healthy and safe living standards. Globally, 1.2 billion people[1] lack access to electricity, including having access to clean and safe cooking facilities, light for children to study after dark, street lights for a safe passage home, and communication technologies. The United Nations General Assembly declared the decade of 2014-2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, bringing to light the importance of access to sustainable energy in facilitating all citizens in becoming full participants in their nation’s growth and progress.

According to the UNDP, universal access to modern energy services is achievable by 2030 if governments make universal energy access a top political priority. Within this context, the panel will discuss how investments in sustainable energy sources can positively transform communities for generations to come in terms of living standards, economic opportunities, health, and safety. The proposed discussion will highlight the fact that energy issues go way beyond electrons; access to energy issues are also socioeconomic, equality, and humanitarian issues.

[1] UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

Panel #2: More than a Market (Warren Brazier, Resja Campfens)

The BC electricity market is stagnant and there are numerous obstacles standing in the way of further development of the clean energy industry. Despite this, there is considerable potential for growth in our sector if we can overcome existing barriers and develop new market opportunities. How can this be accomplished? A key obstacle faced by IPPs is the perception that the development of clean energy is in conflict with the government's stated objective of maintaining low electricity rates. The demand for electricity is forecast to grow by more than 40% over the next 20 years. With advances of technology and increase in the regulation of carbon, the cost of clean energy from IPPs is cost-effective compared to alternatives. By focusing on BC’s clean brand, how can clean energy flourish in BC?

By leveraging BC’s clean brand the Province, with support of the clean energy sector, can attract new investment to the Province and grow the clean electricity market. However, if BC’s projected load growth is powered principally by fossil fuels rather than clean energy, BC's clean brand will be eroded and investment may be lost.

This panel will examine whether the development of clean energy is aligned with BC's global brand, or if it is in conflict with other forms of economic development, and if and how these interests could be aligned. In addition, three specific avenues for market growth will be explored, these being: the electrification of the Province's future load growth (including vehicles) with clean energy, attracting new industry and industrial load, and the opportunity to export BC clean energy to regions to the south and east.

Plenary #1:Beyond BC - How BC Clean Energy Innovations & Entrepreneurs Are Branching Beyond BC & Conquering the Globe (Sam Mottram, Brian Yates)

This session will start with a short presentation highlighting some of the Beyond BC successes and opportunities. Innovations developed and being perfected in BC and now exported around the Globe, together with BC IPP’s that are now successfully taking what they have learned in BC and applying it to their projects around the globe. The short presentation will be followed by an interactive question and discussion period, using cell phone texted questions that are displayed on the big screen and then voted on by the audience with the top picks being presented to the panel for discussion.

  • technological advancements, environmental innovations, pioneering advances in partnerships with First Nations and Local Communities.


  • Steven-Taylor Lewis:  Smol Pawa
  • Luca Frigerio:  Sorgent.e
  • Brian Yates:  SNC Lavalin
  • Sam Mottram: Knight Piesold

Plenary #2: The Global Energy Shift: What British Columbia Can Learn From Asia, Europe, the United States, and Beyond (Merran Smith, Lucas De Haro)

While the LNG opportunity still looms large here in B.C., big changes are afoot beyond our borders. Propelled by the plunging costs of solar and, to a lesser extent, wind—and driven by a growing concern for energy independence and climate risk—leading economies and companies are embracing clean energy, including small hydro, like never before. (That’s not to say it’s a picnic out there!) For this Plenary Session, we welcome a diverse array of experts who will share their experiences and challenges from abroad, and open audience dialogue on lessons for the sector here in British Columbia.

Plenary #3: Project Showcase: Pecha Kucha (Andrea Pomeroy)

The Project Showcase will highlight the hottest Clean Energy projects happening in BC this year. The showcase will be presented PechaKucha style – a provocative format that tightly restricts presentations to 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds. This image rich presentation style was invented in Tokyo and has gone viral around the globe. It is fast-paced and fun – and keeps presenters on their toes!

Plenary #4: Interview with BC Hydro CEO, Jessica McDonald (Paul Kariya)

Jessica McDonald held a number of posts under various administrations in the British Columbia government beginning in 1991.

From 2005 to 2009, she served in the most senior public service position in government as deputy minister to the Premier, cabinet secretary and head of the public service, responsible for oversight of all government operations, including 36,000 employees and a $40 billion budget. In this position, she led landmark discussions on the New Relationship between government and First Nations and achieved a ten point increase in employee engagement that saw the BC Public Service recognized, for the first time, as one of the province’s Top 50 Employers.

Most recently, McDonald has served as an independent consultant specializing in management and organizational performance, and commercial mediation and negotiation. In April, she finished a review of the Industry Training Authority. Her final report set out 29 recommendations to enhance and strengthen B.C.'s trades training system.

Plenary #5: Innovation/New Technology Showcase – Pecha Kucha Style (Keith Ainsley, Peter Leighton)

This fast paced session will convey a broad spectrum of the latest innovations and new technologies emerging in the clean energy sector. Presentations will be made by leading experts that will highlight current and future innovations in energy storage technology, new applications of existing clean energy technologies and energy management. Speakers will present their content Pecha Kucha style where they will be allotted 20 seconds per slide and only 20 slides to talk to. The slides will self-advance resulting in a fast paced and exciting presentation.

Plenary #6: Why Work Together? (Colleen Giroux Schmidt, Paul Kariya, Frankie Nash)

An intimate interview with a developer and a First Nation on the challenges and benefits of working together as partners.

Plenary #7: The Future of Clean Energy (Denise Mullen, Paul Kariya)

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) over $2,000B in investment is required each year or about $48 trilling to meet rising energy needs around the world by 2035. What portion of this might renewables occupy? What is needed to ensure we get there? What impact will our energy choices have on our living conditions and the planet?​ Regardless, there will be changes in how we source, store, transported and use energy over the next couple of decades.  This session will engage with world thought leaders on what this looks like.

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